IBS Be-Gone!: Day One

I decided to keep a record of my progress on my probiotics diet.

First, a little background: I developed IBS about 2 years ago. At the time, it seemed to arrive out of nowhere. I saw a G.I., who very helpfully told me that it happens to a lot of women around my age, there's no cure and it may go away one day as quickly as it arrived. OR it may never go away. Regardless, I can take some over-the-counter meds and I should be fine.

I bought these meds. They helped a little. I sought some more natural remedies. They worked better. Regardless, I still HAD to take these meds, in conjunction, every day or I would not be able to go normally. Even WITH the meds, I would still have alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation. They always seemed to come at inopportune times, though I don't know when an opportune time to have these problems is.

I was concerned about having to take meds every day and wondered what they were doing to my system. I called the G.I. He said it was fine. Nothing to worry about. I asked my OBGYN. She also said it was “probably” nothing to worry about.

Flash forward two years later, I am still having these issues, still taking the meds every day, and the pain when I have problems has gotten worse. I have also seen some blood. I was getting ready to go on a whirlwind tour of Seattle G.I.s and, possibly even a naturopath when Brugos' friend Joey saw me taking my meds and asked me about them.

She told me she had the same problem several years ago. She developed this problem after a year of having taken antibiotics. For me, this triggered a memory. I had an unusual number of UTIs the year before developing IBS and had taken a lot of antibiotics for them.

She went on a treatment of probiotics (the opposite of ANTI! HA!) and had eliminated sugar and yeast for a month. This had re-developed the bacteria necessary for normal digestion into her body and she hasn't had a problem since.

I jumped all over the prospect of being rid of this issue. No sugar or yeast will be a nightmare for me, especially since I don't eat meat, but I am willing to try anything once if it means having a normal digestive system once again.

So here I am, Day One. I haven't had any sugar or yeast in almost 24 hours now. I am feeling a bit light-headed and kind of hungry. I am going to the store after work to stock up on beans, potatoes, low-sugar fruits and nuts. I may lose some weight over the course of this month. Especially since I can't drink wine, beer or cocktails either.

It's about to get weird. But, hopefully, it's for the best.

Weekend Recap

FRIDAY

After pre-cleansing our bodies with a nice, big salad, B. and I attended a wine and cheese party at his friend's house. We were both still a bit rough-around-the-edges from having gone out the night before so we didn't last too long, but we managed to socialize till a respectable 12:45, before heading home to bed.

SATURDAY

Too much cheese + IBS = pain. I woke up in the middle of the night with my tummy not very happy with me. The problem continued to plague me throughout the day. Regardless, I was able to be out and about. We brunched at my favorite restaurant (food-wise…not as much atmosphere), The Vegetarian Bistro. The other attendees seemed dubious but agreed to try all-veg dim sum because the meat-loving B. attested to its deliciousness. They all seemed to be pretty happy with the outcome, apart from Darsh who was mortified to discover the abundance of mushrooms in everything.

Next, Andrea drove Brugos and me to the opening of the Sculpture Park. It was a lovely day and we wanted to be outside. This was the best idea we had for doing so. The park was pretty neat, but also packed with people (and guys in dog suits schilling for Target). It will be nice to go back once the fanfare has died down.

We returned to my apartment to rest and pick up some movies for Brad's DVD night. I chose 6 titles from which the group could decide at a later date.

The bus to Wallingford took forever and my stomach was not happy enough to allow me to walk very far. We finally arrived with enough time to play some Cattan before everyone else got there. Brugos cleaned up this particular island.

The Brit Boys, and Elle arrived, and later Justin and Steve and some people who's names I can't remember. We ended up officially watching “Cannibal! The Musical” and “Brain Candy” and unofficially watching parts of “Bloodrayne” and “Jaws 3” on TV. Later, I slept through most of “Bubba Ho-Tep” on TV. By then, my stomach was taking no prisoners and it hurt to move.

We thankfully got a ride home from Elle at 2am and said goodbye to the Brit Boys, who were very fun to hang out with.

SUNDAY

The medicine kicked in and I woke up with my stomach issues all but (temporarily) taken care of. I was given some great advice from Brugos' friend, however, on how to possibly cure my problem. I am starting a month-long pro-biotics/no sugar or yeast diet. It's going to be very difficult but will hopefully re-balance my system and get rid of this IBS once and for all.

ANYWHO, after breakfast and loads of sitting around, we organized a little game night with the Boobergs and the Brunswicks. We hopped on a bus to the Hill and picked up some ice cream and wine for my last meal of sorts. The Boobergs brought over some delicious brownies as well.

We played Apples to Apples, Uno and Dominoes. I had never played Dominoes, other than to set them up and knock them down. It was actually pretty fun, even though it's centered around luck-of-the-draw and quick math: two things I'm patently lousy at.