The last major test I had to undergo in my journey to get to the root of my health problems was an endoscopy. I often felt my throat swell up making it feel like it was difficult to swallow. In addition, my left ear got stuffed up at the same time. This has been going on in varying degrees since July.
Is It Acid Reflux?
My general doctor, the one who told me that I just had to live with all of my gastrointestinal issues, has told me since last fall that many of my problems were related to acid reflux. When I complained that I didn’t feel like I had acid reflux because I never got the burning feeling or heartburn, she said it was silent reflux. I took Prevacid for a year even though every night when I went to sleep I felt my heart beating all throughout my body.
The new doctor who has been so helpful in discovering the yeast overgrowth and my many food intolerances immediately took me off Prevacid when he heard about the heart pulsing and said I was having a reaction to the medicine.
And guess what the endoscopy he ordered found?
Yep, I don’t have acid reflux and never did. In fact, everything looked fine except a few polyps in my stomach that may have been caused by the Prevacid. However, they were benign, so all is fine.
If It’s Not Acid Reflux, Why Does My Throat Swell?
That still left me with the throat problem, though. I had pinpointed that my throat felt this way after consuming grains, beans, and even my favorite, apples. Seriously, how can those things be connected?
My new doctor said that lectins in food can cause a reaction in the body, and unfortunately, a lectin intolerance or allergy won’t show up on an allergy test.
I went home and immediately Googled what foods have lectins in them. Guess which ones? Grains, beans, and apples, among others.
Thank God for a doctor who listens and is proactive in trying to heal my health.
The Steps I Have to Take Over the Next Few Months
Now I am no longer consuming foods that contain a lot of lectins or the foods I am intolerant to. By default, I am on a Paleo type diet. As I learned about the Paleo diet, I learned about a specific version–the Paleo Auto Immune diet. This diet is specifically designed to help those with auto immune diseases and leaky gut (which is what I have thanks to the yeast overgrowth, and it is what has caused so many of my food intolerances).
On this diet, you are supposed to eat meat, bone broths daily, squash, greens and other vegetables that are easy on your digestion along with limited fruit.
You need to avoid dairy, eggs, tomatoes, eggs, peppers, and eggplants, to name a few.
Is Improving My Health Worth Wrecking the Grocery Budget?
Part of the Paleo plan is that you need to eat high quality meats, specifically grass fed animals because they have a higher Omega-3 content than those that are conventionally fed. (Conventionally fed animals have high concentrations of Omega-6. In addition, those that are corn fed for most of their lives contain toxins in their fat, which we eat when we have meat.)
We have recently bought a side of pork, and we will soon by 1/2 side of beef from my cousin, who is not certified organic but follows what he needs to do to be organic.
However, I need to eat a wide variety of meat for proper nutrition and so I don’t become intolerant to any of the meats while my gut is healing.
I also need to have bone broth daily, and while I have been making my own chicken stock for years, I simply don’t have enough bones to eat homemade bone broth daily.
If I buy the bones I need for broth, and grass fed meats such as bison in addition to the many organic vegetables I need to eat, I will surely blow our $156 a week grocery budget.
Yet, eating this way doesn’t have to be forever if I can heal my leaky gut and eliminate my intolerances. In some ways, I feel like food is my medicine right now. I wouldn’t avoid filling a prescription if it would help me heal, so why am I reticent to spend more on quality groceries that will help me heal?
What do you think? Is healing worth breaking the budget?
the farmgirl files says
I wish you lived here. We have dairy cattle and always a lot of bones after a slaughter. Also a bison farm up the road. All organic. yea its a real issue to have food allergies.
I wish I lived near farmland! What area of the country are you in?
The question is (to me), are you feeling better or not? If you are feeling better, are you feeling enough better to keep status quo and just keep improving even if it’s at a slower pace, or do you feel that you MUST make further changes? I guess if it were me, I would be trying to look at a balance. I do have acid reflux – all the typical symptoms, and I’ve taken medicine for it off and on for years (more often on). Something that was so interesting to me (and this is not the same as you are going through, btw), is that I had to take an antibiotic for something else, and I have pretty much not needed the acid reflux medicine since. I will say, it took less than 30 minutes from the time I first took acid reflux medicine to know it was absolutely improving my situation. It didn’t resolve it, but I immediately felt better. I can’t believe that you took it for a year without any results and anyone still recommended it.
I can’t believe I took the medicine for a year either! I went in to my regular doctor at least twice to tell her the situation was not improving, it was getting worse, even on the Prevacid, but she just said it was silent reflux. So frustrating!
I am glad that the medicine worked so quickly for you. 🙂
Midlife Finance says
Sorry to hear about your health issue. It would be great if the change doesn’t have to be permanent. You can go back to eating a more varied diet once you feel better. Good luck. It sounds tough on a budget.
Yes, I think I will be able to eat more things when I am all better. I may never overcome my gluten and dairy intolerance, but that is okay as long as I get the other things back. 🙂
Kay Lynn says
Melissa, I think you wouldn’t have this hesitation at all if it was one of your kids. You need to take care of yourself so you can take care of your family and in good health.
Thanks, Kay Lynn. You bring up an excellent point. Besides, kids function better when mom is healthy.
Shane @ Beating Broke says
Feeling better is worth the price. If that means you don’t make your budget occasionally, then so be it. It’s unfortunate that food that’s good for us is often more expensive. Glad to hear that you’re figuring things out though!
Yes, it is frustrating that good food costs so much more, but it is worth it. I am leaning toward inching up the budget.
Remy @MLISunderstanding says
Since you have a supportive doctor, are specialized foods something you can get a formal prescription for? You might be able to submit your receipts to an FSA for reimbursement, or count them as medical costs at tax time.
Hhmm. I hadn’t thought about that. I will have to ask. Thanks for the suggestion.
Canadian Budget Binder says
My answer to your question… if it’s your health and you are worried about breaking the budget, don’t unless you don’t have the cash to do it then that’s another story. You only get one shot at life, and if it means it will help you, then you will make the right decision. Mr.CBB P.S I have a bad problem with acid reflux as well. My doc has me on meds for it and it helps.
Amy M. says
You have struggled for longer than I’ve been reading you and I say if you can get better than you are you need to do it. It sucks right now, but if the end goal means a better quality of life for all of you then I think you have to do it. Even if it doesn’t you will know you did everything you could do. And maybe you don’t have to do EVERYTHING but do everything you reasonably can. Perhaps ask any of the farms around you if they would consider giving you X amount of bones for X price or even donate them to you? Maybe if you could find a couple sources of a few then it would help you solve that piece of it with little to no cost? I love that you are feeling better and would love for you to fully heal! I find you to be pretty amazing!
Thank you! I have been looking at nearby farms. Hopefully I will find one soon. Thank you for your encouragement.
Little House says
I’d say healing is definitely worth stretching the grocery budget. I completely understand your situation. I’ve become gluten intolerant and it’s a bit of a pain since so many things have gluten in them. I also hope to cut out more dairy and meat this year and increase my rice, beans, and veggies. Good luck with your paleo diet!
It is frustrating that a specialty diet costs so much more. Bread is such a cheap filler. 🙂