A recent challenge I’ve been faced with is trying to change my diet. Something about me that most people don’t know is that I am lactose intolerant and have a gluten allergy. I really hate telling people about it because everyone starts to view you differently. People start to think I’m high maintenance just because I have to be pickier about my food and avoid foods that are problematic. Giving up the foods I love has been the hardest decision I’ve ever made. I am someone who LOVES sweets and treats. I would usually eat something sweet before eating a real meal. My eating habits were not the best, I could have tried better, but I didn’t and those choices caught up to me. In the beginning of this year I started having really bad stomach aches . The pain I would get after eating was unbearable. I didn’t know what was causing my stomach to hurt so bad or why I was feeling so nauseous and sick after eating. I didn’t know what was going on with me. I was feeling sick all the time, breaking out like crazy and had no idea what was cause all my issues. There was times were I would have this horrible pain on the right side of my stomach and it would shoot up into my back and I felt like I was literally dying. I ended up taking time off of work Because I felt like I was physically unable to work.
I remember back in May I went on a trip to California with friends. We drove so of course we stopped by at gas stations for snacks and fast food places to eat. At the time I was taking supplements for digestion recommended by my sister and was almost done with my first round. They were supposed to help me digest food easier and was a like a detox for my body. The way that these pills work, is they make you feel really sick at first while they get all the toxins out of your gut, and then you been to feel a lot better. I never felt better. I felt even worse so taking the pills was pointless. I tried to stick to eating cleaner foods, but it was impossible. I felt horrible. Being in California going to IN-N-OUT is a MUST!! We had one right across our hotel, so we had it quite a few times during the trip. The burgers are sooooo good there its insane. I hate milkshakes but the strawberry milkshake from IN-N-OUT is to die for! But of course the instant stomach ache that followed made me regret ever eating. Sometimes it got so bad that I would rather not eat then put myself through another stomach ache. The whole trip I felt miserable because I was in so much pain. Coming home I told my mom about my trip, and how sick I was feeling and she made me go see my doctor. I hate going to the doctor but at that point I agreed as long as I could find the source of the problem and find a solution so I could start feeling like myself again.
At my appointment, my doctor began asking me about my symptoms and how often I was getting them. She had me get tested for an infection called Helicobacter pylori. She said I could be lactose intolerant or I could have celiac disease which is a gluten allergy. I was worried there might be something wrong with my gallbladder because of the pain I would get in my upper right side. But she said she wanted to rule out one thing at a time. The results for the infection came back negative she called my mom to schedule an appointment to get tested for celiac . I don’t remember why but for some reason I couldn’t make it to my appointment so I never got tested with my doctor. Because I was feeling so sick I decided to do an allergy test. I was so nervous to do it but it was not at all what I expected. The test was all on my back. What happens is they eject the allergens on your back with whatever it is you think could be causing your allergies. They literally put a little drop of the allergen on your back and they go over each drop and poke your skin with a needle and wait 15 minutes to see how each allergen reacts on your back. I was tested for a milk allergy but I wasn’t allergic, I am just intolerant to lactose. I always heard of people being lactose intolerant but didn’t know what it really meant. So for those of you who are like me and don’t know exactly what it means, it’s pretty simple to understand. Milk has a component in it called lactose. Lactose is a sugar. Your body has an enzyme called lactase that is supposed to breakdown lactose. my body doesn’t have enough of that enzyme that’s designated to break down this sugar, so when I have anything that contains diary it just sits in my gut without getting broken down and that’s why I was getting such bad stomach aches, and was always so sick. My allergy doctor told me to avoid dairy and also steer clear of gluten because those two come hand in hand. Knowing that gluten and dairy were the causes for my stomach aches, I started noticing that when I ate anything with gluten and/or dairy I would feel so sick after. I’ve known this for a few months and have been tying to find things I can have that won’t make me sick. I’ve found so many replacements and treats with the help of my sisters.
Even to this day I still slip up and have the things I shouldn’t, but I am only a human who is a work in progress. these changes don’t happen over night. The cravings only get worse knowing you can’t have them. If you are struggling with the same thing I feel for you! Its hard but having a cheerleader holding you accountable makes things that much easier!