Thursday, March 29, 2007

What the...?

For the last month or two I have not been being very healthy. Yes, I have been eating gluten free, to the best of my knowledge. The truth is, I have not been eating good food. Eating out alot, high fat, unbalanced diet. Not good. This is typical, though. Whenever I get stressed out I eat junk. Just because it is gluten free does not mean it isn't junk food. Yes, overall the GF diet is healthier, but mango or dulce de leche ice cream is just as fatty as cookies n' cream.

In an effort to get back on the wagon of good healthful eating I have agreed to be part of a research study that Rush Hospital is conducting. They are investigating the economic impact of the GF diet. I need to keep a food diary for 28 days. In addition, I need to collect all food receipts for the same duration. I think writing down all of my food intake will make me eat better, if for no other reason than not wanting the doctors at Rush seeing how gross my eating habits have become.

The real reason I should be more conscious of what I am eating is that I am still having symptoms. The pain is gone. I don't have upper belly bloating. Lower bloating and a few other symptoms are still hanging around (I won't mention those in detail...ew.) The thing is, before changing my diet, the symptoms were chronic, constant. Now it is intermittent. Sometimes it flares up, other times I am fine. I started considering the possibility of Candida. I have heard from many folks online that individuals with Celiac often have a Candida overgrowth. No thank you! Talk about not being able to eat anything. I contacted my dietitian to inquire about this. Good news, bad news. She doesn't believe in the connection between Celiac and Candida. She did, however, say that 25% of females diagnosed with Celiac have residual IBS. This does not shock me. Stress related IBS is somewhat common in my family. The past 2-3 weeks have certainly been stressful: National Kodaly Conference (for which I was on the planning committee), grades coming up, grant deadline, project name a few. Once my dietitian mentioned IBS I called and refilled the prescription for the pills my GI prescribed when I first went to see him. I remember that they had helped at the time (my GI was surprised they had worked since my tests came back positive for Celiac.) Well, when I make sure to take them 5-15 minutes before I eat a meal...little or no problems! So I think I am going to keep taking the pills, try a fiber supplement, and start exercising again (all recommended for individuals with IBS.) I have also heard good things mentioned about taking probiotics. Have any of you tried these? What do you think of them?

So yes, the journey to a healthy gut continues. Hopefully more successfully in the next few months., it has nearly been 6 months since my diagnosis. Nearly 6 months gluten free. Bot, time sure does fly.


~M said...

Good luck!

There are two probiotics that I recommend. Both are gf, and both can be bought at Whole Foods. You can get the Jarro-Dophilus online too (Amazon sells it in bulk (2 packages) at a discounted rate):

1) BioK+ found in the fridge. This is a small cup of yogurt like substance. It is really expensive, but I find it easier to digest than the others. When my digestive tract was really upset after 3 rounds of mega-antibiotics and possibly a glutenining, taking Bio-K religiously on an empty stomach helped more than anything else. I like the fruity-dairy flavor, which tastes reminiscent of pineapple.

2) Jarrow formulas Jarro-Dophilus EPS capsules. These pills are found in blister packs, so they do not have to be refrigerated, which is great for travel, work, etc (they do keep longer if left in the fridge so I only cut 2-3 out at a time). I had called 3 different Whole Food's Whole Body specialists in different states, and this was at the top of all their lists.

Take care!

GF Celtic Tejas said...

Great information. I never seem to get completely well.
It should be interesting to see the results of the study. Just look what it cost for a container of GF Oatmeal vs a regular one. Some countries give a tax credit for those on special foods.

~M said...

I forgot to mention that some Whole Foods - the one in Boston does this - will special order Bio-K for you in their "bulk" packaging (15 containers/box instead of 6 or aingle). It's been a while since I figured out the math, but I think the savings, if I took 1/day for a month between getting the 15-count pack versus the 5-count pack was near $45. So, talk to your Whole Body representative at WF, and see if they can special order for you.

~M said...

Oh, one more thing, in response to gf celtic tejas - the US might be able to give you a tax credit. Check out:

GF Gastronome: GF on a Budget
the article he mentions