Was it Just Something You Ate?
Do you feel ill after you eat cheese? Does drinking beer or eating a sandwich make your skin breakout or send you running to the bathroom? Would you love a glass of orange juice with breakfast, but you know it’s going to be a bad day if you do? Each of these questions is demonstrative of a different stomach disorder. They are, respectively, lactose intolerance, Celiac Disease, and acid reflux. These are not, by far, the only examples of stomach disorders caused by allergies or intolerances, but they’re a good sample. Some people have stronger reactions than others. If you have Celiac Disease, you’re more than likely very aware of just how bad life can get if you eat anything with gluten in it. If you’re only mildly lactose intolerant, though, you might go ahead and eat that cheesecake just because it looks that good, to hell with the consequences.
You might be able to get away with ignoring a stomach disorder, but why make life harder on yourself? If you find that you have to make multiple trips to the bathroom after you’ve eaten anything with wheat in it, you probably have a gluten intolerance – a mild version of Celiac Disease. Try cutting down on your wheat intake or cutting it out of your diet entirely. See how you feel after a week and see if you really want to go back to drinking beer and eating sandwiches. You can always order a cider or a vodka soda, and why not get a steak salad instead of that sandwich?
You don’t Have to Suffer
If you have a similar reaction when you eat dairy, then you are most likely lactose intolerant. This means that your body lacks the enzyme that it needs to digest the lactose in milk- and cream-based products. If you think you might be lactose intolerant, you can go to your doctor for testing. They’ll test you for heightened hydrogen levels in your breath, or they may do a blood and stool test after you’ve ingested a drink containing lactose. Considering, if you’re lactose intolerant, you’re going to have a bad day after you take that second test, why not just cut dairy out of your diet and see what happens?
If you’re prone to acid reflux, any highly acidic food can cause you heartburn and “re-runs.” You’ll feel a burning sensation coming up behind your sternum, and you may find yourself “throwing up in your mouth” bile and undigested food. This is a pretty easy stomach disorder to treat, actually. First of all, try to eat less acidic foods. If you’re experiencing a lot of reflux, stick with the BRAT diet for a few days: bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. This was prescribed for people with ulcers for years before the antibiotics were developed to deal with them more directly. If you can’t avoid spicy, acidic foods, there are more than a few over-the-counter antacids to help you.
Reflux is probably the easiest of all stomach disorders to deal with, but none of them have to be a prison sentence for your diet. Lactose intolerant dairy lovers should try almond and soy-based dairy alternatives. People with Celiac Disease can eat spelt bread or other gluten-free alternatives. More choices are coming out every day for people with all kinds of stomach disorders.