Can’t Stomach My Stomach… Again

Took this photo at a diner on a sad stomach morning in Monterey.

Last time I wrote about my gluten-free follies after the fact. This time (if it even pans out…) I figured I’d blog about it while I’m IN IT. I mean, this is how book deals happen, right? (Just kidding… unless you want to give me a book deal.)

Every couple of months (or less), I seem to be dealing with digestive unpleasantness. About a year and a half ago I gave up bread for a week, with inconclusive results. A few times I drank those gross probiotics… also inconclusive. In Monterey, I got can’t-sleep-might-barf sick from an apparent lack of proper digestion (that’s what Sam gets, trying to take me on a romantic getaway…).

And now– less than a month later– I’m sick again. At first I thought I was dehydrated. Then– maybe it’s a cold. But I began to realize– every time I eat (or even drink chamomile tea), my stomach has this initial “OUCH.” Sam listened to my stomach with fascination, and reported that it sounded like “a dragon.” (The Girl With the Dragon Stomach… coming to a doctor’s office near you.)

I’ve tried all the easy-ish remedies– Activia yogurt, Tums, chamomile tea, Gas-X… but so far, nothing has really solved the problem. Thing is– since I don’t actually know what the problem IS, anything could be hurting. If I’m lactose intolerant, yogurt’s no good. If I’m allergic to gluten, saltine crackers aren’t gonna help.

I’m going to a gastroenterologist on Wednesday (maybe I should be going to an allergist). Perhaps I’m just stressed or ate something funky, but at this point there’s a pretty clear pattern of crappy-ness. I’m guessing that I’m allergic to something– please dear universe don’t let it be tomatoes!

I’ve long suspected that I might have Celiac disease, and some of the symptoms are uncanny. (Particularly– when I was a kid my dentist thought I was suddenly sucking lemons, because the enamel got really thin on my front teeth.) But either way, I’m thinking maybe I ought to try a gluten-free (or something-free) diet again, just because… something is up, here.

The idea of going gluten-free is not a super-exciting one, because… I love food. But I love not feeling like crap, too– and there are increasingly more gluten-free choices in stores and on menus. So… that’s uplifting, I guess. But I know if I go on vacation–especially abroad– I’d probably have to break the diet and feel like total blergh. Great.

I keep thinking things like– but I just got Sam a pizza stone! But I don’t want to have to take a bunch of gross supplements! But… honestly, if I’m not feeling well, it’s time to grow up and really evaluate what’s going on here. I’ve been happy to ignore my potential problems and just eat away, but ignorance is not bliss if I’m curled in the fetal position with a burbly stomachache.

Coincidentally, yesterday I stumbled upon Mara Kofoed’s A Blog About Love, and I’m heartened by her delicious-sounding gluten-free (among other things) diet… of course, it sounds like her husband is sort of a gourmet chef. But Sam has agreed to attempt to make Mara’s husband’s zucchini ribbon pasta for me (scroll to “So what DO you eat?”), if indeed I am a Celiac. Yay!

At least I’ll have a flatter stomach? (Every stomach-cloud has a silver stomach-lining?)

And at least I’m not the first person to forge this path. There are ample resources… including maybe some of my readers?


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