How I overcame a painful gastrointestinal disorder with one simple dietary change?
While in the past I’ve shared my story about losing over 30 lbs (at this point, over 35 lbs), but I’ve not shared my other health journey.
It all started in college with a trip to the medical clinic at the University of Maryland, in College Park. I was suffering from a painful inflammatory gastrointestinal issue at the time and needed help!
I had the condition treated, but had a reoccurence a few days later, and then another reoccurance during college a few years later.
I thought I was home free and then 6 years later while living in New York City, my GI tract flaired again, had treatment to correct, with another reoccurance a few days later.
At this point, I started to have various complications for years to come, off and on, possibly from the minor procedures I had in the past to deal with the GI issues, but not sure. It appeared like I had a mild form of inflammatory bowel disease, but never formally diagnosed.
After going on my honeymoon in 2009, my wife Christy and I were fortunate enough to go to Florence, Italy. What did we eat? Pizza at noon and gelato after dinner…every night for a week!
After the honeymoon, my GI issues really started to become a daily issue. No provider seemed to know what to do. Holistic or conventional doctors.
I was finally referred to a surgeon who recommended a more intensive permanent surgical procedure. I looked at the potential side effects on pubmed.gov (a research portal), and one potential side effect was incontinence. Maybe a 3% risk.
That was it for me. No way, I was not going for surgery, no matter how small the risk.
After a few more years of nagging inflammatory GI issues, I finally decided to go 100% dairy free. I didn’t eat much dairy at the time, maybe a few times per week, but I did have it now and again. Maybe a slice of pizza here, a bit of yogurt there, or ice cream now and again with the kids.
Well, it seemed like magic, but after completely removing all dairy from my diet in any form, all of my GI issues that I had been dealing with for over two decades finally resolved. All the inflammation and the associated problems cleared up completely! It’s been more than a few years since then and not a single GI problem since being off of dairy. I don’t eat dairy ever. Not a bite of pizza, not a dish of ice cream, nor any desert that includes dairy. Absolutely no dairy, ever!
Why not have some dairy now and again? It’s simply not worth it. The pain, the GI complications, the discomfort.
Frankly, if I really want a desert, there are plenty of dairy free options out there that taste great.
And…not eating dairy, has helped with keeping the 35 lbs off I lost, as I avoid all the less healthy foods like pizza, ice cream and deserts. Some say, ‘isn’t it hard to not eat ice cream or pizza?’ My take, it’s really easy if it keeps you out of pain.
Dairy is one of the most allergenic foods known to humans. The lactose is a problem for many, but for some, it could be the casein, one of the proteins in milk or another molecule in dairy. While everyone struggling with GI or weight issues may not need to give up dairy, it was definitely a life changer for me.
That’s my story, and it’s the first time I ever shared it. Hope it helps someone out there.
If you too are struggling with GI or weight issues and need some help, feel free to drop me a line at email@example.com to talk more. Happy to help.
Yours in great health!
Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist