Saturday, August 10, 2013

Gluten Sensitivity and PCOS

Yesterday, I went to the ENT for some concerns I had with my allergies but also my acid reflux issues.   Last summer I had my face ripped off for the most part to have total reconstructive sinus surgery for a variety of reasons including inflamed/infected nasal polyps (gross, I know).    Well, my polyps are back and he truly believes that not only is it allergen induced (doing allergy therapy now) but he thinks it is a result of my GERD.   I've had GERD for years and have been told and have read it's sometimes part of the PCOS package.   I've never needed medication for it until now.

I get these weird coughing spells, or wet coughs from time to time.   Sometimes a random runny nose.   Or my voice goes caput for no reason.   Or I eat something and then I feel like my airways are closing.   I avoid fatty foods and greasy foods and dairy and red sauces but lately as I lose the weight, it seems to be getting worse.    I've been on prednisone a few times this year and it's not fun.   It's not.   But it is what works.   I've been gaining and losing the same five pounds for about 6 weeks now and I finally had it and went to see him.

I'll be doing prilosec in the morning, calcium in the afternoon and zantac in the evening to help this for now.    I need to keep working on my weight loss as well.    I felt so frustrated and upset because I work SO HARD and I feel like I hit a wall ALL.  THE.  TIME.    I'm also on a 12 day regimen of some pretty strong prednisone so I REALLY need to watch what I'm eating and my weight etc because prednisone is just a recipe for weight gain.   A lot of it IS water weight and DOES come off but it's always recommended to have a food journal with it to make sure your body isn't playing tricks on you.  

After having a good cry about being back on prednisone and having the polyps back (they're not bad, but they have potential to get worse - he said on a scale of 1-10 and ten being the worst I'm at a 5)....I posted in my weight loss group for feedback, help, support, etc....

Well, a friend of mine in there is GOING THROUGH THE EXACT SAME THING.  Her doctor swears she has a gluten sensitivity and the only way to assess for that is to basically reduce/give up gluten for at least a week (they recommend three) and then reintroduce it.   If you feel better without it and worse with it, then there ya go!   There is research supporting gluten sensitivity and GERD go together, but not too much.   The bulk of the research I saw was that gluten sensitivity can impact A LOT.

So it's goodbye to weight watchers and hello to something like Atkins for me now.   I've basically spent 5pm-midnight last night reading and reading and reading all the research out there and talking with friends who have experienced this and their friends as well.

The ENT (and the Internetz) has provided me with a list of ten things to help combat GERD.    Right now I'm on medication to help but the goal is to go OFF the medication.   I also need to talk to Dr. P (My RE) because it says in some of the research that acid reflux can be increased due to the birth control pill.... ironically after years of hell and infertility I'm now "hyper fertile" hence me being on the pill.  

Here is the list of 10 things to do if you have GERD and my feedback.  As you can see, I'm pretty disciplined and I'm really certain at this point that the Gluten and GERD thing go together.

  1. Avoid spicy foods, any foods with red sauces --- I do this!
  2. Eliminate all fast food and fatty food/greasy food ---- um, duh!
  3. Say bye-bye to soda, citrus drinks and caffeine --- I do not drink caffeine.   IF I do have juice it's always watered down to 1/4 juice and 3/4 water.   Soda is a rare thing for me and when I do have it, it's typically ginger ale (which ironically settles your stomach)
  4. Lose weight --- Story of my life.   I am pleased to say I just joined Curves and I have a trainer which I'm super excited about.
  5. Do not gorge yourself at meals --- I don't.   I'm the fat girl who never eats enough.   Go figure.
  6. Do not exercise after eating --- I don't  We do go for a walk after supper from time to time but it's a nice gentle walk, not a power walk.
  7. No snacking 3-4 hours before bedtime --- the problem with this is we eat supper at about 6/6:30 and I go to bed by 10pm.... gonna have to work on this
  8. No smoking --- ew!   I don't
  9. Elevate your bed --- I've done this in the past and it makes me more uncomfortable.   
  10. Communicate with your doctor - ALWAYS  
I will probably post more on this topic as this truly is a new adventure for me.

I will say to all my cysters out there, especially those of you TTC.... RESEARCH "Gluten sensitivity and PCOS"   I encourage all my hypothyroid and Hashimoto's friends to do the same as well.   

I've been reading like crazy!   While I'm not sure this IS the problem because I haven't "done the experiment" yet, my hypothesis is that we have found the culprit.   The more I read last night the more I found myself saying, 'Oh my God, this is me!'  or 'You have got to be $%#@ kidding me!?!?!'   

Action Plan:
  • Continued research
  • Food diary on
  • Work with Rx regimen (prednisone for the first 12 days)
  • Reduce gluten intake/possibly eliminate gluten
  • Re-visit with ENT on August 29th
  • Write this down to discuss with RE
  • Take it one day at a time
  • Get better, feel better

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