This is the first blog in a three-part series about my struggle with digestive issues, and how an all-natural supplement gave me much-needed relief.
It was my 51st birthday, and I was vacationing in St. Croix with my husband and another couple. We went out for a lovely dinner – but I had no idea it would also be the start of debilitating stomach issues that would affect my life, on and off, for the next five years.
We had a gourmet mushroom pizza and brought the leftovers back to our timeshare. Our friends left the following day, and I ate the remaining pizza for dinner.
Later that night, I was sick as sick could be – vomiting and diarrhea all night long. At the time, I wasn’t sure if it was a stomach virus or food poisoning. The latter didn’t make sense because I had eaten the pizza at the restaurant the night before, and had felt fine.
I saw a doctor on the island and he gave me not one, but two, antibiotics. It actually took several months after we got home for me to feel back to normal.
A Year Later
About a year later, I began having awful stomach aches. They were so strong, and I was in pain probably 90 percent of the time, in my midriff area. The pain was so uncomfortable that it was challenging to do things I really enjoyed. Plus, I would have occasional bouts of diarrhea.
Some days I felt I couldn’t function – I couldn’t eat much and was losing weight. My husband had arranged another nice birthday dinner for me, but we had to cancel it because I was so sick, thanks to more pain and diarrhea.
When I did feel better, on respite from pain, I still felt like I was constantly on pins and needles – wondering how long the reprieve would last and anticipating when the pain would return. I had a rough time sleeping.
Despite my digestive issues, we signed up for a 6-day bus trip to Pigeon Forge, TN, with our travel club. I was a wreck just thinking about it, but was determined to go. The trip turned out okay – I made it through. But I still had some bouts of diarrhea, and was very cautious about what I ate.
I felt like I was living a real-life mystery novel while trying to figure out what foods triggered my symptoms. One pattern I discovered was that my symptoms were worse after I ate out. I think that’s because of the way food is cooked in restaurants - more seasoning than I’m used to, or some additive, or more butter, oil, or fat, in preparing the food. It didn’t matter what kind of cuisine it was – Chinese food, seafood, Italian, Indian food. Any restaurant or prepared food seemed to bother my stomach.
I also realized that ice cream was a problem – but not milk or cheese – so I couldn’t blame dairy. I also would drink wine a few nights a week with dinner, so I cut that out. But my symptoms still came and went.
What The Doctor Said
Naturally, while all this was happening, I saw my primary-care doctor. He ordered a GI scan. The only thing it showed was that there was an abnormal amount of stool in the colon. He suggested taking ½ cup of Miralax every day to aid digestion.
My family doctor referred me to a gastroenterologist, who ordered a colonoscopy. The gastroenterologist told me I had chronic Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). But that diagnosis didn’t sit well with me. I didn’t have all the symptoms consistent with IBS. I didn’t feel he was very helpful, and I grew very frustrated. He didn’t give me any suggestions to help control my pain, other than taking a probiotic, and gave me nothing to ease my symptoms.
New Hope With a Natural Remedy
My husband and I spend winters at our home in Florida, and I often sign up for mini educational courses at our local community church. This is how I connected with a holistic doctor, who was teaching a class called “What Causes Illness?”
Finally, I felt a glimmer of hope: I was so impressed by her, I decided to make an appointment to see if she could help with my struggle with digestive issues. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done - she really turned my course, and got me on the right track with a natural remedy.
I also saw her partner, who was nutritionist. She introduced me to Seacure, a natural dietary supplement made of protein from whitefish, which heals inflammation in the intestinal lining. In my next blog, I’ll tell you how both professionals helped with a treatment plan that included Seacure and led to much relief.