I haven't really detailed much of the whole stomach thing, life-changing as it is.
Last August I suddenly started to get stomach cramps when I ate, and felt bloated and not hungry if I did for upto 12-16 hours, explosive diarrhea - this is why the walks suddenly stopped, being curled up in a ball in bed (or sometimes needing a toilet immediately) was not conducive to walking 5-10 miles from the nearest anything.
After changing my diet many times and failing (More fibre? feel worse. No milk? No change. Less shit food? Worse. Ironically the shit food is the less problematic, chips, processed meat etc).
So spoke to my doctor before Xmas, she mentioned FODMAP diet, and IBS and all the rest. Had the tests and apparently no for Coeliac disease, Crohns and Bowel Cancer, so it was the vague IBS diagnosis. Doctor kept pushing those peppermint tablets on me, which actually do work, but I was taking them like smarties. Minty-fresh breath and more worryingly minty-fresh shit, but expensive and still didn't solve the problem. It was better, but not great - still the odd attack, this was a few months ago.
I'd avoided pasta as that was one of the triggers along with pizza and ciabatta, and already gone lactose-free to rule that out (Almond milk is really nice, and has the benefit it actually doesn't go off as quickly as cow's milk, so that's stayed) and tried reducing and eliminating all FODMAP foods (basically stuff that ferments in your stomach, this includes beans I don't eat anyway, but also wheats, grains, mushrooms which I eat loads of being one of a couple of vegetables I eat, and chocolate) for a while. Didn't seem to make a difference. So ate the pasta and WHAM instant bout. This is when I started to think it was wheat/gluten based, I'd suspected it given some of the triggers (but others are tomato - me neither - and oats - which I switched to as part of granola, even gluten free granola makes me feel bad, but not the same way) - then my Dad called and said he thought he was wheat intolerant, he was having similar problems for the last three years mostly unknown to me. It's genetic btw.
So I think it's wheat or gluten - but like all detective stories it doesn't end that, it's not all the picture. Took me a long while to take wheat out of my diet completely and when I did I was surprised how I didn't feel shit after eating bread or anything with wheat, I'd gotten so used to 3-4 hours later feeling slightly crap than not having that, the absence of feeling crap (since stomach feeling bad has been a constant thing) was more surprising than it being bad. But had some gluten-free (which is the same as wheat-free usually) meals and felt really bad after them - could be mushrooms, could be tomato - most likely the former given both those meals were supposedly wheat/gluten-free but had those. We'll see.
But what annoys me, and I went on a sort of rant on Facebook about - is the reaction from people. Turns out the scientist bloke who fingered gluten a few years back has now found it isn't gluten at all
(remember this is ONE study! Out of...not many), and all the people who think it's a fad and love to point fingers have come out the woodwork.
I actually don't give a fuck what it is, tbh. It could be fluffy space aliens or Wheat That's Heard Too Many Bad Songs for all I care, I just want it to stop...but the whole 'it's a fad' or 'it's stress' or 'it's in your head' rings alarms. Because I'm also asthmatic and have eczema, the former since I was 8 and the latter for the last 4-5 years - that was misdiagnosed, as these things tend to be. As might have been a wheat/allergy sensitivity, since all of those are also apparently symptoms of wheat sensitivity/intolerance.
Thing is, because it's not a sexy (read: has big grants or possible products to flog) part of medicine all these areas have few studies into them. A few about children with asthma, less about eczema and stomach stuff outside of Crohns, Coeliac and Cancer is a big area marked 'we don't know'. The studies about this are fairly new, and they only now are starting to realise about the 'gut brain' and the fact that it's a more complex nervous/bacterial system than they thought.
But until they find out WTF it is, some will treat you like you're a hypochondriac, that it's in your head, that it's a fad, that you're mad, bad or sad basically. This is the nature of the medical - and even worse wannabe Internet Medical - community. Don't understand it? Patient is making it up. I've got this a lot from the doctor, but I know my mind, well aware of stress levels and triggers, I've had to be as an asthmatic. And no, you can't unthink an attack...I've tried many times. You can lessen it, you can meditate yourself into calmer breathing, but the trigger/cause is still there. Dust, pollen, damp...but there are those who think it's all just cos you're stressed. Nope, it isn't.
Thing is I know there is a lot of bullshit attached to gluten-free stuff, the artisanal products, the woo. Some odd people are eating gluten free not because it gives them a hard time, but for dieting or fashion reasons - which I find weird cos GF food is not only hella-expensive, hard to find, it's also usually much less nice than the wheat alternative and NOT better for you unless you have Coeliac/Wheat/Gluten issues. It's a frankenfood, reading the ingredients is like a massive dictionary of food technology.
But it annoys me I have to fight through all these people who Know Better (but Know Nothing in fact - I wish they did, I'm happy for suggestions, but these people love to point to sole medical reports as if they have a medical degree, but they don't have anything except 'You're a bunch of losers' - umm, thanks for that important addition to the Future of Mankind). It reminds me of the people who think muscle spasms are just stress (nope, calcium/Vit D deficiency) and that eczema/asthma people can just change it through feeling happier. Umm, no. If it was that easy, and known, then people would happily take those 'cures'.
But it's easier to stigmatise people than listen to them, and easier to point and laugh than actually diagnose and research. And sadly too much of the former, and not enough of the latter. I'm not going to go off and start going all homeopathic (hence why I resisted the peppermint oil for a long time) but all clear that there is also Medical Woo - stuff We Don't Understand so will Mock. I won't be surprised if they find that some of the crap, additives, pesticides etc. in wheat is causing immune reaction triggers in people. Even the wheat version of a prion, maybe...but I doubt I'll get a sorry when they do.
In one way the diet people are correct, it is a fast way to lose weight, people keep telling me I've lost weight, people I know well/see often. I call it the Wheat Intolerance diet, otherwise known as Curl Up In A Ball diet. It's the only way darlings! :-/