Hi everyone, I just wanted to do another health update, I am hoping this might help someone, or for it to be informative in any way. It’s been about 3 and a half years now since I have been suffering with stomach issues and anxiety. You can read more about it here and here, but for today I want to take you through two new tests that I’ve tried, along with seeing a new Dietitian.
The first Dietitian appointment
So for quite a few months now (about 7), I have been eating pretty basic and bland food. I have been completely avoiding fructose and rice, which seem to be my triggers. The sort of foods I have been eating mostly –
- Carbs (bread, pasta, weetbix, dried biscuits, potato chips, potato gems, hash browns, English muffins, home-made baked goods – cookies, cakes, cupcakes)
- Dairy (milk, cheese)
- Veggies (spinach, pumpkin, potato, sweet potato, parsnip, carrot)
- Meat (plain chicken, turkey, bacon)
- Legumes (chick peas, lentils)
- Soft drink (Coca Cola no sugar)
- Other (Vegemite, peanut butter, chocolate)
I mainly wanted to see a dietitian to see if I was getting my adequate vitamins and minerals – and surprisingly, I am! She also brought up two possible outcomes that my stomach/food issues my be caused by – SIBO (small intestine bacteria overgrowth) and Gastroparesis. This is the first time in over 3 years I have heard these two things being mentioned. For SIBO, you can simply order a test online and complete it at home. With a gastroparsis test, you have to do a barium swallow – this checks for any blockages in the system by you drinking liquid that shows up on an x-ray.
The SIBO test
I ordered my test, and it was a lot more expensive than I thought it was going to be, annoyingly. $189 plus postage. I sat down on a weekend and read through all of the instructions. The test takes 3 hours to do so I had to do it when I was at home – so I did it on a public holiday that just happened to be coming up in the next few days. Also, they day before performing the test, you had to have a day of only eating:
- Hard cheese
And I have to say, this was the hardest part for me. I couldn’t have any sugar and I was dying. It was a Wednesday I did this diet on, and when it got to 8pm, I had to fast until 8am the next day, then I could start doing the 3 hour test. You also weren’t allowed to eat during the test, the only thing allowed was water.
So during the 3 hour test, I had to test my breath by blowing into a test tube, every 20 minutes, and recording the time I did it. I was starving throughout this whole test, and I couldn’t wait until it was over and I was done! Afterwards I got a McDonalds breakfast (though it was lunch time by the time I was allowed to eat). I had an egg and bacon McMuffin and hash brown with a large hot chocolate, and it was absolute heaven.
I got my results back a week or two afterwards, and it was negative. I suffered through all that, and paid all that money, for a negative result. A good thing I guess, but just not an answer, but an elimination.
The gastroparesis test
So I got this done the day after doing the SIBO test. I had to fast from midnight the night before, to the time of my test (9:30am), which was pretty easy. Though by the time the test was over, I was starving.
So I had to drive to a hospital and go to a specialist centre to have this test done. It only took 10 minutes which was good. The first thing I had to do was change into a hospital gown, then I was told to stand with my back against this machine and step-up onto a step. I then had to sip this white, thick, chalky substance that tasted like an antacid drink, so wasn’t that bad luckily. As I swallow, the radiologist could see it go down. I had to have several sips of the drink. Then the machine I had my back against slowly tilted backwards into a bed, so I was lying down (it was so strange!) so they could have a look at the liquid in my stomach. The bed then tilted upright again, and I was free to go. Again, I got a McDonalds breakfast afterwards, as I think I deserved it!
I got the results back a few days afterwards, and again, they came back negative. So that was another two things ruled out.
The next Dietitian appointment
We went through my results from the two tests. And basically my dietitian is ruling my issues down to anxiety and stress. As even with the diet I’m on now, I get issues when traveling etc. So she said we are going to try an bring things back slowly into my diet, and see how I go. She has also advised that I see a psychologist that focuses on eating disorders, as it turns out I used to have one in the past, and this could have caused all my issues today. I don’t want to go into it in this post.
The next steps
So the next step for me is to see a new psychologist, and hopefully start bringing new foods back into my diet. I am pretty scared and anxious to do this, that is why my dietitian has advised that I do it this way.
I will hopefully have another update soon. Wish me luck!
Thanks for reading.