Diagnosis: Denial

4 May

Just a quick observation that I thought I’d share.  Ever since starting the Feingold diet, I’ve been eating fructose and fructans with disregard.  My willy nilly approach has backfired and my digestive system has been revolting ever since.  For a long while, I’ve suspected that fruit, wheat, and onions were a problem.  When I worked at Subway, I would eat at least one banana a day (all at one sitting), and veggie sandwiches (with raw onions) on honey oat bread (with whole wheat flour and high fructose corn syrup).  My stomach felt like it was rotting constantly, but I couldn’t wrap my brain around the idea that “healthy” foods could be bad for me.  Time and time again, I’d come to the conclusion that there must be some other responsible factor.

My favorite scapegoat was dairy.  There are plenty of reasons to suspect dairy, after all.  Dairy is the most common of the top 8 allergens in the United States.  Lactose intolerance is the most common intolerance in the world.  Almost 3/4 of the planet is lactose intolerant.  In this regard, it seems the proper terminology for someone who actually CAN digest lactose should be lactose TOLERANT, and this tolerance should be seen as the anomaly it is.  The group of folks most likely to be lactose tolerant are Northern Europeans.  It has been speculated that Northern Europeans evolved to utilize the calcium from cow’s milk due to a lack of sunlight (and corresponding vitamin D).  Vitamin D helps us use calcium.  Lactose may increase the absorption of calcium from the intestine which would allow for some compensation.  Now that I’ve been dairy-free for 4 months, I can’t keep pointing the finger at (just) dairy.  Although, I do feel better overall since giving dairy the boot.

The time has come to admit something I’ve known for awhile but didn’t want to believe.  In some capacity, I have FructMal.  It’s not as severe as that of my ally’s.  Mine tends to present itself as a delayed response.  In other words, I can eat a delicious fruit smoothie and feel fine until the next day when I wake up with the sensation of having been punched in the stomach.  Why universe, WHY?!  I’d like to eventually see a gastroenterologist to get a proper diagnosis through the use of a hydrogen breath test.  I think I would be more compelled to take the condition seriously if I had a piece of paper proving my blaringly obvious reactions to fructose.  I’m also highly defensive and can’t stand the idea of someone accusing the situation of being “all in my head”.  I could pull out my piece of paper and push it right up under his/her nose.  “SEE?!  It’s real!” 

Some may have already been aware of my ulterior motive behind this project.  Experimenting with food intolerance diets allows me to learn what type of eating style my body prefers.  This doesn’t mean that the other goal of the project (empathy) is any less important.  I certainly didn’t choose the dysphagia diet with any hopes of personal clarity. 😉  Each diet is teaching me about the array of dietary struggles that are out there.  Celiac disease is getting more and more recognition these days, but there are plenty of misunderstandings in relation to every diet.  Contrary to popular belief, vegans can get enough protein without animal products, oats do not contain gluten, and lactose is not the only component in dairy that can cause intestinal distress.  Then there are those who struggle with histaminosis or salicylate intolerance.  Many people have never even heard of these conditions.  At the end of the day, I hope my experiment teaches others that whole wheat can be toxic for some and “an apple a day…” may send some people rushing TO the doctor.  I’ve said it before and I will say it again: there is NO one size fits all diet!  I’d love to take a baseball bat to the food guide pyramid.  It’s all rubbish!  (Just don’t tell anybody I said that or they might take away my credentials ;-))

http://www.cambridge.org/us/books/kiple/lactose.htm

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3 Responses to “Diagnosis: Denial”

  1. ambuns May 5, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    That explains your onion-brain!

  2. thehungryguineapig May 5, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    Sure does 😦 Makes me so sad, because I love onions! Remember that bloomin’ onion that we shared? Oh glorious times!

    • ambuns May 6, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

      It’s unfortunate. All of my food contains some form of fructose. I’m a regular junkie.

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