“Set of practices which cannot be tested, refuse to be tested, or consistently fail tests. If a healing technique is demonstrated to have curative properties in properly controlled double-blind trials, it ceases to be alternative. It simply…becomes medicine.” Richard Dawkins
For almost 2 years I had been living gluten free as strictly as I could and 2010 was no different but my gut wasn’t getting happier, it was just as depressed as I was.
In May I started going to a naturopath. This woman was interesting; she had her own massage therapy school and they provided treatment as well as massages. I went to her for several months where she cracked my back, gave me different nutrients and tried to figure out what was wrong with me, or at least help me feel like it wasn’t all in my head. When I began seeing her I was back on a boat load of medications, again. I wasn’t sleeping well and flare-ups came on more frequently. As much as she tried she couldn’t fix my gut!
I began seeing one the schools massage therapists and after weeks of her “trying” to loosen me up she said “your body is going to take more than seeing you once a month.” What did that mean? I didn’t think my body was “that” bad? As usual my back had started getting a little achy and although I had sought chiropractors out before I really didn’t want to go find one at this time. I didn’t like going to them because most of them made me hurt more, at least for a few days. With this new massage therapist I thought I would let her do her “magic” and by-pass the chiropractor this time. She made me hurt less than they would.
Some days were good then I would have flare-ups; seemed nothing was ever going to work and I would end up living my life in pain if not ending it by my own hand. In August of 2010 my back was getting worse and my massage therapist said I should go and see her chiropractor because she couldn’t help me relieve the discomfort. She said he was a naturopathic chiropractor and he might be able to do something to help me. He was a “great” chiropractor according to her who had helped her kids. He wasn’t like the “others” and even if he couldn’t help me he would know what to do.
I was going to make an appointment but when I called it went to voice mail and my back was killing me by this time and did not want to wait. I found another chiropractor out of desperation and saw she took walk-ins so went to her place. Well low and behold the “preferred” chiropractor was in the same building and since “she” wasn’t in he would “work” me into his schedule… Amazing how things happen!
I filled out the paperwork and he took me into his office. He was going over my medical information and said “you have ankylosing spondylitis” and I said “yes” and proceeded to tell him when I was diagnosed and what I had been doing for it.
After the discussion on the AS he said “you have stomach problems too?” Of which I replied “YES!” and he said “Well you could have a bacteria in your gut which has been found in people with AS, it could be what is making your gut hurt!” Really, are you kidding me? I know I stood there in shock, utter amazement and then said “bacteria?” He proceeded to tell me of a medication that I could take called Sulfalazine which would calm the bacteria in my stomach. He gave me an adjustment but it wasn’t like the ones I had had before. He was gentle and did more pressure points than adjustments. I really like him. He said that chiropractors have to be very careful when “cracking” a patient with AS otherwise they can really hurt them. He wanted x-ray’s before he proceeded which was fine with me.
I scheduled another session and practically ran to my truck. Called my doc and said give me a script for this drug! She said that’s for people with Crohn’s disease and I yelled in the phone “I don’t care if it’s for monkeys (my favorite thing to say when a doc says something stupid), I want that medicine!” She called it in to the pharmacy and I picked it up on my way home. I don’t think I ever drove so fast to get home. I wanted to check out on the web what the doc was talking about. My Ankylosing Spondylitis was causing all of this?
I was on the hunt… for information.
As I began to look for information it was quite evident that it was a widely searched subject. I searched “ankylosing spondylitis stomach problems” and low and behold there was this page for AS help www.kickas.org. I started going through the forums and found that many of the people had the same back symptoms that I had had many years ago along with some IBS, and that they were all on what was called a “No Starch Diet” or NSD. But there was no real mention of gut problems. I started googling NSD and it led me to a woman named Carol Sinclair and her book ‘The IBS Low Starch Diet’. I read some excerpts of the book and decided to order it. Three days later the book arrived and my first thought after reading the first sentence of the first chapter was “wow, she is talking about me!” It was a fantastic book and gave me a lot of information. And Carol, just like me lived a life in utter pain not knowing why. Carol had gut problems but was never diagnosed with AS where as I had been diagnosed with AS but no one ever told me that gut problems were a result of my AS.
I began doing even more regarding about my AS and starch’s role in my diet and began to systematically eliminate as much starch from my diet. I did not get the instant relief that I got when I went gluten free and to be honest it is hard to eat just foods that a “caveman eats”. Being gluten free didn’t mean I had to give up everything. But what I realized was when I went gluten free I still ate plenty of starches in the potatoes and rice not to mention all of the starch in the breads that I was making. But I did do it and went for 6 months without any starch. After a while I didn’t even notice or even crave anything, because I could eat ice cream and how do I love ice cream!
I began losing a lot of weight and feeling somewhat better, maybe the diet was working, but there were those days when I ate something that had hidden starch and would pay the next day. I
continued to take the medication for my gut and things were better but I was exhausted, cranky and depressed. My body didn’t quit aching even when my gut was happy. The “Man” and I fought more frequently and he began accusing me of acting like an “old lady” walking around like “I’m dying” maybe that is what I was secretly doing. I was trying my hardest to keep it all together, but failing miserably.
Next.. Is it Karma?