Struggling with motivation in the face of digestion not stabilizing


Zyriel

Recommended Posts

I had a very bad night last night. And while I am doing better today, I'm still feeling very discouraged.

 

The first 15 to 20 days of my Whole30 I continued to struggle with upper GI issues I have battled since I was 18, nearly 15 years of it. Somewhere near day 20 this finally began to get better. And I finally felt like my digestion evened out and was more average or normal for me. Then near Day 30 I started to observe new symptoms, lower GI issues. It could be they were there on Day 20 and I didn't recognize them because they were mild and I was so relieved to have the upper GI distress done with. I can't really say at this point. But I can say that I have had only one or two days since Day 30 where I could count my digestion as having no issues what-so-ever. No gas or gurgling at all.

 

And this is what I find discouraging. Am I expecting something I shouldn't? I thought I was supposed to have invisible digestion. And when I was able to have multiple days in a row of that, THEN I could do a re-intro.

 

I am on Day 44. I have tried to do a corn re-intro and a rice re-intro. While I think I know what symptoms I can attribute to those grains, I can't really know for sure because, in my mind, I never stabilized and had no symptoms at all.

 

I have been researching FODMAPs and have been trying to cut them out but have not been successful. There are just SO many of them, and with it being harvest season I just can't justify passing those foods up. From the research I've done, I would be limited to squash, greens, and many root veggies, along with some citruses and olives. And that's basically it. I think I can do that for a while later into the winter, but I just can't start doing it out of the blue at this time of year.

 

I was so discouraged last night I didn't even eat dinner. I was battling over whether to go out and get a Thai curry (comfort food) or not and basically throwing a pity party tantrum. I kept wondering why I should continue to bother. If I can't do re-intros, why not jump to riding my own bike. I won't know how things affect me one way or the other because I never don't have symptoms.

 

So while I didn't break down and get curry, or a hamburger, I did decide to give myself a break today. I allowed in some dairy this morning and will in my dinner plan as well. And I expect to be back at compliance tomorrow, with FODMAPs. And I'm just going to wait until later in the season and see if I can find the right time to cut out FODMAPs to observe the affect.

 

I know this is long. I needed to vent. And I'm looking for some support. I'm still pretty weepy over this. It just feels dumb and hopeless. I'm seeing other positives, but how can I possibly know what I can and can't digest well when it seems like I can't digest /anything/ properly?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderators

I am sorry this is so slow and so frustrating. You are right that it is important that you achieve a good state before beginning reintroductions. 

 

When you have had problems for many years, it can take several months of doing the right things to restore a healthy balance to your gut. If I were you, I would take a good probiotic to help. My favorites are Prescript-Assist and whatever it is that Mark's Daily Apple sells. I just started taking it 2 weeks ago and I like the results. I typically eat sauerkraut and kombucha every day to get probiotics naturally, but the probiotic supplement has improved things notably. 

 

Maybe FODMAPS are a problem for you. The only way to know is to eliminate them for a while. Have you seen the Whole30 low-FODMAPS shopping list? http://whole30.com/downloads/whole30-shopping-list-FODMAP.pdfIt looks to me as if you can maintain a good variety of foods while following this program. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

"I thought I was supposed to have invisible digestion."

 

 

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "invisible," but it is possible that your expectations are a little too high. Mammals pass gas. Bowels make noises. If they don't, there's a problem. These are normal processes of digestion. I understand that right now you are hyper-attuned to your internal processes because you want to be aware of your reactions to the foods you are eating, and that is good and the whole point of the Whole30, but don't mistake the normal for the abnormal if you can help it!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am sorry this is so slow and so frustrating. You are right that it is important that you achieve a good state before beginning reintroductions. 

 

When you have had problems for many years, it can take several months of doing the right things to restore a healthy balance to your gut. If I were you, I would take a good probiotic to help. My favorites are Prescript-Assist and whatever it is that Mark's Daily Apple sells. I just started taking it 2 weeks ago and I like the results. I typically eat sauerkraut and kombucha every day to get probiotics naturally, but the probiotic supplement has improved things notably. 

 

Maybe FODMAPS are a problem for you. The only way to know is to eliminate them for a while. Have you seen the Whole30 low-FODMAPS shopping list? http://whole30.com/downloads/whole30-shopping-list-FODMAP.pdfIt looks to me as if you can maintain a good variety of foods while following this program. 

 

Thank you, I really appreciate hearing from you.

 

I was thinking about probiotics but wasn't sure what to take, not knowing what's really the issue. I mean, maybe I need enzymes. I don't know. I have Chris Kresser's Adaptagest I can try until I acquire something else. I will look into both you suggested. I've been curious about the soil based ones for a while now.

