Friday, June 8, 2012

Cracking the code to my tummy troubles

Well today was certainly an interesting day.

After dealing with constant stomach problems and then going to a Gastro Doc who decided to just throw pills at me, I think I finally found a guy who's going to help me crack the code.

I went to meet with Dr. Glenn Gero you can read all about him here.

He's a naturopathic doctor who takes a dietary/fitness and natural approach to healing and ailments. After checking him out, I decided that he was worth talking to and boy am I glad I did.

First of all, it's evident that he takes his health seriously. He lives a "clean-eating" life and is still on a rowing team. He doesn't just preach about health, he practices it. Unfortunately, that seems rare amongst traditional doctors now a days.

My doc rowing to health

He spent a WHOPPING two and a half hours with me. Carefully analyzing and discussing my blood work, my issues, why we were doing what tests we were doing. Have you ever spent 2 hours with a doctor? Not me. Not ever. In fact, the gastro specialist diagnosed my IBS and threw 2 toxic prescriptions at me within 5 minutes.


After a bunch of tests we found out that I have food sensitivities to:

  • Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Almonds (ALMONDS!?) Yes. Almonds.
I have been cutting back on gluten and dairy (though I still was having cheese a few times a week and I'm sure some gluten here and there) and thankfully I cut out artificial sweeteners a few months ago… this will encourage me to be even more diligent on all of it… but, almonds? Wow!! No wonder I can't get over my stomach issues - my milk has been replaced by almond milk for years. I eat a handful of almonds almost twice a day. That combined with a cheese stick snack and my day could be ruined and probably has been regularly.


And by the way, it's probably worse when I combine these foods so when I did my full marathon and had a MISERABLE 26 miles of porto-potty stops it makes perfect sense now - I carb loaded the night before with pasta topped with cheese and then woke up and chased it with a bagel and cream cheese. 

Oh. Super bad move. Epically bad move.

When I'm home I never eat that. Even before cutting out gluten, I didn't do much pasta and my running breakfast go-to is typically oatmeal… since I couldn't make oatmeal in the hotel, I decided on that friggen bagel. So that could've been what did me in.

Oh, I know, "don't try anything new on race day." A few weeks prior I had, had a bagel the morning before my Jersey Shore half and it didn't seem to affect me. I also assumed bagels and pasta to be a relatively bland food so I didn't think that it would cause issue… Guess I was wrong.

Hmmm and I wonder if the sports drink they served was "sugar free" and used a artificial sweetener? I guess that would be a trifecta of tummy troubles. Who knows.

There were a few other minor issues that I have to deal with too - and it was all very fascinating. 

Good news is, chocolate, coffee, avocados, rice, red wine - all thumbs up foods :-) 

Also, I swore off bananas 4 years ago because I assumed I was allergic to them since I always got a stomach ache when I ate them. Doc says I am not sensitive or allergic to them! It could've been the skim milk I was using with them for my smoothie or the "light wheat" bread I was making my sandwich with but it wasn't the banana! Oh I hope that is true, I would love to eat banana's again and will put that to the test.

The Dr. gave me three supplements to take for my stomach, one was an IBS formula that he has created. Stomach issues is his specialty and he says that I won't ever have to buy that one again because it's healing. He also gave me some super probiotics and magnesium (the magnesium is for a suspected deficiency for all the cramping I get in my calves and feet - a side issue). The supplements cost me significantly less than the drugs medications that the Gastro dealer doctor tried to push at me and Dr. Gero promises me that I'll feel completely better and passed symptoms by Wednesday - less than a week!!!  

We will see. I'm excited to give it a shot… And now I'm off to throw out my whole jar of almond butter :-( 


PS: So what does this mean for my "celebration" foods? Well, lets face it, I'll probably not swear off pizza for the rest of my life but I'll probably generally avoid it… I still might suck up the tummy ache for a pancake post half-marathon - or maybe I won't… Taking it one meal / day at a time. Thankfully, I'm pretty disciplined.
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