Friday, September 14, 2012


I had an appointment with a new gastroenterologist yesterday. The first gastroenterologist I had did two colonoscopies over a 5 years period, one for a baseline in 2005 and the second one in 2010 for the digestive problems, but in the end she didn't diagnose anything.

She was dismissive of suggestions I had from my experience and condescending when I asked questions, and unless the problem was obvious, she couldn't say anything. Iin the end she put my problems off to symptoms of age, diet and IBS.

Yeah, like I needed to hear that. Anyway, I got a second gastroenterologist who actually is very good. He's complete and honest with answers and explanations, answers questions fairly and treats patients like real people.

Anyway, we still don't have answers to the problem, in part because it's kinda' faded away after the Siactic nerve issue which suggests it was related to the back and spine problems, and likely nerves. But we got closer to finding what doesn't help, and hurts or excerbates problems.

And that's where diet comes in. After listing the foods I can eat and the foods I've tried but don't work, he said besides being food sensitive, I'm also likely sensitive to FODMAP's. It makes sense doing some homework (they're mailing me more information).

So, that's the new plan, a more restrictive diet where I limit foods not on the approved list. And the approved list? Well, it's short, very short. Like?

Well, for starters, lactose-free non-fat milk or other type of milk-like product which doesn't have lactose. After that it's some hard cheeses, namely the one I like, eg. Gouda, Edam, Cheeder, etc. No other dairy products except in small amounts, but none with any probiotics, which causes bad reactions.

The fruits are bananas, oranges, and some berries, but none with seeds. The vegetables are carrots, and nothing green or leafy. No starches save one brand each of potato chips and corn chips, meaning no spices besides salt.

Meat is some seafood, some fish but mostly canned Salmon and Tuna fish, some brands of sandwich ham, and occasional poultry, eg. chicken, but only organic. Nothing name or store brands (eg. Safeway).

Outside of that, at least I get a favorite, creamy peanut butter and jam, but only on Ritz crackers and one type of bread from a local bakery. All other grains, breads, crackers, etc. aren't acceptable. On the exclusion list are eggs of any sort, unless in mixes, nuts or anything with nuts, and nothing with spices.

That said, I live a lot on protein drinks and snacks, often combination of the above. I eat snack sized meals 4-5 times a day because I can't eat a large meal anymore. I'm lucky I like the diet but occasionally get hungry for variety which is why once or twice I week I have food experiment meals.

The problem is that not only is the digestive system food sensitive, the small intestine is sensitive to roughage and foods which often causes bleeding. Yeah, you can see the issue, I need food to eat but food is also my enemy.

As a result I haven't eaten in a fast food or take-out restaurant in years let alone a real restaurant with real freshly prepared food. They don't have anything I can eat, which means I take my food with me everywhere I go and only go to cafes for coffee.

Makes for an interesting life around food.

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