In early 2018 I started to suffer from really bad acid reflux and indigestion, it took me almost the entire year to get to the bottom of the cause which was finally confirmed in the early hours of the morning of 1st January 2019.
The start of 2018 was a bit stressful with some issues with family and a surprise tax bill so initially I thought it may be related to that.
I went to see my GP to check that it wasn’t related to anything serious like my heart or lungs, this was soon confirmed but the cause was not found.
The doctor prescribed Omeprazole and told me to continue taking Gaviscon if I had any more problems. Neither of these drugs did the job and throughout the first quarter of the year, the condition stayed the same and I was still suffering.
I started to speak to a few friends who had similar symptoms and went back to the doctor who then prescribed Lansoprazole and Ranitidine, again this made no difference.
I kept going back to the doctor and eventually had a gastroscopy to check from the inside, again, nothing other than slight gastritis.
As the year went on I still wasn’t getting any closer so tried making and fermenting some foods and tried several pro-biotics, again without any improvement.
Getting to the end of my tether and having spoken to a few more friends I asked the doctor to book me in for an ultrasound to check for gall stones, everything came through clear other than having the quite common issue of a fatty liver.
It was at this point that I started to cut out fatty foods and cream and went onto skimmed milk and cut down on spirits and drank a little less. After a few days I saw an improvement and the indigestion got a little better.
By chance a friend who had been having some issues with food intolerance told me that she’d been to see a lady nearby who carries out intolerance testing and she had identified a few foods that were causing my friend issues. I booked in to see her in late November.
I’d never considered this type of test before as there’s little positive information online about it but it had worked for my friend and I thought it might help me.
The intolerance test revealed an intolerance to pork, cows’ milk, tomatoes, almonds and white wine. Keen to find anything to help at this stage, I cut out all of the above for the whole of December 2018.
As November and December are really busy months for us at work, I didn’t feel much better as I was tired and grumpy as usual at that time of year but I hadn’t experienced any indigestion or acid throughout the whole month.
Our local pubs, cafes and restaurants have been great in finding alternatives to dairy products for me so I didn’t suffer much or feel that limited but on New Year’s Eve I decided to have profiteroles and with them some Chantilly cream and buttery chocolate sauce at about 9pm. All seemed OK as we saw in the new year but I was woken with really bad acid reflux at about 4am. It was at this point that the whole year of experimenting and costly examinations had come to a definite conclusion, I am intolerant to cows’ milk and butter.
I always look back on the previous year and plan for the New Year and I never have any regrets on any decisions I’ve made but given the time again I would have had an intolerance test at the very beginning, it cost me £40 and was painless and was carried out in Redruth, a town nearby to me and I got the results there and then, within 30 minutes!
There’s lots of information about drugs and medically approved cures out there but very little about this simple test which only aims to suggest what you are intolerant to and recommends excluding those foods for a month before gradually reintroducing them.
I have made the decision to continue to exclude cow’s milk and pork for the foreseeable future, luckily we’re at a point in time where there are many alternatives to cows’ milk becoming available and some cheap and easy to make alternatives for drinking and eating at home too.
I hope my experience helps you if you’re suffering from a similar condition, I’d always suggest visiting a doctor first incase it’s something serious but I’d recommend getting an intolerance test carried out as soon as you can too, just in case this is something that could help you sooner than it took for me to find out what was wrong. It’s worth mentioning that no medical professionals recommend this to me yet it was that one simple test that saved me from continued discomfort.
Thank you to all my friends and family that helped and supported me in finding a resolution to this irritating condition.