Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Health is Totally Overrated Anyway, Right? Right???

I've spent the last 2 hours scouring medical websites in an attempt to do a brain-frazzling thing called "self-diagnosis." Always a walk in the park.

I'm taking action. I refuse to feel like an elderly person with an over-sized pill divider, constantly complaining about my never-ending aches and pains. But that is what I am, or at least it's what I feel like. But I'm not. I'm a young 31 year old woman who has never been diagnosed with any disease, chronic condition, or illness, other than Acid Reflux. So, pray tell, why do I feel less healthy than the 80 year old man and his drug cocktail? Why does not a single day go by where I don't have at least a headache and some kind of stomach issue, usually nausea and, my current frequent companion, stomachache or pain or feeling sick to my stomach. There have been other symptoms added to the mix recently, of which I will spare you the details.

Bottom line: I'm so over this. It's been 2.5 months and frankly, that's roughly 2.5 months longer than I'm willing to deal with this crap. With no end in sight (and in fact, it's getting progressively worse) I am becoming proactive. I don't trust doctors to have enough of a clue as to what's going on inside my body to be able to make a guess, however educated it may be. When it comes to the perpetually unsolved mystery that is my health problems, doctors and guessing have proven to be less than productive. So I'm researching. And I'm tracking my diet; the time, each ingredient, snacks in between, drinks, even gum--and the resulting effects. Because this is where I'm at now: every time I eat, within a half hour, sometimes sooner, I am completely sick to my stomach. Doesn't matter what I eat, it seems, just has to be food to have me curled up in bed wanting to die. Or running to the bathroom because...well, I said I'd spare you that. It's not vomiting, I'll say that much and leave it at that. So the obvious conclusion to draw would be that it's something I'm eating. But so far I haven't found a connecting factor. I do, however, have a list I fashioned of everything I think it could possibly be. Wanna hear it? Here it goes.

My new anti-depressant. Possible side effect is stomach pain and other stomach issues. Also, can cause ulcers.

Sugar--why not? It causes enough other problems.

Gum--peppermint, aspartame (when I was diagnosed with acid reflux, peppermint was on the list of foods they said to avoid.

fatty foods (fried)--also an A.R. no no.

Pop--carbonated drinks can make the A.R. flare up.

Gluten--I keep going back to Celiac again and again.

Vitamin deficiency--maybe something I'm not getting.

Advil, Tylenol--I've always known too much of these can cause stomach issues, even ulcers. Obviously I've practically lived on them my entire life. Maybe my stomach finally said "when".

Acid reflux--maybe my A.R. has just gotten much worse in general.

Excess stomach fat--it took every ounce of courage in me to put this last theory down, but it's not a big secret where I carry most of my weight, as much as I lie to myself that it is. A big secret. I've been thinking about this a lot lately and wondering if it's actually causing me problems other than trying to buy clothes. Like, legitimate medical problems. It seems totally plausible. I feel like everything in there is being pulled down, down, down. Maybe it's messing up my organs, my stomach. Maybe they'll discover this and tell me I absolutely have to get lipo and a tummy tuck right away in order to save my internal organs and I come out of it with a beautiful flat stomach and no more feeling like death on a stick every day of my life...

Oh sorry, I must have dozed off there for a minute. Dreaming again.

Anyway, I think if nothing else, it's a place to start. My plan is to take my list into my doctor and discuss each one as a possibility. And, depending on what they say, I may or may not demand a food allergy test. (but I really want one). It's just not normal. It's just not a way anyone should have to live. And I'm gonna do something about it.


Shayla said...

It just isn't fair, is it?! It isn't. I get so tired of complaining about my health issues, too. I imagine everyone rolling their eyes at me in exasperation, but really I think people do care and wish they could help. That's me. I'm wishing you a miraculous cure or at least an answer. Answers are so hard to come by these days. I'll email with some of my ideas from all the doctors we've been to... I wonder if you should try going to the naturopath I went to in Richland. She's a a real go-getter, wants to get down to the real problem instead of just giving meds for the symptoms. Have you had a celiacs disease test? My in-laws have it, it's a straight-forward test that says yay or nay. Doctors don't like to order it, though, cause I hear it's super expensive. Anyway, to spare your readers my long list of ideas, etc. I will email instead. We're off to Seattle for answers for me this week. Another doctor, another round of medications, I'm sure. But it's not like you can just STOP when you don't feel good, right? Right.

[M] said...

No intend to offend, but you are sort of the poster child for celiac disease. Gluten causes acid reflux (ava's reflux stopped overnight when I cut out gluten). Accumulating fat in the stomach region is a symptom of gluten intolerance, (called the gluten belly). It can also cause ulcers. Artificial sweeteners can definitely exacerbate all of those symptoms. There is a book called "Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills" that explains why all of those artificial things are so bad. Did you ever read about the MTHFR gene mutation? I still think that could be the root cause of your problems. It's a very easy blood test you could demand from your doc. Most people that have it are gluten intolerant. And have depression, anxiety, headaches, IBS, among other things. Another thing that gluten intolerance causes is candida. Which is why sugar is such a problem...

Marilyn said...

Alicia, I'm pretty sure I've already mentioned this to you before, but I'll tell you again. Tess from Bio-Energetics is a miracle worker in my opinion. Her office is in Richland and although her techniques may seem strange, I cannot deny how much they've helped Ethan. He is a different kid.

Here is her contact info: 943-0127

Feel free to call me if you have any questions!

Noelle said...

so...not sure how to put this but....my sister heather? you know your cousin? she can't eat ANYTHING. she's pretty much a vegan now becuase of everything she can't eat. and through everything she's taken out of her diet, she's barely holding on. abe said something the other month i've never thought of: often our brains way of dealing with anxiety is by forcing our brains to focus on something else. so it becomes 'allergic' to certain foods or food in general. just a thought. and it's not necessarily fixed by anxiety meds, though that is a good place to begin, along with talk therapy. just a thought.
also, it sounds like these symptoms started when you really got down and dirty about your book - perhaps stress could have a HUGE influence on your health?
if it makes you feel any better, i've had the worst PMS i've ever had in my whole life and i'm a psychopath so i'm going on meds to stop it. just thought i'd let you know so you didn't think i was judging. :)
love you cuz. way to become edumacated.

MARISA said...

Good luck Alicia! It sounds like you have some good leads and some good advice from your friends and family. Keep us updated. :)

melissa mae said...

I hear you, cousin. Story of my life! They think my gastritis was caused by too much ibuprofen and the likes. DEMAND an upper endoscopy, food allergy tests, etc. You have to really grab the bull by the horns when it comes to doctors. The best thing I ever did for my stomach was went to a reflexologist and started following the combination diet. I haven't had problems since. Good luck!

Rachael said...

dude, this is such a serious post, i just want to make some inappropriate joke or something. Seriously, I hope you figure out something, anything. It looks like you have some good advice in the comments before mine, I hope one of them helps. I just hope you feel better, and remember, I am like 5 houses away, don't even hesitate, for anything, just think about how you will be doing me a favor, guaranteeing me blessing for doing service. It really is a win/win you know..

wv-snalam- maybe that could be your condition?