It always fascinates me how doctors are so eager to diagnose patients with one thing, say that you should get the official test and when it comes back negative, change their original statement.
Initially, my doctor was adamant that I was coeliac after blood work following initial complaints of lethargy and wild mood swings showed severe anaemia, Vitamin D deficiency and B12, thyroid and folate levels fairly low on the borderline. She said that it is a malabsorption issue and most certainly is coeliac. And since I’m coeliac, that means I have to be a Type 1 diabetic. So off she sent me to test for coeliac, as well as retesting my antibodies for diabetes.
Knowing my love for food, I was understandably in denial about this early diagnosis. Yet as with any diagnosis, that feeling of relief that accompanies it was gratifying (phew I’m not just being a hypochondriac!). But when all the tests came back saying no I’m not coeliac and no I’m not a type 1, it was back to square one. She couldn’t really give me an explanation of why all my levels were dropping with the exception of – it’s because of your heavy periods. Sure that might explain the iron levels but not the others? What about my malabsorption theory and bloating and gastro issues? Irritable Bowel Syndrome – she says (in other words, we don’t know what it is). Disappointed.
Also, the way my doctor described the severity of my anaemia was a bit daunting. She kept saying that if she could perform an iron transfusion, she would do it straight away for me. Scary much? Naturally, straight after that, I included an extra portion of spinach with freshly squeezed orange juice (Vit C aids the absorption of non-haem/plant iron).
It’s been a about two weeks now since I’ve been on high dose iron tablets and I am extremely relieved (again) and grateful to see/feel that my body is starting to get used to it. Food is not just going straight through me anymore and I’m not getting much of that heartburn sensation. The whole experience has just reiterated the importance of diet in my lifestyle and reminds me that it is okay to be picky with foods you eat, and to listen to your body cos it knows best. I’m paying more attention now to how much of each types of foods I eat and to remind myself not to over eat.
Accompanying that of course is the almighty exercise component. I have been extremely lazy since christmas, so I was quite proud that I played some badminton today with some friends. Walking still constitutes as a major source of my exercise and I intend to hit the pool at the end of the week to do some laps.
Amidst everything, I’m still keeping positive and I believe that plays the most important role in anything we tackle 🙂 baby steps!