I’m Getting a New GI Doctor & Fatigue

I drove 3 hours from my home today to meet with a new GI doctor. The lady I met with is pretty cool(I’ll refer to her as Dr. S, she’s a nurse practitioner). She spent about an hour with me and M today working on finding out my history and answering any questions we had.

She was surprised that my doctors hadn’t tested me for Celiac’s Disease. I’m getting blood work done on that and she’s also checking me for an iron deficiency along with doing another CBC panel. She was also surprised with the fact that my current GI doctor hadn’t ran any recent CBCs after my flare up from a couple of weeks ago. I also thought that was weird. You’d think after how high my white blood cell count was that they’d want to see if it was going down or staying the same. Dr. S also asked if they have done any CT scans, any small bowel studies, or if they’ve done an endoscopy. Which they haven’t. So I may be getting one(or all) of those in the future.

While I was there Dr. S was able to go and talk to one of the other doctors at the office. Her college felt that I have Indeterminate Colitis. Dr. S did say that the next step for me is to go on the biologics but that they don’t normally use Cimzia out here(I live on the West Coast) because most insurance companies out here don’t approve it for some reason. I told her my doctors chose that because it’s a class B drug which means it won’t affect a fetus when I decide to start having babies.

Dr. S seems pretty invested in the whole IBD world. She went over the Paleo and FODMAP diets with me while I was there. She really wants me to try them so I may do the FODMAP diet first. I already have a book for it by Dr. Shepard. She said that it will probably help with the bloating. Which I get a lot of unfortunately. So I have some research to do over the next week or so! She also wants me to do an elimination diet for lactose but I’d rather just do a hydrogen breath test for it so I will be calling my insurance company to see if I can find an in network lab that they’ll pay for.

I was also able to get a restroom access card while I was there. They have them for the state that I’m in and I was able to get one signed while I was there which was pretty awesome. I’m not sure why my old GI practice never did that. So now I have four different ones! I’m going to have to look into getting it laminated though since it’s just on a normal piece of paper. Or maybe I’ll just use some packing tape.

I decided to switch to Dr. S because she took so much time with us today. And is running some tests that my doctors should of already ran. I also feel like this is the best decision for myself right now. It sucks that they’re three hours away one way but I’m hoping that I can get a better level of care there. I feel like my current/old GI practice could of done more to rule out things that could potentially be wrong with me. So, we shall see how the next few months go. It’ll be an all day thing to see her but I’m hoping that in the end it’s worth it. If not, I can always try and find another GI doctor.

I still haven’t started the Cimzia so I need to call and find out what is going on with that. Hopefully nothing too serious. I also have no idea what is going on with the home health nurse so I also need to check into that. My symptoms have calmed down after I went off the Imuran but that doesn’t mean that my colon doesn’t have any inflammation in it currently.

The fatigue has been pretty bad the last few weeks. It can be so hard to do what I need/want to do every day. Many days I have to decide what I’m doing for the day and only do those things. I just don’t have the energy. Maybe the labs that Dr. S ┬áis running will show something that can be fixed. I know that anemia can cause fatigue and I’ve been wondering if that’s what’s wrong with me. Especially with the bleeding I’ve been having on and off the last few months.

There’s an article/blog post that explains the fatigue that I deal with really well. It’s called The Spoon Theory. And it’s just not me who suffers with chronic fatigue either. Anyone with IBD does and many people who have auto immune disorders do. Along with people who have chronic diseases. So it’s just something that’s good to keep in mind when you know someone who suffers from stuff like that. It’s extremely hard to deal with and to explain to people. So if you ever hear me say that “I’m running low on spoons,” this is what I’m talking about.

My First Dietitian Appointment

I finally got to see the dietitian today. The lady I saw was very nice and helpful. She was able to answer many of the questions I have. I’m on a pretty strict diet for the next four weeks. After that I can start to reintroduce some of the foods I have to avoid for now. Like watermelon!

There are more foods and sweeteners that I have to avoid now unfortunately. I’m pretty bummed out that I’m not supposed to have maple syrup anymore seeing how I love home made maple syrup. There will be times where I’ll have it with french toast or something. It definitely won’t be an every day thing. I’m also going to have to find new gum to chew because I can’t have the Xylitol or Sorbital that is in many different gums out there.

I’m also going to have to figure out some new BBQ sauces because I’m not supposed to have molasses anymore. It unfortunately has too much fructose in it or something like that. Although I may try a strictly cane sugar molasses. But the problem may be that the fructose and glucose aren’t bonded together. Apparently I can digest fructose that is attached to glucose that is a 50/50 combination but there isn’t really any way to tell this. I can have cane sugar though which makes me very happy.

I will probably be making more home made bread for the next moth. I’m not supposed to have any commercially made cookies, cakes or breads because of the fructose sweeteners that they may contain. These breads may also contain a fiber called inulin. I have to avoid all foods containing that for the next month which also means no chocolate for me ­čśŽ

My dietitian believes that I may also have a Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth(SIBO)┬áproblem. But when I looked up the symptoms they’re the same as the ones for a fructose intolerance and countless other GI diseases/disorders. Even if I do have it the diet I will be on will starve out the bacteria so I’m not that concerned about it.

If my symptoms persist for more than four weeks I may have to go on a FODMAP┬ádiet. I already have a book coming that explains this diet so I will be doing some research on it just in case I need it. It will be an interesting month with all of these diet changes. I just can’t wait to start feeling better.