 

I also went to a fermentation festival this last weekend and walked away with some water kefir, beet kvass, a jar of string beans that will be ready in a week or so, and instructions and materials to do further fermentation. So I'm all kinds of stoked about that but didn't want to overdo it. I feel like I had trouble with fermented saurkraut earlier in my Whole 30. I'm willing and able to try it again though.

 

Thank you, I've seen the shopping list, it was particularly helpful for what I CAN eat on a low FODMAP diet, but it is limited. I have also done a lot of reading about FODMAPs and made myself a spreadsheet of the specific ones in each food so that I can try to discover which specific FODMAPs may be causing issues for me.

 

I appreciate the suggestions, I will do my homework on probiotics and look in that direction.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

"I thought I was supposed to have invisible digestion."

 

 

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "invisible," but it is possible that your expectations are a little too high. Mammals pass gas. Bowels make noises. If they don't, there's a problem. These are normal processes of digestion. I understand that right now you are hyper-attuned to your internal processes because you want to be aware of your reactions to the foods you are eating, and that is good and the whole point of the Whole30, but don't mistake the normal for the abnormal if you can help it!

 

 

How does one tell the difference in that case? How do you determine levels on that? How do I make a baseline of "normal" and define that, and differentiate it from "symptomatic"?

 

I was expecting to start at 0 and look for any flicker of the needle. :/

Link to post
Share on other sites

One word of caution: start slowly with probiotics. Let's just say that going in full-on gung-ho can cause...digestive warfare. You WILL notice changes in your body, from the quantity/smell of your gas to the amount of gurgling for a little while.

 

Some peoples' digestive tracts tend to be noisier than others. Mine talks much less now that I've gotten my gut bacteria nice and healthy through a combination of kombucha and other probiotic supplements but I still do get occasional gurgles (and a diganosis of Celiac's through my Whole 30 journey). Let's just say that before I would have gurgling before and after every meal - not rumbling from hunger, but like my stomach was trying to join into conversation - that would also spike pretty hardcore when I was laying down. Hubby and I would joke that our pre-bed conversations were half my stomach and half us talking. Now I still do have gurgles a handful of times a day but nothing like before. I also feel the gurgles less now, so they seem less severe.

 

I think the best bet for you to keep your expectations reasonable is to focus on reducing the amount of digestive noises you hear instead of on eliminating them. You will still have some times that it will happen, but not constantly like it seems you have now. Probiotics may start off causing a bit of an increase, but once your intestines are seeded with the good stuff you'll probably notice that you have fewer noises and the like. Keep eating cleanly and that will help too. Get to a good place before you start reintroductions and stretch them out longer if they mess with your digestion and throw off what you've become accustomed to as normal. If that means a Whole 60 including 60 days of probiotics, then that's good. If you want good digestion badly enough, it's definitely worth it. I'm a big fan of it personally. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

How does one tell the difference in that case? How do you determine levels on that? How do I make a baseline of "normal" and define that, and differentiate it from "symptomatic"?

 

I was expecting to start at 0 and look for any flicker of the needle. :/

 

I guess you're in kind of a tough spot when it comes to establishing a baseline, because in the past you have been so focused on your achalasia and its accompanying symptoms that you probably weren't paying too much if any attention to your bowel activity. The amount of bowel gas produced in a day is highly variable and individual. Bowel sounds should be present - "normal" is usually given as 3-5 times PER MINUTE but granted that's when listening with a stethoscope - but probably not audible to other people in the room (unless you are really hungry or maybe if you just ate), however if you are really attuned and paying attention you might very well notice them.

 

I would say abnormal things would be - are you in physical distress? Is your bowel activity accompanied by pain, cramping, bloating? Can you see (with your eyes) or feel (when you put your hand on your abdomen) the gas moving through your system)? Does your gas have a particularly bad odor (I mean, it's not supposed to smell like roses or anything!) or is it impossible to control? Are your bowel sounds so loud that other people can hear them regularly and they are embarrassing to you? Are your BMs anything other than normal - too hard, too soft, too frequent or infrequent? That kind of thing.

 

I'm sorry you're frustrated and not feeling well, and I really hope you get to where you want to be. You deserve it! Best of luck.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@MrsStick, thank you, that part has me nervous. When I was at the festival a lady bought Beet Kvass at the same time as me, and told the vendor she was going to drink the whole bottle that day. The look on his face. He was just like, "if your sure..."  It's another factor, introducing something can be read as a disruptor, symptomatically.

 

@Saree_maree, I appreciate the breakdown to help me define a baseline, that's very helpful. I'll be stashing this away in my notes. Thank you so much for the help and the support.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.