I shared some of what we were going through with Annie's stomach problems awhile back here.
I don't think I ever followed up though.
Or did I?
For the life of me, I cannot remember.
So I'm following up now, just in case I didn't follow up then...
1. Her fructose test showed that she was fructose intolerant. (Ya, fructose is in just about everything.)
2. Her fructose test also showed that she had SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth.)
3. Her IgG food sensitivity test showed her to have multiple and severe food sensitivities to dairy, beef, eggs, grains, gluten, whey, peanuts, almonds, and raspberries.
4. And due to all of those severe sensitivities, and Annie's health history (a positive SIBO test, reoccurring stomach pain and diarrhea, seasonal allergies, eczema, low weight, and the constant purple bags under her eyes) the naturopath said she felt that Annie had Leaky Gut/Intestinal Permeability as well. (Here's a good starting point if you want to learn more about Leaky Gut.)
The pediatrician gave me a list of high fructose foods to avoid and a prescription for antibiotics.
The naturopath gave me a mountain of paperwork, a list of websites to check out, a strong recommendation to avoid antibiotics, and a couple hundred dollars worth of herbs and supplements:
- BCQ (Boswellia Serrata, Bromelain, Curcuma, and Quercetin to support the digestive system)
- Allisyn (Garlic and Cinnamon, which are natural antibiotics)
- Intestinal Repair Capsules (Omega-3 from fish oil and CoQ10 to repair her gut lining.)
- Lactoprime Plus (a probiotic to keep her gut populated with good bacteria)
I already had her on digestive enzymes, fish oil, a multi-vitamin and a vitamin D supplement.
That meant taking about 14 pills per day. (Lucky for me, she can swallow pills like a pro.)
Josh suggested I throw in some rabbit hair, cat pee, and a bat wing to supplement all the other witch doctor voodoo I was treating her with.
The naturopath also recommended that I take her off of dairy, beef, eggs, grains, gluten, whey, peanuts, almonds, raspberries, and anything containing fructose for two months, and then to slowly start reintroducing those foods individually to see how she handled them. (She recommended I NOT reintroduce gluten though - she just recommended I keep it out of her diet entirely.)
I'm not quite sure what options that left me to feed my child???
Chicken, pork, and white rice?
Honestly, I kind of folded at that point.
I don't even know how to explain it, but I felt so overwhelmed after months of Annie being in pain, doctors appointments, lab tests, contradictory information, research, websites, and tears that I just kind of felt paralyzed.
So I started giving her 14 pills a day, tried to cut out gluten everywhere I could (I still let her have hot lunch one day a week like we always have, and she always chose gluten-filled pizza, and I still let her participate in treats at school parties), cut out most sugar, and most dairy as well.
We already ate pretty healthy (not much sugar or gluten or processed foods) anyhow, so it wasn't a huge stretch.
But I couldn't bring myself to put her through two months of avoiding all of those foods, especially given her already low weight. (Even as I write that, I am judging myself, so please note that I am not in the market for any additional judgment.)
And then every time she ate something healthy, I felt guilty because I knew it wasn't what she wanted to eat and because I knew she was 'that weird kid' at school who chewed on organic carrot sticks while staring longingly at the Cheetos, Gogurts and Oreos that all the normal kids were eating.
And every time she ate something unhealthy, I felt guilty because what kind of a parent would feed their kinds junk while knowing they had a slew of gut issues that could potentially lead to a lifetime of autoimmune disease?
So anytime Annie put something in her mouth, I felt guilty.
And anytime any of the kids said, "Should she be eating that?" I wanted to cry.
And anytime anyone asked, "Did you ever get Annie's stomach problems figured out?" I felt like turning and running the other direction rather than dredging it all up again.
And then seemingly, all of her stomach pain seemed to disappear.
So I kept giving her the pills, but decided to lax up on her diet and my guilt.
And then a few months back while my sister was in town, she said, "Annie tells me that her stomach still bothers her, but she doesn't want you and Josh to know because she doesn't want to see any more doctors."
So I kept giving her the pills, and amped up her dietary restrictions and my guilt.
And then a few weeks ago, I sat next to a woman in a cooking demonstration (Everyday Paleo: Thai Cuisine) who had all of the same health issues Annie has, and went through years of unsuccessful treatment before finally finding a local gastroenterologist who could help her.
And then a few days ago, I started the process of getting Annie's paperwork transferred to him, to see if he would accept her as a patient. (He typically doesn't take patients under the age of 10.)
And then on Tuesday night, Josh needed something quick and easy to feed the kids since I wasn't home, and ended up ordering pizza.
And then on Wednesday morning, Annie woke up with stomach pain so bad, she was sweating and teary, which later turned into heartburn so bad she was shaky and throwing up.
So she stayed home with me.
She laid on the couch with Ratfink. She laid in bed and played with the Google Earth app on my phone. She snuggled with me. She listened to dog training podcasts while taking notes. She didn't let me get much work done. She swore off of gluten for life, and helped me brainstorm on non-gluten options she could use to replace some of her favorite, weekly treats.
She said she'd take a home-packed lunch to school on pizza days if I made her pizza with a gluten-free crust. She said she'd give up her Thursday morning blueberry scone if I promised to make her chocolate avocado pudding to take with us to the coffee shop instead. She decided she wouldn't be embarrassed to take a gluten-free cupcake with her to school on days when her classmates were celebrating a birthday if I could get over the fact that they still have a ton of sugar in them. And she decided she had no option but to never step foot in Texas Roadhouse again since there was no substitute for their rolls. (I should note that Annie did NOT test positive for Celiac's Disease, but you can still be highly sensitive to gluten without having Celiac's - and from what I've researched, if you have to occasionally cheat with something unhealthy, you should make it anything OTHER THAN gluten if your sensitive to gluten since it affects the gut lining for 14 days every time you ingest it.)
So for now, we're kind of in limbo again until we (hopefully) get in to see the gastroenterologist.
But in the meantime, I'm hoping to hear even more from any of you who have dealt with similar issues.
Just needing the insight.
P.S. I shared how to make those hanging hearts in the photo above, here.