A Health Experiement

Since around the summer of 2007, I started having pain in my stomach after eating.  At first it was tolerable, not happening that often, but now, it seems to happen several times a week.  The question is, what is the culprit that’s causing the issue?

I have a feeling it’s dairy, or at least milk.  I began noticing that when I’d have a big steaming mug of hot chocolate, my stomach would start to hurt almost instantly, well, at least within 30 minutes.  The reason that I don’t think it’s all dairy, including cheese and yogurt, is because for a while I was only eating yogurt and was fine and sometimes I can have mozzerella cheese either sliced or melted on pizza and not have any issue.  I also have a feeling that there is a cumulative effect going on.  If I have milk in the morning, in say a cup of tea, if I eat a yogurt or some pizza later in the day, I’ve already exposed myself to whatever was in the milk that’s bothering me so when I eat other dairy it causes the pain to return.

My plan now, for the next couple weeks at least, is to cut out dairy as best I can and see if I have any improvement.  If I start seeing a decrease in my stomach pain, I’ll gradually add in the yogurt, since it’s easier to digest, and provided there is no issue again, I’ll try cheese.  I also plan to keep track of what I’m eating on what day to see if there is any other correlation between other food and the pain.  Over the summer I seem to remember a week when I ate nothing but homemade chicken Caesar wraps and I never had an inkling of pain…maybe I should eat nothing my wraps and salads…

Oh, and I’ve already cut caffeine out of my diet.  I’m only drinking caffeine free Pepsi (and that’s only for Craft Night…I really only have Pepsi then), which I drank all through Bug’s pregnancy and I’ve switched to decaf chai tea and caffeine free herbal teas.  I’ve noticed a slight decrease in the amount of energy I have most days, but I’ve found that I no longer hit that 4pm wall of exhaustion when my body crashes.

If I fail to determine the cause of the pain, I guess I’ll have to break down and visit a doctor.  I really should go see one as I haven’t been to a non-OB-GYN in years…Bad, I know, but I’m always afraid they are going to tell me the worst…and I just don’t want to hear it.  I’m like my mom and prefer to suffer in silence, even though that silence has a tendency to affect everyone around her.

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3 thoughts on “A Health Experiement

  1. I saw Michael’s comment on your Facebook page, so I thought I’d read more when I saw your blog post. Food allergies are so hard to diagnose because if you’re eating something you’re allergic to all the time, the reaction can come at seemingly random times. A medical doctor will actually be little to no help in this – I’ve been allergic to gluten for at least 18 years now, and it was only formally diagnosed almost 2 years ago. The doctor who diagnosed it wasn’t a medical doctor. In fact, when I see pure medical doctors, they often dismiss the allergy as no big deal.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve discovered dairy makes me ill in the same ways it does you only when I am eating another substance I am allergic to (like gluten). As soon as I stopped eating gluten, I was able to add dairy back with no trouble. I’m having dairy issues again, but it seems that I have another food allergy (I’m thinking soy or maybe corn) causing it. I have to do another elimination diet to find out.

    It could be the probiotics in yogurt that keep you from reacting to it. You might also want to try taking probiotics when you drink milk (I’d go for a half hour or so before, to give them time to set up shop) to see if that’s the case. If so, you aren’t allergic to milk or lactose intolerant – you just aren’t digesting milk properly because your gut is already inflamed, probably by another food or drug you’re taking.

    Like I said, food allergies are tough.

    • Thanks, Barbara. I knew you’d be helpful, coming from experience. I honestly don’t think it’s a gluten allergy, though at this point anything is possible. I’ve eaten pasta and breads before without problem…it really just seems to be the dairy. If I don’t have success with excluding milk, I’ll take your advice and try to get rid of the gluten.

      Do all yogurts have pro-biotics naturally? I’ve only been eating the Yoplait (whips, light, original). I do know there are some with it added…I might have to look into those or into a separate pro-biotic to add to my diet…that’s probably not a bad idea, really…

      That sucks that you are having issues again. Hopefully you can figure it out again. Maybe we can go through this elimination diet together!

      ________________________________

      • Yeah, the probiotics are what makes yogurt what it is. The ones that advertise probiotics might have more added after the fact, I really don’t know.

        That said, it doesn’t have to be a gluten thing to pre-inflame your gut. It is usually something that you find in all packaged food, like corn, soy, sugar, etc. I was just using my own example to illustrate my point.

        If the dairy thing doesn’t work long-term, you can do the diet with me, but it is brutal. Especially the first few days. 🙂

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