Friday, May 24, 2013

Tummy Update!

I thought about it, and it's about time I update y'all on my stomach woes and how my tests went! So many of you have asked me about what's going on and it's complicated. I figured I should post about it so I don't have to write it out or say it a gazillion times. Because obviously a gazillion people care. Okay not, but a girl can pretend.

So those of you just realizing there was anything wrong with me can either catch up here, here and here or you can just continue on or not. Really it's up to you :)

In April I had a few tests done (a) a stomach emptying test to see how fast my stomach pushed my food to my intestines and (b) ultrasounds to check out all of my organs and make sure there was nothing wrong with my ovaries, gallbladder, kidneys, everything else in there etc.

Test (a) came back positive...or negative...I'm not sure which way it goes, but pretty much in the hour my stomach was supposed to be digesting radioactive chocolate milk {it was supposed to be eggs, but I'm allergic} it didn't digest properly. In fact, the doctors were intrigued by my case. There are a lot of times I hope to be intriguing {on my blog per say}, but when it comes to doctors...not so much. My stomach emptied normally for the first 30 minutes and then just stopped. The chocolate milk just sat around in my stomach and didn't pass through to my small intestines for the remaining 30 minutes. Apparently this is not normal. So my doctor recommended a nutritionist for me to see.

Test (b) came back negative in that all of my organs are okay. This is awesome. I was having some sharp pains in my lower abdomen that my gastro doc thought could potentially be endometriosis or something else non-stomach related. Luckily all is well.

So like I said a few weeks ago, it's nothing severe. It won't require surgery. But it is going to require a lifestyle change with my eating habits. I was officially diagnosed with gastroparesis which is a fancy name for delayed stomach emptying due to partial paralysis of the stomach causing food to remain in the stomach for longer than usual. Unfortunately, there isn't a cure for gastroparesis. Like I said, I have to change my eating habits.


Source
This is the image I got when I Googled gastroparesis. I like him.

I met with a nutritionist last week and had a chat about what I should and shouldn't eat. Right now there is a list of foods I can't eat including apples, broccoli, whole grains, skins of fruits and veggies, etc. I am supposed to eat frequently which luckily I do already. He asked me to up my 4-5 meals a day to about 6 meals a day. So far that hasn't been a challenge. The hardest part is feeling like I'm not always eating healthy enough! My veggie intake has decreased and the actual veggies I can eat are different than my usual choices {no raw vegetables}. No whole grains because they're hard to digest. Most fruits I have to eat in smoothie form {except bananas thank goodness!} or in the little fruit cups in fruit juice. He also prefers that I eat meat that is ground or in a sauce because simply grilled or baked can be tougher to digest due to all the fibers. This one is harder to follow so I'm trying the 80/20 rule and chewing really well when I eat! Lastly, I have to eat slower in general. This is hard for me, but I'm getting better. If I am really hungry and eat fast, I often can't keep my food down. Hence the smaller meals so I'm never really starving throughout the day. The hubs and my friends will be pleased because they like me less when I have the hangries :)

Now I know I said there isn't a cure for gastroparesis, but it can get better! If I follow the nutritionists orders, over time I should be able to reintroduce {slowly} the foods that I love and want to eat! So my goal is to listen my doctors, follow up when I need to and pray that I'll start feeling better soon. There is nothing fun about being bloated, gassy and uncomfortable all the time.

My one piece of advice is, if you are having tummy trouble, just go to a gastroenterologist. The sooner the better because there is no point in being uncomfortable. I waited longer than I should have to really figure out the issues I was having. My nutritionist said that I've probably been dealing with gastroparesis for years. If you're in the Houston area and need a good doctor, I love mine and my friend Christina sent me the name of another doctor if y'all are interested. Go to the doctor. What's the worst that can happen? {Stepping off soap box

That's enough about stomachs and gas and other awkward topics. Feel free to e-mail me if y'all have any questions! I'm sharing this because I want to be able to help anyone else having problems!

Now go enjoy your Friday y'all!

Especially when you have vacation brain!


Until next time...
With love and God bless,

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