I feel like I’ve striven to eat well for the past 15 years. Always trying new food plans or diets based on the latest information out there. I went through a Low Fat phase; a reduced calorie phase; a vegetarian phase; a clean eating phase; and most recently a Paleo phase. The biggest issue I have with all these different schools of thought on nutrition is how do you know which one is really best? They all cite evidence for their way of eating, but it is all so conflicting. Regardless of all the different phases, I’ve managed to strictly limit the junk food. Rarely eating sweets or fast food and completely removing soda from my life.
With all these years of pretty healthy eating, I was strangely surprised to suddenly start having digestive issues. About a year ago, I would get these strange ripping pains in my stomach occasionally, often after eating. I didn’t really pay much attention to these pains, but when I started having female issues, I mentioned it to my gynecologist. She did an ultra sound of all my female organs and found no issues. She suggested I see my general practitioner because it could be digestive. I never did this and suddenly last Wednesday afternoon I started feeling nauseated at work. The next day at work I had sharp pains in my abdomen off and on all day and kept feeling like I was about to throw up. In the afternoon I stated having heartburn. I took Tums, but they did not help. This indigestion continued all evening and got so severe that it was debilitating. Again I took Tums and did not get any relief. By this point I had reached the 24 hour maximum consumption of Tums. The next morning, the heartburn pain was less frequent but my stomach pain was unbearable. I finally couldn’t take it anymore so I went to the Urgent Care. There I was diagnosed with acid reflux and esophagitis, which is the inflammation of the esophagus. They gave me some pills for the acid reflux and told me to stay away from caffeine and alcohol due to their high levels of acid.
This is a huge blow because I love my coffee in the mornings and I regularly enjoy a nice glass of wine. In all my years of attempting to eat right, it has always been a choice. I’ve never had food or drink limitations put on me for medical reasons. I’ve now gone 2 days without coffee or wine and I’m surviving. It’s going to take some serious willpower to not have coffee. I’ve also been researching other foods and drinks that are highly acidic to limit as well as what food are good for my gut. I also just learned today about probiotics, but that is a topic for a whole other day! For now I’m just going to do my best to love my gut and make better, more aware choices of how what I consume affects my gut.