Here’s something you probably didn’t know about me:
As much trouble as I’ve had with chronic pain over the past ten years, I’ve had almost just as much trouble with digestive issues.
I haven’t written about those issues yet for a few reasons. For one thing, they’re embarrassing. Really embarrassing. I’d much rather talk about running injuries and muscle pain.
For another, I wasn’t sure how many different topics it would make sense to talk about on one blog.
But digestive issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome, are actually pretty closely related to fibromyalgia. From the time I’ve spend interacting with other bloggers, it seems like most people with fibro have some digestive issues.
I happen to know a little something about all of that.
In the past ten years, I have been through six gastroenterologists, four nutritionists, and four pelvic-floor physical therapists.
I didn’t find any answers at all until I met my fifth gastroenterologist in 2011. Even then, what really made the difference is that I had started doing a lot of my own research about what I thought might be causing my issues, and this doctor was open-minded enough to humor me.
At that point, I finally started to figure things out. None of my issues turned out to be terribly rare, or even hard to diagnose.
It was simply that I had fallen through the cracks– that I was a young, relatively healthy-looking woman, and that the first four doctors I saw found it easier to write my problems off as being caused by stress, rather than ordering some pretty basic testing.
The fact that I had fibromyalgia made it even more likely that these doctors would write me off, because pretty much every medical person knows that these issues are so closely connected.
But just because there are connections between fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome does not mean that treating one will automatically treat the other. And just because a patient has fibromyalgia does not mean there cannot be other causes and contributing factors to her IBS.
So I have decided to start sharing my experience with digestive issues with others. To raise awareness about the basic things that most gastroenterologists and other health professionals already know, yet don’t always bother to investigate with their patients. Once you know about these potential issues, and the tests that can be done to diagnose them, you can begin to take charge of your own health.
I have decided to write about these issues on a second blog, simply because I don’t want to completely overwhelm the people who are already following this one. I plan to post a lot of recipes/cooking inspirations on the new blog, which I know might not interest every single follower here (and that’s totally ok!).
I hope you will check out my new blog, Sunlight in the Kitchen.
**Strawberries photo courtesy of Sharon Mollerus**