Healing my gut
Wondering what thoughts/strategies ppl have for healing a gut that has been badly assaulted by wheat. I was vegan for a long time (10yrs) and developed quite a wheat tooth (TM), I've not been vegan for years now but I think I've definitely done some damage. I've gone off all grains now (approaching about one month) and for the first week or two my stomach felt much better, but now it's back to feeling pretty crappy. I even wake up with it hurting... I definitely have less gas since I started primal, but I'm still experiencing some pain (centrally located in my stomach, above my belly button). Seems very much to be my stomach/upper small intestine that's the problem, but I can't be certain.
Still poop ok, but not as loose and frequent as before (still every day, after morning coffee).
Anyway, I long for a calm stomach... Yesterday I tried to not eat breakfast to let my stomach calm first but that didn't work.
I've started taking a probiotic, but it's only been a week... Would appreciate your thoughts...?
I also get pain in my stomach right under my sternum. I had an endoscopy last year and everything was fine. I cut out red meat for months last year and coincidentally my pains went away. About a month ago, I began eating mostly primal and I added grass fed beef that we now eat about once a week. Not sure if the beef plus incorporating more protein in my diet is the culprit, but I've had those pains again for the past few weeks. They usually come and go, but they're mostly there after eating. I've tried adding HCL to help digest the protein but it hasn't helped. I'm wondering if I should cut down on my protein and fat. It's the only thing I can think about that I've changed in the past month.
I have had those pains above my stomach. My doctor thought it might be my gallbladder, but it turned out to be GERD. I take Prevacid daily and don't have those pains anymore, but they return when I forget to take it. I was raised vegetarian, was vegan for quite awhile, etc. I think my body struggles with the meat and high fat.
A lot of people who are diagnosed celiac don't start to recover until after they go on the SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet). It's something to think about.
I've eaten meat for a long time now, and a lot of red meat, and more protein before Primal than now, now I eat more fatty meats rather than super-lean meat that I ate before... so if anything, I've upped the fat and decreased the carbs while leaving the protein relatively even.
I guess it could be GERD, but I feel like that is a symptom of something else being wrong rather than a condition in itself (but to be fair, that's not something I've investigated very thoroughly).
I do seem to have problems with feeling stress in my gut... and I've been a bit agitated with work lately.
I'd rather not take an acid reducer (I've taken PPIs before and not really seen much relief)... I'd rather try to make my stomach function as it should again.
I had a tuna steak, asparagus and acorn squash last night for dinner and didn't really have any problems,... tonight I had some turkey breast stir fried with garlic, onion, red peppers, celery and cauliflower and it is a little off now. Bacon and eggs doesn't seem to bother it and sometimes settles the morning discomfort...
I dunno... Are there foods that are good for calming? I make ginger tea with just fresh ginger and hot water (and sometimes lemon)... it's nice and a little soothing, but I don't really know if that's a true effect or just the soothing effect of a warm drink.
There's no question that GERD is a symptom, not a cause. Treating it with drugs intended to suppress that symptom won't affect the cause.
Treating it with "calming foods" is really no different from taking drugs in that you are looking to resolve the symptom without addressing the cause. I suggest eating simpler meals for a time and keeping track of what you eat and when you observe symptoms.
Okay, that sounds good...
So what would simple be in this case... you think simple, you think white rice... (I'm not eating rice). I don't know how to define simple in this new dietary paradigm...?
Does simple mean unseasoned and bland (I'm fine with that)
Are veggies ok, or just some veggies? Starchy or non? I think starchy seems intuitively more calming, but it's more complex (carbs) than non-starchy veggies...
All meats? High fat?
So, since I'm not supposed to eat calming foods, should I push through the discomfort to re-train my stomach or is it more identifying what irritates it and removing it?
try and soothe your stomach as much as possible all of the time. i see you drink ginger tea. there's plenty of other herbs that can be very helpful and are safe. chamomile and peppermint for example. if you buy them in bulk you can make your own tea blend according to your taste (i drink a blend of peppermint, chamomille, calendula, plantain, licorice, anise and fennel seeds daily to soothe, comfort and stimulate.) you can munch on some fennel seeds right after you ate anything and it will help a lot with digestion. it gets a bit of getting used to, just take enough in your mouth and turn the seeds into a sort of paste, then swallow).
before you eat you could have some digestive bitters. a couple of drops into some water will get digestion going and prepare your system for food. all bitter veg is great. drinking bone broths is good too. maybe it's best to focus on cooked food for a while as opposed to raw stuff, those are far easier on the stomach. you can season your food, i would encourage it. gentle use of stuff like turmeric, cardamon, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg,... but lay off the very spicy stuff like chilli and cayenne pepper for example. if you use garlic make sure it's cooked, raw can be harsh on the stomach. i wouldn't eat too much fruit and if you do best on an empty stomach.and better not to have too fatty foods for a while, especially things like cheese. as little coffee and alcohol as possible.
try not to eat a couple of hours before bed to minimize that morning discomfort and sleep with an extra pillow under your head.
drinking aloe vera juice can help and taking DGL (de-glycyrrhized Licorice). also L-glutamine and MSM. start implementing some stuff and then add on. hopefully some will help.
Thanks for the suggestions... So are these suggestions based on the premise that my stomach is wounded and needs healing (thus soothing teas and simple foods)?
I can definitely try some of them, but others would be hard.
I do eat late, I do eat fruit, I do eat a lot of veggies and I have been eating a lot of fat (for me). I don't eat a lot of dairy though.
Is one coffee/day ok? I don't drink alcohol more than a couple times/month and it's generally red wine....
I haven't been eating a lot of cheese, but I have been eating quite a bit of avocado and bacon, neither seem to bother me (at least not immediately), nor does my morning coffee with cream.
I'll try to stick to cooked veggies... but low fruit is going to be hard... it's Strawberry season here in Ontario. We get so little fresh fruit throughout the year, we kinda gotta get it while the getting is good in June/July.
The teas and aloe I can easily do (I actually have aloe, just haven't been drinking it).
Thanks again for your thoughts on this... :)
I'm in a similar boat, but my pain is lower and definitely related to my colon and my biliary systems. Something in there is inflamed and I'm getting testing to find out what - and if it's autoimmune or just a food allergy/intolerance.
Since having a preliminary consult with a GI doc in May I've been researching GI diseases to see which seems to match my symptoms best and also read up on GAPs, SCD and AIP (autoimmune paleo). I ended up landing on deciding to do an elimination diet very similar to the one suggested in the book Digestive Health with REAL Food. The diet she suggests takes SIBO, Candida, gluten intolerance, autoimmunity and other causes of leaky gut into account and eliminates a lot of foods to start out with to begin to heal the gut. The elimination mean eliminating nightshades, eggs, lactose, casein, FODMAPs, etc. until you are symptom free and then slowly reintroducing them to find out which foods are causing the problems for you.
I'd definitely recommend it for anyone else interested in healing their gut issues. But it's clear it's going to take a lot of resolve because it is so limiting to start with. At the same time, after spending as much as I have on doctor bills this last year, I'm pretty eager to heal my gut for good and all.
GAPs, SCD (which is what GAPs is based on, with a few changes like greater emphasis on fermented foods) and anti-SIBO/Candida diets can also be a good place to start. In any case I'd consider seeing at least a naturopath and maybe even an allopathic GI doctor if your symptoms are severe enough.