Dec 12, 2011

The Joy of Knowing I'm Lactose Intolerant and Symptoms

Lactose Intolerance isn't a joy, finding out what has been troubling you for, in my case, probably the past few years, is indeed a joy! Something has always troubled my digestive system on and off for years...it wasn't severe, just an annoyance, but in the past year the condition escalated to the point that I was always nauseous, feeling pain in my abdomen, and suffered a host of other symptoms that had me quite concerned. 

When I would look in the mirror in the morning, the face looking back didn't look well. I went to one doctor and had normal blood work, my blood pressure was up, I was diagnosed with an intestinal infection, and anxiety (we have come through some stressful months...more on the stress aspect later) and had 3 medications prescribed, all of which did nothing but aggravate what I was experiencing...more nausea, more pain, more tiredness. I stopped taking them and just hoped it would all go away...it didn't. 

I finally made an appointment with my gastroenterologist who is downstairs from my general MD, so also set up an appointment for my annual physical, which is one "free" thing you get with our insurance. The gastroenterologist patiently explained to me that I was not having anxiety attacks during the night like I thought I was...he explained the connection between some nerves in the colon, brain, etc., that lead to symptoms similar to a heart attack and anxiety in terms that I could understand.  This was happening because something was aggravating my digestive system...he thought perhaps just a virus...but to me it seemed like more.  Still, it was a relief to know what what happening physiologically, but I still needed to know the cause. 

We had prayed that God would give wisdom to the doctors when I went in that day, and He answered and did. When I went to my general MD, I had my usual physical...all good...even the blood pressure. She asked me what I eat each night before bed. I told her I loved yogurt mixed with frozen blueberries and ate them almost nightly. She said to cut out dairy for one month, and see how I do....that if you are going to develop lactose intolerance, you often do when you are in your 40's and 50's.  I told her that I thought yogurt was okay even if you were lactose intolerant. She said not necessarily so, especially in the quantity I was eating it. 

She was so very right! It only took a matter of days for me to see improvement. I replaced the yogurt and cheeses with lactose free yogurt and cheese, and did not eat anything with dairy when I wasn't sure whether it contained lactose or not. I cannot get over the improvement over the past month...and am so very thankful. My body is healing, and having the physical stress relieved is making the mental stress less stressful...still needs dealing with, but oh so much better things are.  So yes, it is a joy to finally know that I am lactose intolerant and what to do about it.

Updated 3/30/16

You might also want to visit a page I did on Finding Milk Free Candy for the Lactose Intolerant.

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