A little about my past

So I mentioned my food intolerances in my ‘about me’ but I wanted to let y’all know a little more. Roughly 6 years ago I found out I had major sensitivites to dairy fat. It took a while to come to that conclusion: many tests, doctors appointments, a food dairy, and months of getting sick very often and not being able to hold a social life like most middle school students do. I would go to friends houses we would have pizza or ice cream and an hour or so later I would be calling my room from the bathroom to pick me up. It was terrible,  my friends didn’t understand, and even thought I had an eating disorder because I was not able to eat much without felling ill (at that age dairy is a big part of your diet) and I was getting sick so often I couldn’t keep weight on. 

5 years later and I am starting to get sick often again. Again came the stabbing stomach pains, frequent trips to the bathroom, and overall discomfort living a normal now college student life. I always wanted to know where the nearest bathroom was and I had a lot of concern. I had bloody stools (sorry if that is TMI), I was losing weight once again, and my energy was draining. The symptoms started in the fall of 2012, cleared up over Christmas, and came back in full swing when I returned to school in January. 

I talked to my mom a few times about it and she thought it was just hemeroids but I was not convinced. At this point I was losing A LOT of blood and having a lot of bowl movements that were very painful. Mid to late February I finally went to my trainer and asked to see the doctor. She was happy I had come to her. She had noticed my energy draining, weight dropping, and also thought I had an eating disorder.

The first step was to have some blood tests done and set up a gastroenterologist appointment. The blood tests revealed I was severely anemic and many of my other levels were off. When I saw my doctor she ordered a number of tests starting with a colonoscopy, then an upper GI, a CT scan, and later a prometheus test. My colonoscopy revealed I either what Chrons of Ulcerative Colitis. 

My diagnosis was then UC that is confined to the rectum but I had minor inflammation in other places that meant it could easily spread later on if I do not keep it under control. I was put on 3 different medications and after 3-4 months of a full on flare up am finally doing better now. My last test was a fructose intolerance test to determine if there was anything making it worse and also giving me some of the other symptoms I still had. On my last day in New Orleans before coming home I found out I am intolerant to fructose, an ingredient in many many products and even many healthy/fresh foods. 

It is not surprising that my breath test was positive because of my previous knowledge of my dairy sensitivity. I am lacking certain digestive enzymes required to break down these things in my digestive tract which is leading to gas, bloating, pain, and a plethora of other symptoms. 

I have come to terms with my intolerances and am doing my best to avoid these things but obviously fructose is a hard on and I am still making mistakes. I am feeling a lot better than I was a few months ago and am grateful I am home to learn how to change my diet. Hopefully in the long run it will make me a healthier eater between the UC and multiple food intolerances. I’m just going with what life throws at me and trying to make the best of it!

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5 thoughts on “A little about my past

  1. I also got diagnosed with a fructose intolerance/malabsorption a couple of weeks ago. I never realized how much food had fructose in it until I had to stop eating it. Have you seen a dietitian about it?

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    1. Yes, at school I have a nutritionist and gastroenterologist. My nutritionist recommended getting some food allergy tests and when i told my gastroenterologist it turned out they have an in office dietitian. I followed the breath test directions and saw the dietitian the morning before I came home for summer. My test was positive and otherwise she was not very helpful at all! She gave me two sheets of paper and basically said read food labels. The first month was ROUGH. I was constantly thinking fructose is in everything and that I was never going to get it under control because I didn’t understand all the different ingredients and the difference between glucose and fructose and the whole ‘limit to one serving.’ of other foods that have mild fructose levels.

      I ended up ordering two books off of amazon that have helped my understand it so much better! First I read Food Intolerances: Fructose Malabsorption, Lactose and Histamine Intolerance: living and eating well after diagnosis & dealing with the elimination diet, and currently I am reading The Sugar Fix. It really changed my attitude towards the intolerance I look at what I can eat instead of what I can’t and have learned to replace some foods I like with different brands of similar things. The books also have charts of fruits, vegetables, and other foods of their fructose content and it showed me that even though the dietitian said not to eat certain levels of vegetables because they have a high’ level of fructose it is still 1/3 or less the amount in many fruits. So after reading that I reintroduced all vegetables and have been fine! That small relief of giving me a few more things I could eat helped me too!

      I still slip up frequently but I am getting better about self disipline and just being aware at what I can and cannot eat. It is definitely a trial and error process.

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      1. That sucks! I hope that the woman I see is more helpful than that. I just have so many questions about it all that I hope she can answer. Or at least point me in the right direction.

        I’ll definitely look into those books! I found out online that a FODMAP diet may be helpful so I ordered The Complete Low-FODMAP Diet: A Revolutionary Plan for Managing IBS and Other Digestive Disorders by Sue Shepherd. I haven’t been able to read it yet unfortunately because it is coming out in August.

        So far I have only been diagnosed with the fructose intolerance but I could also have hemorrhoids or US. I’m hoping to get the fructose part of it figured out for the most part and then go from there.

        I can relate to the trial and error process. I’m currently traveling for work and it is so hard to figure out what I can eat. So far it is not going so well and I have been feeling pretty horrible. I can’t wait until I can go home where things are a bit easier to deal with.

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      2. I hope she is more helpful than mine was too. I felt so lost and confused and had no real idea besides HFCS what I couldn’t eat on food labels. They told me I could do the FODMAPS but because I already know two allergies and I’m a D1 athlete they weren’t sure how much it would help me and right now I need to keep my nutrition up to get all my vitamin levels back to normal after being at the worst of my symptoms so cutting out a ton of food wasnt going to be ideal. I might look into doing it after my cross country season ends and my health is better.

        I guess mine was reversed from yours because I was diagnosed with an IBD- UC before figuring out my fructose intolerance was making it worse. The unfortunate thing about IBDs and other colon problems is that there isn’t much knowledge about it to help out those suffering. I hope you start to feel better! I know once I was shopping and cooking for myself I got a lot better and having just gone on vacation yesterday was the first day in 8 I didn’t feel any symptoms! So it’s definitely hard!

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      3. That’s exactly how I’ve been feeling the last couple of weeks with this whole thing. I haven’t decided if I will do the FODMAP but I will definitely be looking into it. Anything is worth looking into at this point. I hope that your health gets better soon!

        I do wish that there was more research done on IBDs and other bowel problems. It seems like fructose intolerances are a relatively new disease that they’ve figured out. I hadn’t ever heard of it until my GI specialist mentioned it. I was feeling better until I had to travel for work. It’s so hard to eat out and find food that doesn’t have HFCS, honey or fructose in it. I’m going home late next week so I’ll be feeling better soon after that. I’m tired of feeling like crap all the time. It’s so draining.

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