Thursday, April 10, 2014
Trust your Guts
Not long ago I was diagnosed with one of the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) called Ulcerative Colitis. Ulcerative Colitis is a painful disorder that has to be watched pretty carefully. It causes acute pains in the stomach and other alarming symptoms because your intestines are ulcerated.
For several years I was in and out of the doctors offices, seeing a gastroenterologist and other specialists. I had to undergo painful diagnostic tests as well. I missed work days. It caused a fuss. I accepted the diagnosis. It made sense because one of my cousins has Crohn's Disease which is an IBD. Some of her nieces and nephews (my second cousins) suffer from IBD's as well, and it is known as being inherited or familial. This particular cousin did let me know that over the years doctors have not been able to quite decide on a definitive diagnosis for her. I empathized with her but thought it was a quirk that she had run in to. Her treatments however, were much more aggressive and intrusive than mine, and she has had surgeries.
Last year, the group of doctor specialists that diagnosed me with Ulcerative Colitis did a series of new tests. Then, they decided to throw out the old diagnosis. I was free of an IBD--cause for celebration, and a bit of anger, after all, I had been taking gigantic horse pills to treat the supposed disease. They said I simply have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), something most of you are probably more familiar with. I shouldn't use the word simply however, as this is also a vexing problem that is challenging in many ways.
Remarkably, I saw a Functional Medicine Doctor at a healing center off-shoot of a regular hospital. He just accepted the diagnosis I previously had and treated me with herbs and minerals for the indicated IBD. My primary care physician did much the same thing. Leaving me wondering, is there a real doctor in the house?
Now, I am in a space where I don't know what to really believe. I am flabbergasted to have been misdiagnosed and to have to have taken so much unnecessary medicine. Only time will tell what effects it will have on my overall system. It is really annoying and leaves me irritated.
I accept that I have IBS for the moment. My cousin's journey may not be hers alone. It seems as though medicine of the belly is anything but an exact science. It is in a constant state of flux. Until it is all sorted out, I will trust my gut and stick with probiotics and freshly grated ginger tea, avoiding raw and high fiber foods when the problem raises its ugly head.
A to Z April Blogging Challenge--I is for IBS, IBD and feeling irritable!