Finding the Culprit: Food Allergies and Infections

Well today was full of great information, most completely unwanted, but still great information.

For 31 years, 32 next month, I’ve dealt with a lot of intestinal issues. Flare-ups would come and go, and I just kind of adjusted to life with near-constant tummy troubles. However, this last time Jeremy had to be in three different hospitals in two weeks was enough stress to send my system into complete freak-out mode. Essentially, it started with a nasty cold that turned into a nasty sinus and ear infection. From there, I started some antibiotics, and while those infections improved, my intestinal issues worsened. To this day, my issues continue to worsen. But it appears I am on the way to healing.

A couple weeks ago, my doctors performed a scope and officially diagnosed me with gastritis. During that time, they also took a sample to check for bacteria. But then my doctor went on vacation. They instructed me to call if my symptoms worsened before I see him for my follow-up this Friday. So today, I made a trip after my allergy appointments.

But let’s back up a bit. SOMETHING causes gastritis, and food allergies/intolerances were suspected. Our oldest son suffers from food allergies too and he needed a follow up appointment; so today, Hudson and mommy had a date with the allergy doctors.

If you can’t tell, we have some allergies. Hudson is highly allergic to milk and corn (which we’ve known for a long time but had allowed him some in his diet in order to minimize the chance of reaction if any gets in his system…our method failed miserably). So Hudson’s allergy symptoms have continued to get worse and testing today confirmed why. He can have no milk…none. We had hoped he was growing out of it. Again, nope. Sorry buddy.

On the bright side, however, Hudson thought it was pretty cool mommy had to go through the testing this time too. While I’m not allergic to milk, I do have a severe intolerance to it, especially with my intestinal issues right now. So no milk for mommy either. However, most interesting for mommy, and terrifying, is the fact that I came back as extremely allergic to yeast. You guessed it…Celiac Disease. A blood test may or may not confirm (as the blood tests are highly inaccurate), but they sent off my blood anyway because of the large connection between yeast allergy and gluten issues. Even if it does come back negative, I’m to stay completely gluten free.

It’s quite overwhelming. But it’s also exciting. I think back to certain things I have eaten and immediately have had issues; those memories always seem to have one or two connections…gluten and dairy. But I also must say this…gluten free is not a fad as I once believed. Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance are real and miserable. I’m willing to do anything to no longer feel like this.

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Very thankful for our local grocery store, Sonny’s in Cozad. Walking the aisles with tears in my eyes and they stop me to tell me where everything is for gluten free as well as let me know they can get special items in for me if I ask them to.

 

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And thanks, Cheerios. There’s just something comforting about a bowl of gluten free cheerios with soy milk. Happy Bailey.

But there’s more to why I feel miserable lately. After those allergy tests and results, Hudson and I went out to eat. Immediate issues. EVERYTHING I eat lately gives me immediate problems. I was sick of it, and my doctor said to call if symptoms get worse. So I went to Urgent Care to see my friend and doctor, and she took care of me. It makes sense that my symptoms got worse. She spoke to my doctor, who just got back from vacation, and I am filled with infection…colitis in addition to my gastritis and possibly enteritis. That’s a lot of itis. They are doing even more testing, but they are putting me immediately on strong antibiotics to get these infections gone. So antibiotics and probiotics it is for me in addition to completely adjusting my diet. I hope to start feeling better soon. Crazy thing is this is even affecting my eyesight (lots of floaters in my vision), and that’s a huge indicator of infection too.

Basically, I’m a mess, but at least we have answers. I feel like crap, but I’ll get better. I’ve been dealing with this stuff for a long time; it’s just been a heck of a lot worse these last six weeks. I’m over it…ready to feel human again. Next steps are likely colonoscopy to keep diagnosing everything correctly and more specific bacteria tests.

As always, we share because we know many other people struggle with similar issues. So please feel free to share advice or tips if you have any. I’ll gladly accept any tips! I’ll especially accept prayers! Thanks, friends!

~ Bailey

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