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OSCAR and Watchpat Results - Need Help w Treatment
#21
RE: OSCAR and Watchpat Results - Need Help w Treatment
My findings on digestion side were two fold. Food intolerance and SIBO (bacterial overgrowth). Dairy was my main trigger, gluten is maybe a minor one in high quantities. After I realized this it wasn't much of a surprise as I had dairy intolerance as a kid (likely my whole life) and gluten is cross reactive to casein (dairy protein). I have found I need to do antimicrobial kills for SIBO every 3-6 months, still trying to figure out why.

I've done a lot of research on the topic and I think the best path is the following.

Elimination diets to try and find any offending foods. A low allergen diet (cut out known allergens such as dairy, gluten, soy, nuts etc, this is pretty much Paleo diet) is a good start. 4-8 weeks on a strict diet until symptoms seem to ease (or reach 8 weeks) and then slowly reintroduce foods one at a time to see if there are any triggers. Focus on digestive symptoms when reintroducing but if you have other possible symptoms (fatigue, brain fog etc) then try eliminating the food again and trying again. For me dairy was hard to find because my main symptoms are 2-3 days after ingesting it rather than immediately.

Another good elimination diet that helps a lot of people (was recommended by my internist and what got me started on improving digestive health) is low fodmap. Fodmaps are carbohydrates that your body don't break down on its own, bacteria in your gut have to break them down and if you have bacterial overgrowth then they will feed on fodmaps and you will notice that after eating fodmaps you might feel bloated because of gas the bacteria release. Again with a low fodmap diet you want to go 4-8 weeks and then slowly reintroduce (there are different types of fodmaps that some people have sensitivities to as well, for example lactose or fructose).

A keto diet is like low fodmap diet in that it is low carb although it is more restrictive and harder to stick with. Finding some relief on it tells me you would probably do better on a reduced carb diet and sticking to simpler carbs vs complex carbs that bacteria have to breakdown for you.

Treating my digestive symptoms helped constipation, stomach tenderness, bloating, foul gas, reflux, nasal congestion as well as sleep quality, anxiety, geographic tongue (which is considered a benign autoimmune disease) and more. If I get lazy on diet or cheat and eat dairy all of these symptoms come back to some degree. Recently I had pretty much gotten rid of geographic tongue then one night decided to finish some ice cream that had been sitting in the freezer, overnight I had a roughly 1 square inch of geographic tongue come back.

3 years ago I wouldn't have believed any of this and ate whatever I wanted when I wanted, now I have come to understand just how important our digestion is. Our digestion controls immune and neurological systems so if it is out of whack it will have effects on your entire body. Treating digestive symptoms has been proven to help with multiple autoimmune disease and a variety of other illnesses/symptoms.

Unfortunately most doctors seem less than helpful on solving "functional"/"IBS" digestive problems. Conflicting studies/data probably plays into that because everyone is different and all you can do is make changes and find out what helps you. I got lucky with internist making recommendation for low fodmap and then having a good nutritionist and naturopath walk me through the elimination diet process. I didn't even realize how messed up my digestion was until I started feeling better.

My main sleep disturbances are arousals/twitches (and as I just found out bruxism). I have spent a fair bit of time on other forums/groups for hypnic jerks, PLM, rem sleep disorder etc and a lot of other patients have had similar stories as mine. Treating the digestive issues doesn't make symptoms go away per say but lots of people seem to get significant improvement from doing so.
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