Something we all need to talk more about!!
Daily elimination is absolutely crucial to good health. When our bodies become backed up, toxins accumulate and health declines.
The reason I am writing about this is because I am having digestive issues! Elimination is not a problem for me (but did you know most Americans are constipated, which is a result of a diet full of processed food? not good...) but digestion definitely is. For months, I have experienced painful abdominal bloating only relieved by passing gas. It is embarrassing, stinky, uncomfortable, and annoying. Can you believe I am writing this on here!?!?! But I am writing it because it's that important. Taking care of our gut is crucial and it's something I care a lot about.
Often times, when we are feeling bloated or having other digestive issues, it's because certain foods are irritating our intestines. I have had "remove dairy" in the back of my mind for months now but I keep ignoring it. We already don't do gluten or corn for my son, so removing dairy from my diet is just one more thing. So I have ignored that little voice. And the digestive issues are still there. I know it is food-related. And I'm ready to put it behind me and heal my gut.
My friend is here visiting me right now and she has had very real experiences with digestive issues because she suffers from Crohn's Disease. Dairy is a big offender to her and when she was first diagnosed several years ago, she couldn't tolerate it in any form. Happily now, when she is feeling good, she can tolerate it somewhat (hooray for intestines that are on the mend!). I've been discussing my issues with her and she's challenged me to remove dairy. Because...what is it going to hurt? Say I remove it for a few weeks and nothing changes...oh well. But what if it does change? She's pretty confident that I'll be happy with the results.
So here's why I am going to do it...I don't feel like I typically eat very much dairy. But, for some reason, I have consumed quite a bit of it today. First, this morning there were whole grain crepes (dairy ingredients: butter, milk, and topped with freshly whipped cream), then there were muffins (dairy ingredients: butter, milk), then there was corn bread at dinner (dairy ingredient: kefir) and some homemade vegetable dip (dairy ingredients: yogurt cheese and yogurt). Tonight I am miserable. It's 2:40 am and I'm up with pain and visiting the bathroom multiple times. So not fun. It actually hasn't been this bad ever...which is I guess why it's happening...I needed the wake up call. I pride myself on doing a good job of listening to my body in most areas, but this is one area that I've been ignoring because it was too hard. Well, I already know I can do hard things! So now that my body is essentially screaming at me to change, I am finally going to listen. The problem with ignoring is the same as with any problem...if we ignore problems, they usually get worse and spin out of control. I don't want to ignore this issue and have it develop into a chronic disease. No thanks...taking care of it now, I hope!
I am going to eliminate dairy and see what it does. I am hopeful. If I don't find relief, I am going to seek the advice of a Naturopath for more help. I do believe I got a parasite while on my honeymoon 5 years ago (had terrible abdominal pain, diarrhea, and black stool - fun honeymoon, huh!) and I have heard that parasites are very hard to get rid of. It makes me sick thinking about it. I had a lot of digestive discomfort for a few months after that but it has been relatively calm up until the past six months or so. So here we go...you may notice that my recipes will be dairy free (for the most part) from now on, so I hope you enjoy the ride and accompany me on my quest to heal.
*I am not a doctor but I do encourage you to look at your own digestion. Do you feel gassy and bloated after eating? Can you pinpoint what may be causing that discomfort? Do you eliminate at least one time per day? How is the consistency - hard, soft, loose? It should be soft and pass easily. Too hard or too loose are signs of something going on. Just start taking note of what your body is doing with all of that food you eat. It has to go somewhere and if it's not coming out, then it's building up and rotting inside. Not good.