For three months, from December-March, I took four rounds of antibiotics for an upper respiratory infection and two bouts of strep. I got smart on the fourth round of meds and got a probiotic to take along with it. FINALLY I was well.
Now I have a UTI. So I’m on another round of antibiotics. I’ve been struggling to stay well in general, but my digestion has been a little off for the majority of this year. I went to urgent care about two weeks ago to get blood drawn for some unexplained nausea I was having out of nowhere (no, not pregnant). My labs came back normal, but I still didn’t have an explanation for the nausea.
The rest of that week I could barely eat as I normally did. I would eat breakfast and lunch but have no appetite for dinner as I had this constant feeling of queasiness. Going into the next week (this week) I realized I couldn’t remember the last time I had a BM. Side note-working in a hospital and being a mom makes me way more comfortable to talk about bodily secretions. Sorry, not sorry.
Anyway, a little back story on my bowel issues. I remember my mom taking me to the doctor when I was young for a hard “something” that could be felt in my left lower stomach. I had an ultrasound done to check my ovary and then an X-ray. The radiologist said the doctor would talk to my about the results, but she could see a lot of stool in there. Being young and not knowing, I asked her, “What’s stool?” She replied, “Poo.” So my mom got me some laxatives to help me out, but I don’t really remember ever changing anything with my diet.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve incorporated more fibrous foods like whole grain English muffins and Fiber One cereal (which actually tastes really good) and I’ve been able to get moving with those and similar foods.
This past week I was so incredibly uncomfortable I couldn’t bear it. I tried to eat my fiber cereal with no luck. I didn’t feel like eating cause I always felt so “full.” I broke down and got some Miralax and finally got some relief. In the midst of all of this I somehow thought that maybe it’s all this pasta and bread I’ve been eating. Do I suddenly have an intolerance to it?
A friend showed me a blog post of one of her friends who talked about how she decided to go gluten-free after having joint pain and other symptoms. Interestingly, she had finished taking an antibiotic when the joint pain, nausea, and lethargy started to be a norm for her. Could there be a link between antibiotics and digestive issues?? She goes on to talk about when she stopped eating gluten (wheat) she felt a million times better. At first I was afraid to stop eating gluten because I didn’t know if I could handle a big diet change like that. Now that I’ve realized there are still plenty of foods I can eat, it doesn’t seem so scary.
That scary feeling, though, came from the fact that gluten is in virtually everything today. It’s even in our beauty and hygiene products as a filler. Crazy right?! If you look at a bag of chips, a box of cereal, croutons, anything with wheat, barley, or rye. They. All. Have. Gluten.
If you have some time watch “What’s with Wheat” on Netflix. This was so incredibly eye opening and it even talks about non-celiac gluten sensitivity. There aren’t any tests for this type of sensitivity, you simply have to cut it out of your diet for a couple of months and then slowly reintroduce gluten and see how your body reacts.
Whether you have a sensitivity or not, I’ve heard you will feel a lot better without gluten in your diet.
I went through our pantry and took out everything with wheat that we have. It wasn’t an insane amount of food, but still significant that our pantry looks slightly bare. I’ve been carefully watching what I eat to cut out gluten for only three days. I’m looking forward to seeing how I feel a few weeks from now.
I’ll be sure to update on how I’m feeling along the way! Let me know if you have any suggestions for gluten-free meals!