Obligatory Disclaimer – I’m not a doctor. Always seek a doctor’s advice before beginning any sort of diet or treatment. This is just my personal story – What worked for me. I hope it will help you and/or point you in the direction of resources so you can feel better!
My Story: What the Heck is Wrong With Me?
Around 2010 or thereabouts, I started having embarrassing and distressing G.I. tract symptoms. Bloating, smelly gas, discomfort, and sudden and violent diarrhea, which was on occasion accompanied by vomiting. This made working on the phone in a call center fraught with anxiety. Sometimes I’d have to put a caller on hold or transfer them to a co-worker so I could run to the bathroom.
I ruined more than one pair of pants when I had to drive from a bakery a mile to my home and then use a key to get in the front door. Sometimes I’d be sitting on the couch watching TV when the rumbling hit – I’d have less than 5 seconds to get to the bathroom.
My GP, whom I had been seeing for 10 years, kept telling me it was my diabetes. If I just had better control of my Type 1 diabetes, this “delayed stomach emptying” or gastro-paresis would get better. Unfortunately that wasn’t happening.
In 2009 I had had major dental surgery with anesthesia and valium, and I thought maybe I’d gotten leaky gut syndrome because of it or the antibiotics or other drugs – since I had had horrible diarrhea after the surgery.
The Light Dawns – Gluten Intolerance
After reading a book called Seven Weeks to a Settled Stomach by a G.I. specialist, I began to keep a food diary. I noticed that in a two-week period, my husband and I ate at two different restaurants in Spokane. I ordered ravioli each time; and each time I wound up with vomiting and diarrhea. Ah ha! Could my problem be wheat gluten? My endocrinologist ordered a celiac test for me, but it came up negative. I don’t remember if I had stopped eating bread/wheat when this was done. She told me that “since your test for celiac was negative, you don’t have a gluten problem.” Not true!
I continued to have symptoms. I don’t even know if she did the full panel – she may have only tested for one of the markers. At any rate, I placed myself on a strict gluten-free diet – as I learned more about what contained gluten or may contain gluten and avoided it I got better and better!
I also went to a naturopath who told me I was dehydrated and to drink lots more water – and she ordered a food allergy test for me. I had to pay a few hundreds of dollars out of pocket, but it was worth it. The full panel showed no grain-group problems, of course, because I hadn’t been eating wheat for almost a year by then. However, it turned up a moderate allergy to bananas and a mild reaction to cranberries, pineapple, and soft cow-milk cheeses (perhaps because of the caseins.)
When I added those foods to my list to avoid, the last chest cavity discomfort melted away – that feeling that something wasn’t quite right – like my sides were full of gas and I wanted to rub them.
Apparently there are also things called FODMOPs to consider, a treatment called NAET, and a genetic test that looks for markers of chronic disease and allergies to consider. I haven’t looked into these things yet.
I tried acupuncture for some months and it helped me with many things, not just the GI tract.