Digestive/GI Problems - Transient Issues

Written by: SphynxCatVP
Link to original: http://sphynxcatvp.nocturna.org/health/sc-gi-issues.html

Inevitably, someone comes along with complaints similar to these that come up suddenly, or over a recent span of time:

"I can't eat normal food"
"Every time I eat something I get sick"
"Nothing I eat agrees with me"

Most people - especially teens - who pass through the vampire community aren't aware of the many reasons that food may or may not sit well at any given time. Instead, they insist that they "must" be turning into vampires "because this doesn't happen to anyone ELSE..." that they know. Whether you realize it or not, there's often a totally mundane complaint that's causing the problem, and it really does pay to check out ALL possibilities first - you don't want to leave something untreated that could easily be resolved.

Well first, not everyone discusses their digestive complaints - especially for females - if they've continually been told that it's all in their head, or to "suck it up and deal", or have family members who insist that they're making it all up for attention. Some people just don't believe in discussing things of this nature.

And second, many digestive complaints - barring an actual GI disease or malfunction process - tend to be short-lived in nature. Whether it's food poisoning or an irritating substance (not everyone can digest milk, for example) these all will go away in a relatively short period of time, especially when the offending substance is removed form the diet.

General stomach issues

Stomach bug / Gastroenteritis

This is a general term for a whole host of viruses, bacteria, and parasites that can cause symptoms like abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, chills, and achiness. Gastroenteritis can temporarily damage the lining of the small intestine, making it difficult to digest foods with a high sugar content. Takes up to 48 hours before symptoms are evident, and typically lasts between 2-4 days, but in some cases can last about a week.

Poisoning, food-based

Food poisoning happens when food is handled or stored improperly, and bacteria breed on the surface. When ingested, food poisoning symptoms are often experienced. Typically they include abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, but the exact symptoms, duration, and time before the symptoms appear will depend on the bacterial culprit.

Negative reactions to food ignredients

Food allergies

Allergies can take forms other than sneezing and hives - they can manifest as stomach upset or indigestion as well. Common foods are dairy products, eggs, peanuts (often generates severe reactions), tree nuts such as cashews, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat (gluten). Food allergies vary in severity, from life threatening to just a nuisance rash. Reactions are sometimes dose-dependent: trace or small amounts may be fine, but larger amounts may trigger a reaction, however severe.

Aspartame - Equal/Nutrasweet/Canderal/Neotame/Aminosweet/Spoonful - reactions

Artificial sweeteners can be found in anything labeled "sugar-free" - Aspartame in particular can be picked out by the mandatory "phenyketonuric" or "PKU" warnings.

Sucralose - Splenda - reactions

Artificial sweeteners can be found in anything labeled "sugar-free". The makers of Splenda claim that it's made from sugar. While they start out with sugar molecules, they don't tell you that they modify it by adding chlorine molecules into the mix...

Medications - side effects, interactions

Every medicine in existence has potential side effects. If you read the package insert, you will often find a very large number of possible side effects, many of which can be quite scary. Side effects are not guaranteed to occur. In fact, for most medications, side effects occur in only a small minority, with most side effects going away completely once the medication is finished or discontinued. Many medications can be taken without any side effects at all, depending on your body chemistry. (If your body chemistry is sluggish, for example due to hypothyroid, then you have a larger chance of getting side effects - even the more severe ones - because of how long it takes your body to clear the medications out of your system.)

Monosodium Glutamate ("MSG")

On food labels, MSG may be directly labeled as MSG / Monosodium Glutamate, or it may be hidden under one of the following names:

  • autolyzed yeast extract
  • hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
  • potassium glutamate
  • sodium caseinate
  • broth
  • "spices"
  • "natural flavoring"

Thus, MSG sources include prepackaged seasonings, bacon bits, baking mixtures, basted turkey, bouillon cubes, chips (eg, potato, corn), croutons, dry roasted peanuts, breaded foods, frozen dinners, gelatins, meat tenderizers, asian foods and soy sauce, pot pies, relishes, salad dressings, seasoned salts, soups, yeast and yeast extract. Read the labels on things like cereals and snack foods as well - chips and other snacks aren't immune to being laden with MSG. In sensitive people, MSG may cause migraines, nausea, dizziness, edema, depression, anxiety and more (with migraines being the most common effect).

Supplements, Medications and other things - "Inactive ingredients"

Often used in vitamin/medicine tablets either as fillers or stabilizers, generally these are harmless, except to the few that might be allergic to the specific ingredient(s) in question. If symptoms still exist after avoiding all known allergens, check any supplements or medications you are taking for inactive ingredients. You might be taking the troublesome food or ingredient without knowing it. (Someone with a nightshade issue might find potato starch mixed in their vitamin pills, for example.) If you are taking chewable - sweetened - medications, the risks are especially high for you to unknowingly also be taking an artificial sweetener such as Aspartame or Sucralose.

Uncommon stomach issues

Chemotherapy

Many people are told by their oncologists that chemo is "well tolerated" by "most of" their patients. Well.... that's not always true. Again, a lot of people don't always discuss digestive complaints, but when it comes to doctors? They're awfully darn quick to tell you that it couldn't *possibly* be the medication-of-the-week they're giving you. For example, the chemotherapy drug Rituxan (Rituximab) - which is also used for rheumatoid arthritis, by the way - carries a slew of nasty side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting, before it even gets to things like fever, rashes, sinus infections, cardiac problems, joint and muscle pain, anxiety, and many other symptoms. And that's just ONE chemo drug. Often oncologists will use a "cocktail" of anywhere between 3-6 different chemo drugs, depending on the cancer they're attempting to treat. Here's a few chemo drug listings so you can see the details:

Poisoning, environmental or other toxin

Environmental poisoning can come from such things as lead paint in old homes (common if a home is built before 1960), mercury exposure either through thimerosal-based vaccines or other means, Methyl Mercury (sometimes found in fish, especially predator fish such as Tuna), arsenic from pressure treated wood (used to be used in wooden playgrounds), and many other things you wouldn't normally hear about.

Radiation treatment / poisoning

Radiation poisoning, also called "radiation sickness", is a form of damage to organic tissue due to excessive exposure to ionizing radiation. The term is generally used to refer to acute problems caused by a large dosage of radiation in a short period. Radiation poisoning can result from accidental exposure to natural or industrial radiation sources. Dosimeters or other film-based "badges" are used by anyone working with radioactive materials to monitor total - and cumulative - exposure to radiation. These devices are more useful than Geiger counters for determining biological effects, as they measure cumulative exposure over time, and are calibrated to change color or otherwise signal the user before exposure reaches unsafe levels.

Credits/References

(References are interspersed through the article)