Light and dark, David and Goliath, yin and yang, chocolate and vanilla — there’s good and bad everywhere. (Go team chocolate!)
Jokes aside, the universe has to balance itself out.
So, how does that apply to me? Well, I had a check up with my doctor the other week to go over my blood work and determine if I do in fact have an autoimmune disease and if so, which one.
Let’s start with the good: all of the markers for a possible autoimmune disease came back NEGATIVE! And that is definitely something to celebrate, but at the same time I was a bit bummed. Not because I wanted to have some incurable disease, but because that means whatever is going on with my gut is still a mystery!
My symptoms presented themselves as a thyroid issue, but now that we’ve ruled that out, I’m still left in limbo.
I still have IBS, and my SIBO is healing, but I don’t have a root cause answer as to why this all started and while my symptoms are improving, it’s still a battle. EVERY.DAMN.DAY.
And I’m sick of it. I want to be normal, not glued to my apartment and my little comforts and routines. I want to leave the house and not be bloated or worry about eating something at a restaurant that could trigger my IBS.
This happened right before our trip to Greece and I was absolutely terrified of flying. I had no idea what I was going to eat on our 12+ hour flights and was dreading the bathroom situation. I definitely have anxiety when it comes to bathroom privacy (sorry it’s just a fact) and being trapped in an airborne tube of metal is not my ideal situation.
But what can you do? The only thing to do is to mentally prepare for it, accept the reality that I will experience a few hours of discomfort and anxiety, and try to stay calm. Because being anxious will only knot up my insides and make it worse.
There were also a few rough patches over the last few weeks where I thought my SIBO progress had relapsed because I started carb cycling. The unsettling part about having SIBO is that it can come back at any time.
And when I started to introduce sweet potatoes, acai bowls, fruits, and jicama back into my diet on weekends, I started having a lot of belching and bloating after meals again, which were the two biggest indicators of sickness in the first place.
My anxiety has also been dialed up to a 10 because of work and also our upcoming trip to Greece. Me and traveling aren’t the best of friends.
My doctor and I discussed the next steps in my supplement healing regimen. I’ll stay on pre and probiotics for another 2-3 months, will start taking digestive enzymes to aid in the breakdown of food (which will help with the overall fullness feeling), and I’ll continue to take magnesium to help keep things moving regularly ….. and I’ll discontinue Miralax!
This is an exciting update because that stuff is NOT natural and can actually alter your natural gut microbiome and make things worse! As an osmotic laxative, it pulls water into the gut to make things pass easily, but the main ingredient – polyethylene glycol – can actually kill your gut bacteria, similar to taking an antibiotic.
So, I am glad to be off of that crap and on to taking something more natural like magnesium.
I will also start taking a very high quality fish oil to help boost my overall immune system and to help bring my bad cholesterol down. Yep, you read that right. One of the findings from my blood test showed high levels of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) which is weird. I am in my late 20s, I eat healthier than Roger Rabbit and I exercise regularly.
What gives? What my doctor and I concluded is that it’s most likely the switch from being completely vegan for over two years to eating animal products again, mostly grass-fed beef and ghee. The Ketogenic diet is of course a very high fat diet (70 percent of your food intake comes from healthy fats), but that wouldn’t explain why my LDL was high.
My body could just need time to adjust to adjust to the sudden influx of fats. My doc recommended pure fish oil because it contains contains essential omega-3 fatty acids (omega-3s) that have been shown to lower triglyceride (blood fat) levels, minimize inflammation, and increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol, although my HDL is already high enough.
For now, I am going to trust in the process and in my doctor and continue to manage my anxiety and watch my trigger foods.
I know that ups and downs are part of the overall healing journey, and I still have more downs than ups, but I do generally feel better. Each day, I get stronger and my gut a little bit healthier, and that’s something to be thankful for. That’s why I’m going to keep fighting the good fight.