I went to the gastroenterologist today. He listened to all of my complaints and asked questions about my background. (And pressed on my stomach a bit… I was relieved that it didn’t get any more invasive than that.)
Doctor: Do you have any siblings?
Me: Two sisters… one is lactose intolerant.
Doctor: The other one just hasn’t realized it yet.
He was a font of wry humor.
The basic conclusion– as declared by my mother last year– is that I have a shitty Jewish stomach. And that since most adults eventually become lactose intolerant (and apparently milk is a stupid thing for American adults to drink anyway, since we don’t need it), I’m supposed to stay off lactose/dairy for the next few weeks to see if it helps.
Except for aged cheeses… aged cheeses are okay because civilization back in the day figured out how to get lactose out of their foods. Like smarties. (But now we’re stupid again?) (This appointment was a history AND biology lesson… I learned that everybody’s gut-flora is unique. You ARE a special snowflake, after all.)
As I try to figure out what I can and cannot eat, I’m starting to realize that I don’t even know the difference between lactose and dairy. So young and so foolish! (Too bad Wikipedia is dark today…)
Diagnosis-wise, there’s not much else to report at the moment. I may have a gut with flora more prone to making me feel crappy. (Great luck!) (A probiotic may or may not help.) I may also have an acid-y stomach. (I got some Prilosec samples.)
As for the wheat/gluten allergy question– they drew some blood to see if I have any visible allergies. (Allegedly a few years ago it was really popular to diagnose people as Celiacs even if they weren’t FULLY Celiacs, but the doctor is okay with the craze because it has made it easier for real Celiacs to find gluten-free options at their local stores.)
At least the doctor didn’t make me feel like I was an idiot for coming in without major symptoms. That was a relief. It’s nice to feel like I’m not COMPLETELY crazy.
I left the appointment with a continuing-to-feel-crappy stomach, but I’m feeling okay now. Funny thing is– I was bracing to not be able to eat gluten anymore, and I was surprisingly okay with that. Apparently quinoa pasta is quite tasty, and sometimes wheat products just give me a grossed-out feeling. But ice cream… yogurt… Laughing Cow cheese… a lot of things with dairy ingredients… Oh man. (Can I still eat PIRATE’S BOOTY?!)
Well, my sister just pops a funny pill and eats ice cream like there’s no tomorrow. So that’s always a backup plan. But for now I think I should try to be more diligent. As the doctor said– Your stomach only treats you as well as you treat it. (For some reason that struck me as a really deep insight… if that simple logic was a revelation to me, it’s probably time to be even more mindful of what I eat.)
Most importantly– I need to find some good dairy-free recipes for my ice cream maker!
But yeah– nothing is majorly wrong with me. So I can rejoice on that front. Just a shitty Jewish stomach. (Mother knows best.)
Oh– and I should mention that I ACED my blood pressure. I always have excellent blood pressure. What a healthy kid. (120/70… don’t be jealous.)