Let’s go to the beginning of this very long journey. I have been suffering from stomach pain for a lot of my life, but for some reason this year the pain intensified 10 fold. I started having a constant fever in the 37.5 range from January this year, and it took me 2 months to get a referral to a larger hospital. There, I was referred to many specialists and finally a rheumatism doctor. She came to the conclusion that my debilitating joint pain was from bacteria entering my system, raising my temperature and causing my acute arthritis. I was told to give it 2 months and I should go back to normal…
While my joints did improve my stomach did not. This year my parents came to visit and noticed my stomach pain and how it was interfering with my daily life. My mother consulted with her friends before her arrival and they all said it sounded like their symptoms when they had Helibactor Pylori (H. Pylori) Before my mother’s arrival in the country I talked to my Stomach/Intestines doctor and asked to be tested for this. He told me that insurance did not cover the testing and that it was so unlikely that I had it that it would just be a waste of my money. Well, he’s been taking care of me for the past 3 years so I thought… if he’s that confident.
Well guys…. My mother came into town, came with me to the doctor and demanded that he do the test. The day her flight took off for home I got my results. POSITIVE for H. Pylori. Mother knows best! I learned an important lesson that day. Doctors PRACTICE medicine. And there are constantly new studies. My friend also made an excellent point. Not everyone presents symptoms in the same way and a lot of studies (the older ones) are based on caucasian males. Which I am not. So, I have to be my own strongest advocate for my health.
I picked up and moved doctors and the one that I have now, my GP is awesome. For the better part of this year, I have been trying to tell doctors that something is wrong. No one was willing to listen to my entire story. The first visit I had with my GP he asked me, “So, what’s going on?” I said it’s a bit of a long story… He said “The story is important so that I can diagnose you.” I about cried ya’ll. Doctors… please treat your patients like people. Those of you that do, keep it up! The person as a whole is important for the diagnosis.
I was sent after my first visit with my GP, directly to get an MRI. That was an experience guys. I had no idea I was claustrophobic until that moment. I had my second endoscopy and first colonoscopy about a week after. Something magical happened after the stuff I drank for the colonoscopy and all was… let’s say clear. I finally had relief from this constant stomach pain. I thought it was just after eating, but no… It was always there. I felt real hunger for the first time in a long time. I didn’t even know I wasn’t really feeling the sensation… I was so used to this pain that I would eat based on time. I DIDN’T REALIZE I WAS DOING THIS.
I suspected a food allergy for some time, but as I told my GP, I couldn’t figure out a pattern. The relief was immediate after drinking the nasty colonoscopy stuff. I ordered The Elimination Diet book and skipped the detox. Sort of figured I had the best detox you could get.
I will say, I OVER-PREPARED for this. I bought all sorts of coconut oil and coconut aminos. I haven’t used it but once. Japan has prepared me for this diet. I’m telling you. It gets old, but I’ve mostly had salmon, veggie stir-fry and brown rice. The stir-fry is so easy. On high heat using olive oil toss in the veggies and salt and pepper at the end. It also reheats really well.
Now the brown rice (genmai), that took a lot of trial and error. I was not looking forward to this part because I’ve tried it before and HATED it. It’s always dry and harder than normal white rice. This time, I had no other choice so I did my best to google in Japanese the best way to make brown rice.
Here is what I learned:
- Wash throughly.
- Let it soak for at least 8-10 hours. (The website told me 6… no it was still hard.) Rice still tastes really good reheated from frozen so make extra.
- Add more water than the rice cooker says. This part will require trial and error on your part, because it will depend on your cooker.
- Lastly, add some salt. I add about two pinches for 2 cups of dry rice. The website said that it makes it more like sea water so it reaches the core and fluffs up the rice better? IDK but it did make the difference. No the rice does not become salty if you add in the right amount.
The other go to recipe I enjoyed I got from Pinterest. Part of this diet means that I can’t use the chicken stock cubes over here, so I made my own stock. But this was delicious and had real staying power. I was full for the whole day!
Anyhoo, while on this diet I haven’t had stomach pain, but I am tired and stressed. The book clearly says that you will have to plan your life around eating. They were not joking. When I’m told I can’t have something, it makes me want it even more. Even food I didn’t normally eat! I want it now. But the stomach pain is finally gone and I am going to push through this diet and find the culprit. I’ll be updating on my Instagram account how I’m doing. Follow the rest of my journey there. As of this moment I’m on Day 15 and starting reintroduction. I’m doing this diet from Japan, so a lot of the stuff I get my hands on will be from this location. Any recipe ideas you have or stories you want to share, please do. This is not an easy journey to do on your own. I had trouble finding a community so I’m just going to put this out into the world and hope people come together!
Follow me on Instagram @thingsonhermind
*It’s a bit sparse with the posts… I’ll work on it. But honestly, from here on out most of my stuff will probably be on there as it’s easier than writing out a post on wordpress.