Eight weeks already?! I couldn’t quite believe it when I checked the stats of the blog and spotted the last time I had posted, I knew it had been a while, but two months?!!
I have been meaning to post for the longest time…it was bugging me in the back of my mind, a weird combination of reluctant urgency- urgency because I KNEW I had to, I wanted to maintain momentum and not fall into the habit of becoming a sporadic blogger. Reluctancy because I actually felt like I had nothing to blog about!
FOODIElia is a blog centered and focused entirely on food, but what happens when your appetite is poor? When you haven’t been out exploring various restaurants and foodie events? When you’ve had to re-evaluate your entire relationship with food because of illness?
For the past 6-8 weeks, I’ve been dealing with leaky gut syndrome, a weird and horrible ailment that I initially could not diagnose, even with the help of a doctor. Almost everything I ate would sit lodged somewhere between my chest and stomach (not literally, but this is what it felt like) creating great cramping and discomfort and there was a non stop inferno, which I could only describe as a mini volcano erupting in my stomach.
In tow with poor appetite, diarrhoea, a sharp, sour taste at the back of my tongue/throat, acid reflux, bloating, flatulence a-plenty, a nasty cough and fatigue, it was safe to say that consuming food was no longer a pleasure for me.
Worst still, my skin was breaking out more than ever, another side effect that I now realise is connected to leaky gut.
Wtf is leaky gut?
Leaky gut is when the bowel lining becomes irritated and “leaky” as a result of a wide range of factors, including an overgrowth of yeast or bacteria in the bowel, a poor diet and the overuse of antibiotics. (Always nice when you take antibiotics to get better and end up with another ailment eh?)
This means that undigested food particles, bacterial toxins and germs can pass through the “leaky” gut wall and into the bloodstream, triggering the immune system and causing persistent inflammation throughout the body leading to a wide range of health problems, hence my 101 symptoms.
Other inflammatory foods like dairy , sugar and excessive alcohol, are suspected to exacerbate the condition as well.
How d’yu fix it?
I had to alter what I was eating in order to help the resolve the situation, which meant going on a cleanse and cutting out ALL dairy (I don’t drink cow’s milk, but I am a sucker for cheese. Sigh.), sugar (this was PRETTY DARN DIFFICULT), yeast and alcohol. I also did my best to avoid grains. This actually helped to identify which foods irritated me the most.
Upon doing further research, I discovered that the intake of friendly bacteria and fermented foods such as kimchi, (a sort of pickled/fermented cabbage which I love) was the way to go, and I also began to take a medicine called Silicogel in order to help repair the damage and soothe my raging stomach.
And, it worked guys! Not only do I feel tons better, but my skin has cleared up remarkably, I have more energy and I’ve managed to keep up my low level sugar intake, avoid alcohol completely and cut down on bread. Oh and I’m back in love with food again lol.
So now I’m back, in better health and trying to reacclimatise to the swing of things, primarily change.
During my time away, quite a few thought provoking events re-established the reality of life for me; one constant of which being change and how well we either adapt to it, or reject it.
I suppose the resounding thought I had to conclude with, is to never give up on yourself, no matter what may be changing around you.
We are in a constant state of change, with various factors of life changing all around us, but we, as in you and I as individuals, remain constant. So whether I am sad, I am unwell, I am better, I am afraid, I am determined, I am here. The one constant amongst all of those changing facets, is that I am. And as long as I am, I can.