When a cleanse doesn’t work

Disclaimer: I’ve been saying I’ll outline my current health issues but have yet to do so because I’m afraid of the sensitive nature of this post. GI issues are often embarrassing and uncomfortable. I will try not to be too graphic for your sake and for mine, but if you’d rather not hear about go ahead and skip this post.

As January came to a close I saw a bunch of friends successfully finish the #Whole30 which consisted of a month of whole eating, or essentially the paleo diet. Other friends completed their New Year’s detox programs, 21 days of no alcohol, no caffeine, clean eating plus some supplements. They all raved about their bodies. Yes, they lost some weight, but more importantly they felt better, had more energy, clearer skin, fixed many nagging health problems.

I am not going to outline these programs for you. I’m not going to sell you on some miracle diet. You may say “well they worked, why don’t you try this? Maybe you’ll feel better.” Problem is, I live that way every day and I’m still sick.

I read the Kris Carr book detailing her curing her cancer with diet. I am constantly checking websites like The Whole Journey or following my friend Evelyne’s San Diego Health Coach Facebook page. I don’t eat red meat, gluten, or mass amounts of sugar. I don’t drink soda, limit my dairy intake and I haven’t had a cup of coffee in months. I use coconut oil or applesauce instead of unhealthy oils when cooking. I juice or make a green monster every morning. I haven’t eaten fast food since one Chick-fil-a breakfast pre-UGA game in November. I follow the 80-20 rule (perfect 80% of the time with little room for indulgences). I follow the rules. I’ve eliminated the bad stuff from my diet. Yet, I’m still sick.

For months I’ve had trouble keeping down food. Homemade squash and carrot soup has made my stomach churn and I’ve even vomited apples (literally, all I had one morning was an apple before I went to the store and I threw it up in the parking lot). The only things I consistently keep down are my green juice and plain oatmeal. I had celery with organic peanut butter and a few strawberries for lunch and within an hour was sick. Fruits and vegetables are making me sick!

I started by seeing my primary care doctor, thinking maybe my B12 deficiency was the root cause. Nope, I’ve been taking B12 shots for months now so that’s not it. Next the doctor pressed on my stomach and I felt the aching pain everywhere.

Next, I took a trip to the GI specialists. Blood work found I don’t have celiac (but that doesn’t show if there are gluten sensitivities present). They did an ultrasound on my upper and lower abdomen; nothing abnormal. Then, I had a HIDA scan to test the function of my gallbladder; 69%; not good, but not bad enough to warrant surgery any time soon. The next round of tests includes an upper endoscopy and a colonoscopy. So I sit and I wait. I wait for the test results, wait for the doctor to call me, wait for scheduling to call to make the appointment for the next test, wait in pain.

Part of me wants to say “Screw it!” and eat what I want. If I’m going to throw up I may as well indulge. But, the smarter part of me says continue to juice and follow the rules. Keep trudging along. Even if following the rules isn’t “curing” me now, I know it can’t hurt.


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