Digestion, Diabetes, and Paleo

Some people thing I’m crazy for being as passionate as I am about food, constantly reading, researching, and trying to understand my body; and furthermore, becoming even more strict as of late. I’m sure I annoy plenty. Not that it matters what anybody thinks, but I thought I’d shed a little insight about what has fueled this passion in me. Indulge me.

Exhibit 1: here is a look at what happens to me, as I progress throughout each day. By the end of the day after dinner, my abdomen is so distended that I can barely breathe from the pressure underneath my lungs and diaphragm. Sometimes, it’s painful and other times it’s not, it’s completely random. I don’t know about you, but (a small) part of the reason I exercise regularly is to not look as though I’m pregnant.Belly

Exhibit 2: this is what’s happened the last two nights:Digestion Effects 1Digestion Effects 2

See those giant spikes? Not cool. Both nights, I had a super healthy dinner (as always). Each night I ate, did a few things around the house, and went to bed a few hours later. Not until the middle of the night, did my food finally show up and digest. Why? No idea.

From the digestion standpoint: why doesn’t my digestion work? Why am I sometimes¬†miserable,¬†other times not as much? Why is it painful sometimes, and not other times? Why does what I eat, sometimes just sit in my stomach and not do anything for hours, and other times motility is fine? How much of what I eat is actually even being digested? These and so many other unanswered questions have remained for the last 16 years, following every diagnostic test and procedure (and 1 unnecessary surgery) possible, many different “diets” plus trying every OTC, prescription and sometimes supplements ever created. Yet, here I sit, with no answers. So, where does that leave me? Food.

From the diabetes standpoint: the digestion issues listed above, complicate the hell out of it. I can rarely if ever rely on my digestion (or lack there of), which adds a whole other dimension to diabetes management. Fun times (sarcasm).

Hopefully this sheds some light into why I have gone Paleo (to heal my gut, NOT cure my diabetes as that won’t happen, ever), and why I’m venturing even deeper into food, because really, what other choice do I have? I’ve had chronic digestion issues for 16 years, and then was diagnosed with auto-immune type 1 diabetes (now 6 years. Are they related? Probably, after all, a large majority of a person’s immune system is in the GI tract-and mine has been completely bludgeoned for years). Sometimes, when you’re doing everything right, and then diabetes slaps you in the face, it’s a reminder that not only am I diligently trying to heal one thing, but I also have to manage another thing that happens to be greatly affected by the first. A very vicious cycle.