Updates For The Masses

Filed under: @ 4:21 pm

Because I was too wiped out to remember to put them in yesterday’s entry.

First and foremost, Team Eccentrica is officially registered for the 2007 Seattle 3-Day. I’ll be walking, one of the other diners in our group at The Herbfarm on Saturday is going to be joining me, and a veterinarian that I know through VIN who works in Seattle is interested. Anyone else in? It’s bad craziness, but it’s good fun. The walk is September 7-9.

Also, for those to whom I have not had the chance to speak personally, the diagnosis is relatively benign. The MRI that was done about 10 days ago confirmed that the “lesion” in my liver is a fat deposit (oh great, I really do have a chubby liver), and pending results of further biopsies and more specific pancreatic function tests that will be done this week, the working diagnosis is irritable bowel syndrome.
You want some fun? Go to WebMD and search “Irritable Bowel Syndrome”. Better, go to Google and Google “Irritable Bowel Syndrome”. As a not very well defined syndrome that affects a great number of people around the world you can pick up some truly fascinating information and treatment options for IBS on the web. This isn’t something like an abscess where cause and treatment are fairly cut and dried. This is more like organized religion where certain believers worship one way, other believers worship another and both parties are convinced that the other side is going to go directly to Hell.

Pretty much the only constants that I’ve found are:
1. You are probably gluten intolerant and have Celiac Sprue even though your biopsies didn’t recognize it.
2. Dairy is bad.
3. You need to eat more fiber, and
4. All your problems can be solved if you only remember to drink a teaspoonful of apple cider vinegar before each meal.

Great, so I’ll be eating no wheat products, drinking no dairy, eating piles of raw vegetable matter that I can’t digest but it’s okay because it’s fiber and fiber is good for IBS, and it doesn’t matter anyway so long as I remember to drink my vinegar. 🙁
Have you ever actually tried to drink straight vinegar? It’s really difficult and allow me a word of advice: DON’T CHOKE ON IT.

Actually I’m fairly upbeat about the whole situation. Having a name to put to the tummy weasels and a (or several) potential courses to follow to solve or at least control the problem, has really helped.
I’d still love a salad though. Oh, and I’m not giving up dairy regardless of what all the web sites say. In my case the tummy weasels seem to like milk and I truly LOATHE soy and rice milk.

9 Responses to “Updates For The Masses”

  1. Gavin Says:

    Just curious, what happens when you don’t eat/drink for 24+ hours? Other than being hard to live with…

  2. Margaret Says:

    I get very, VERY hard to live with. When Andrew was first diagnosed diabetic he went on a 1600 calorie/day diet. Which made him, at least at first, the temperamental equivalent of living with a sunburned bobcat. If I don’t eat or drink for 24+ hours the ante is upped to a sunburned rhinoceros.

    Also the weasels threaten to eat my face if I don’t feed them regularly.

  3. Scot Says:

    Welcome to the club. Don and I are both members of the IBS club. The only constants I’ve found is that there are no constants. Everyone seems to have different foods that set them off.

  4. Dalek Says:

    Another thing to try that has worked for those I know: peppermint oil, in nice little gel capsules. Take one a day for a week and see if that helps. It has for some of those I know with similar tummy-weasel issues. And for those who it didn’t help, it didn’t do any harm. (And just for the record, I tried it myself to make sure it was harmless even though I don’t have tummy weasels, and aside from the truly odd sensation of one peppermint-infused burp, it did no harm at all.) You can get the peppermint oil capsules and Whole Foods. 🙂

  5. Uncle Andrew Says:

    I like the idea of peppermint belches; might have to start taking peppermint oil capsules myself. Probably cheaper than drinking peppermint schnapps all day, and this way the floor won’t keep smacking me in the forehead. 😉

  6. fisherbear Says:

    I went through a very similar extended bout with tummy weasels – right down to the weird-but-benign imaging result (except that the GI doc actually told me it was cancer, “but we should run a higher res scan just to be sure.” Talk about a recipe for a lost week.)

    Personally, I think the NIH should just rename IBS “tummy weasels” and be done with it (or, to really capture the spirit of the IBS diagnostic community, they could call it Unexplained Food-related Ouchies, or UFO.) For what it’s worth, I played around with my diet for a year or so and it mostly went away.

  7. Valerie Says:

    Um, congratulations on your IBS diagnosis? There’s a sentence I never thought I’d write!

    I’m glad it turned out to be relatively benign. Putting a name to it must be a relief, though count me in as another vote for the “tummy weasels.”

    I’ve always found the ridiculously pink pickled ginger that comes with sushi to be strangely stomach soothing. I have a jar in my fridge for just that purpose. Well, that and because I’m addicted to it.

  8. Margaret Says:

    I LOVE pickled ginger! And I’ve been sucking down ginger tea or ginger/lavender/mint tea for the last week or so instead of my beloved (wah!) de-caf Market Spice. Ginger is very tummy soothing.

    I’m going to try growing some this summer. What a hoot to be able to pickle one’s own ginger!

  9. Valerie Says:

    Oh, in that case, I’m not sure how this would play with your stomach weasels, but have you ever had ginger lemonade? It is so awesome. Our favorite hippie restaurant on Kauai serves it, and I’ve made it at home too. Just take one good sized hunk of peeled fresh gingeroot, grate it up, gather in a cheese cloth and squeeze into a jug of lemonade. Drop the cheesecloth bag into the jug like a big tea bag, let it soak up a bit, then squeeze again. Keep doing this for as long as you feel like. I usually only go 3 times. You serve over cracked ice. Also good with rum. You can leave the bag in the jug for extra infusion, but I’ve found the lemonade doesn’t last long enough to make that worthwhile. Enjoy!

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