It has been over half a year since I wrote the first part of my story about living with(out) colitis. It has been a very interesting time, and I have learned some new things I would like to share with you.
I have had a few more flare-ups since the last time, and the last one of those was rather major, and forced me to once again take Flaggyl, something I really don't like doing. Still, it took care of the problem. As with everything else, if you leave it too long, then stronger remedies might be required. I should have listened to my body earlier, and told the rest of the world to go away, but I chose not to, and suffered for it in the end.
For some of the minor cases, as I indicated before, I find that using some of the commercial anti-parasitic natural medicines is very effective as long as they are taken early enough. One that I can personally recommend is a product called Para-Force, by Prairie Naturals, available in Western Canada. I am not sure what products are avaiable in this regard around the world, but I am sure there must be something similar. The ingredients of this one is as follows: Methylsulfonylmethane, Green Hulled Black Walnut, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Wormwood, Freshly ground Cloves, Pumpkin Seed Extract, Thyme Powder, Thubarb Root Powder, Black Seed Powder, Garlic Extract. Other products I have used are Para-Gone, Para-Clean, as well as a few others I cannot remember. Some work better than others, all have slightly different ingredients, and it's good to experiment. By the way, all of those products are trademarks and have register trademark symbols on them, and I am only brining them up for reference purposes here.
So back to the big flareup, here is what happened. I was on a business
trip in Europe, and whenever one travels, one relaxes about their
dietary choices a bit, partially because of availability, and partially
out of laziness. So I got into the habit of drinking tea after my meal,
which is not bad, but I put quite a lot of sugar and quite a lot of
milk into my tea as well, because the type of tea you get in a
restaurant is usually very strong. Once or twice my body could probably
have handled, but every day was just too much, and I could feel it, but
I did not know why at the time. I was also very busy and ignored the
warning signs. After all, business is business, and I can behave better
when I come back home, right? Unfortunately once the damage is done,
it's hard to get back.
The real problems started on the way back, in the airplane. A funny thing happens to be on intercontinental flights: My intestine basically comes to a complete standstill, and everything just stays where it is. I have learned that on very long flights, i.e. more than 8 hours, it is wise not to eat anything, because all that food that you take in on the flight just stays in my body and basically starts to rot. I feel quite ill when I get to the other side and only a long walk, i.e. 4 hours, will start things again. So, instead of eating, I simply drank, and in this case, more tea with milk and sugar. A few days after coming home the problems of intestine cramps and such started to happen, and it took over a month of fighting with various methods until I finally decided that enough was enough, and had the Flaggyl.
Here is what I am theorizing happened: I am somewhat intolerant to milk, which basically means that my body rejects it, refused to process it, and it is passed straight through. Not uncommon for people who have a wheat intolerance to also be dairy intolerant. Problem was, seeing that my intestine had stopped moving things at this point, the sugar containing tea was now sitting in my intestine, the perfect food for yeast. If it had not been for the milk, then my stomach would have processed and stripped out the sugar long before it got the my intestine, but as it was infused into the milk, it just went straight to my intestine, with no intermediate processing, and the yeast loved it, and it grew totally out of control, causing the pouchitis to happen.
Well, that is my theory. There might be people disagreeing with me, especially the professionals, but then, I am the one that lives with this body every second of every day, and all the books and courses will not tell you what it's like to live this this, so unless I hear something that is really, really convincing, I just as well stick to my own theory.
Another thing I have noticed with regards to deep-fried food, especially potato chips is that my tolerance for it has decreased substantially, especially in North America. I am not sure if other continents fry their food in different oil, but even small amount so potato chips give me some cramping, and when I am already in bad shape, it's best just to avoid all deep-fried foods like French fries and such. My aunt, who is a retired medical doctor with an alternative twist is insisting that ulcerative colitis itself is caused by deep fried foods. I personally think there is more to this, but I can agree with the assessment that it does have an effect. According to a study she brought up, colitis does not exist in countries where there is no deep fried food. Now, my response to that is that there are very few countries that fall into this category, and that those countries are also missing a lot of other things. Having said that, it could very well be that it is a combination of things, and I know from personal testimony that I do react to these foods, especially as I said, potato chips.
Now, if you don't have the exact conditions as myself, this might work
totally differently for you. That is not the point. The point of this
article is to tell you that a: Listen to your body before it's too
late, and b: Once something goes wrong, try to figure out what went
wrong, and why, so that you can avoid it in the future. It took me 16
years to get this far, and all of this is based on sometimes painful,
but very careful personal observation. But the alternative is to eat
pills for the rest of your life, and maybe end like those poor people I
described in my first article. I do not consider this an option.
Besides, if your body goes through all the trouble of trying to tell us
something, the least we can do is to give it the courtesy of listening.
After all, it's like a marriage with no chance of divorce, so you just
have to work out the differences, there is no running away.
Stay tuned for more great adventures in the reality show called 'Your Life'
Hope this helps
For more interaction check out ... My Colitis / IBD / Pouchitis Blog