My first one! It was a weird combination of a counselling appointment and a doctor’s appointment. I went to Bek Parry at Positively Nourished, and seriously recommend her.
We talked about the symptoms from which I’ve been suffering for the last 15 months, and she told me it’s likely my villi, which are tiny tiny projections of the wall of the intestine that increase surface area and help absorb nutrients, are severely damaged. This makes so much sense! Malabsorption of micro-nutrients could be compounding the problems I have with digestion. It’s also likely I could have had a parasite initially which would have explained why I had food poisoning for such a long time. That is both fascinating and gross!
We talked about how I respond to stress, and I said I’ve been much less stressed since leaving drama school even though my masters degree is a lot more work, the stress is a different type of stress, and it’s one I seem to be able to handle a little better. How I was feeling overall came up too: I’d not really thought about how the gut can affect all parts of the body and mind, right from a sore tummy, to headaches, to eczema, to anxiety or a depression. It’s an amazing organ and one that needs our respect and love.
In order to help my gut heal, she has suggested some supplements to take which will give the villi some strength. I will also be officially taking on a complete, exclusive FODMAP diet for four weeks.
I’ll be using the Monash University FODMAP app as a guide. I’m eliminating broccoli for a week, as broccoli can be a trigger food for some people! I’ll be upping my meat intake, which is a bit dah because I was eating a pretty vegetarian dominated diet. The FODMAP diet excludes legumes, which is a high source of protein for a vegetarian. Protein also includes amino acids which help heal the gut. I’m really just trying to make this as easy as possible for myself and that means adding some more meat and eggs to my diet. Gut comes first.
I’m feeling pretty good about diving into this. I don’t know how much more inconvenient this diet will be than having a permanent stomach ache! My stomach has been a bit sore over the last two days so hopefully it fades away over the next week, and then fingers crossed I can start getting some more understanding about what is actually up with my body. I’ve also noticed just over the last week since cutting out a few high FODMAP foods like onion, garlic and wheat, that emotionally I feel a bit richer. It’s exciting to think about how much of an affect this could have on my being. Analysing how I’m feeling and really listening to my body will encourage a more present and conscious mindset. But, it does mean I can’t keep feeding my chocolate addiction (presumably that’s actually a good thing!).