Allergies? Digestive Issues? Join the Club!

These last five weeks have not gone how I had originally planned.  They were supposed to be filled with vacations and relaxing, mixed with some studying for the NCLEX.  Instead they have turned into me canceling all summer plans, cooking, researching, and (thanks to the Lord) passing my exam after half focused attempts of studying 🙂

HOWEVER,  I would not change it for anything. These last five weeks have allowed me to have healing, give control up to Him, and learn how to stress less.  And I’m very thankful for that.

Okay now onto what’s been going on, and lets start from the beginning.  Growing up I had the weirdest of allergies- random fruits like apples, plums, peaches, kiwi, papaya, soy.  I didn’t think much of it because my brother had the same thing, but much worse than me.  He had very serious allergies and always had an Epipen and Benadryl with him.  Mine just swelled my throat a bit, or gave me hives, or cramps.  The beginning of my sophomore year of college I started having digestive issues, and figured out I was lactose intolerant. It wasn’t that big of a deal, I took Lactaid pills, avoided dairy the majority of the time and continued life. Later sophomore year was when I fell into my five month period of binge eating, completely disrupting any normal function of my digestive system off and on for those months.  Starting that summer after about 4 months of the binging I had my first “tonsillitis” infection. That is in quotes because there was no confirmed tests ever of any of my tonsillitis that I had then or following it. Within the next 7 months I would have tonsillitis 3 times, and strep one time. Meaning I got prescribed antibiotics 4 times in that short amount of time (which by the way is not good for your stomach flora as it kills your good bacteria too).  Every few weeks my throat would start to get itchy and swell, I thought I had year round allergies so I started taking Claritin every day…my throat stopped! I haven’t have “tonsillitis” or antibiotics since. However every now and then I noticed my throat would start getting itchy, I would take Vitamin C and it would go away and I wouldn’t get sick. Between my sophomore year and graduation last month I had added many foods to my allergy list: asparagus, green beans, broccoli, mustard, organic sugar, vanilla extract, the list goes on.  It was the weirdest of things and it just didn’t make sense to me. The very last straw was this last April when broccoli started giving major cramps, so bad that I felt dizzy.  I knew something was wrong and it wasn’t allergies. I stopped eating broccoli for a couple weeks but EVERYTHING I ate started to bother me-I would get bloated (extra that is…for the last two years I would always bloat after eating and somehow thought that was normal..), major cramps from below the ribs to my low abdomen, felt fatigued, urgency to go to the bathroom. It was so bad it started to interfere with my every day life and that’s when I started googling.

Why didn’t I go to the doctor? Well one because of financial reasons. Two because I’m stubborn and like to figure stuff out on my own.  Anyhowwwww, I came across something called leaky gut. This is when the gut has become “leaky” and undigested food can get into your bloodstream instead of going through the normal process of digestion.  This can be caused by many things such as eating disorders, too many antibiotics, overuse of NSAIDS, chronic stress, etc. This leads to increased food allergies, bloating, cramping, joint pain, chronic fatigue, etc.  There was no doubt in my mind that I had this and so I embarked on a journey of how to fix it.  I was introduced to the GAPS diet, and was completely overwhelmed. For those of you who don’t know what GAPS is, it’s a healing diet that is supposed to last from 18 months to 2 years (yea…seems long right). There is an intro phase and a full phase, and because of the severity of my symptoms I was supposed to start in the intro phase. After reading many blogs and doing research it was shown that people can be healed from not only leaky gut, but food intolerances, seasonal allergies, and much more being on this diet! I’m planning on writing more in depth blogs on my journey with GAPS but just some intro-it consists of a lot of meat stock and veggies and zero grains and processed foods. So i started GAPS 5 and a half weeks ago which has been only the beginning of a very long journey.

Well, that is my health background regarding digestive and allergy issues for those of you who are curious and/or struggling yourself!  Much has happened in the last five weeks that I will gladly share with you all; I know that digestive issues are very prevalent these days and believe me when I say you are NOT alone. And that there IS hope for you!!

 

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