Digestive Problems? You Are Not Alone!
There are too many people living with digestive problems today. I have seen so many different types of medication commercials playing over and over to encourage us, the consumers, to buy one product over another, for one type of digestive symptom or another. Digestive relief is not something I have personally had the opportunity to experience, compliments of the Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders (FGIMDs) I live with, but I continue to search for answers and help. On my quest to find natural ways to feel better, I began to meet a growing number of people who also have digestive issues with no or few answers. FGIMDs include, but are absolutely not limited to, IBS, Gastroparesis, Colonic Inertia, Esophageal Dysphagia, Intestinal Dysmotility, and Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction Disorder.
Gastroparesis (stomach), Esophageal Dysphagia (esophagus), Colonic Inertia (colon), Small Intestinal Dysmotility (small intestine). Within the name of each of these particular diagnoses, is the location of the problem within the gastrointestinal tract. Chances are, if one part of the digestive tract is not working from one of these problems, other parts may not be working properly either. If you are diagnosed with one of these illnesses, please spend some time reading and familiarizing yourself with the other illnesses mentioned in the first sentence of this particular paragraph. Too many times I have met people who have multiple GI problems noted above. Living with any one of these digestive problems can lead to a very difficult life. At the very least, you will need a gastroenterologist who is educated about this particular group of GI and motility disorders.
There are multiple reasons someone may have one or more of these digestive diseases/disorders/illnesses. These three terms are often used interchangeably. An illness can cause one of these GI problems to begin, a surgery, an autoimmune problem, a connective tissue disorder, diabetes, and even idiopathic (of unknown origin). Our digestive tract, when messed up, can completely mess up plans we have for life. If we cannot eat, we cannot function. If we cannot go to the bathroom, we cannot function. Our digestive system gives us the nutrients and hydration, while clearing out the toxic waste that can poison us, allowing our bodies to function. In essence, our digestive systems control our lives.
Think about it. You are feeling great, having fun with friends, eating, drinking, laughing, and then out of nowhere, your stomach starts to hurt and feel queezy. You start to break out in a sweat from the pain that begins to consume your entire stomach and abdomen. And even though you haven’t been drinking alcohol, you begin to feel dizzy, as if you are going to pass out, in front of all of your friends, family, and strangers. Your ears start to ring and you cannot hear anything clearly. The only thing you can think of at this point is getting to your bed, and something to throw up in. Now, imagine this is your daily life, minus the ability to go out, minus the ability to eat and drink, and add in a tube that may be shoved through your abdominal wall into your intestine, or an iv placed in a main vessel to the heart that does not get removed, in order to allow nutrition from a different source to enter your body so that you do not die. Many more people than you might think are living this way. I am one of those people.
From the time I was a child, I cried about the terrible pain in my stomach. During one point in my teenage years, I had to eat baby food to try to reduce some of the pain in my stomach. So often my stomach felt like it was going to rupture. During my twenties and thirties I tried to find doctors who would listen to me. Everyone said I looked great and that I was depressed or anxious. I was not depressed, I was furious that no one would listen. My colon perforated in 2008, poisoned my body, and was completely removed. It wasn’t until 2013, when I met Dr. Clair Francomano, that I found out what was going on with my body. It was amazing to have someone acknowledge everything I was feeling, and then tell me what was actually happening. I was born with Ehlers-Danlos, which created the majority of the other health problems.
One day we will have a cure for these illnesses. Until then, we need to turn to one another, be understanding, and help one another through. God Bless!!