Hey everyone! So I figured the next couple blog posts would be back to serious topics since I've been light hearted for the past couple weeks. The other reason I haven't posted a lot/or serious topics in general is because I need to really concentrate on schoolwork more often because Biology is kicking my butt! But I'm still posting at least a couple times a week, which I think is adequate - especially since I still post YouTube videos about every other day. (Check out my beauty YouTube channel HERE)
So this blog post is going to be about the constant battle I've had all my life with stomach issues. I'll go into detail about everything I've experienced, while also touching base on how it relates to allergic reactions I've had (I can do a more detailed post about that sometime if you'd like) and how I finally treated them - well, mostly. :)
I have had constant troubles with my stomach for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was younger, I would have constant stomach aches, and they were always the kind that would make you feel like you had to throw up. They usually never felt like just something mild, that it would go away easily, or that it was "just something I ate".
Another weird fact is that 95% of the time, even to this day, I get stomach aches in the middle of the night. Yes, I do get some during the day every now and then, but it's mostly always during the night. Now there are two different scenarios that usually happen with my mid-night stomach aches.
The first scenario is when I wake up in the dead of the night - this could be 11pm, 1am, 4am, it really depends on the time I go to bed, actually. This is usually the worse of the two evils. I'll wake up, maybe have to go to the bathroom, then by the time I've been up a minute or two, it hits me like a train. I feel like I'm going to vomit and immediately go get the basin, in case I need to throw up in bed and can't make it to the bathroom in time, and take something like Mylanta to calm it some. Then I go back to bed and breathe as if I'm in labor. (Seriously, it helps.) By the way, remember that even though most times I woke up during the night with stomach problems and DIDN'T puke, sometimes I do end up having a stomach bug and am sick all day.
In recent years, my mom has done her research, as usual, and has found that peach juice (sometimes mixed with Benadryl, depending on the severity and if it's accompanied by an allergic reaction) actually helps some, given I'm not actually going to vomit and it's not a real bug. If it's just the feeling and my stomach and nerves need to be calmed, the juice or mixture usually does the job, along with breathing calmly and thinking about something other than the nausea - which I know, is very hard to do. So instead of running to Mylanta all the time, I'll try the peach juice because it's a more natural method and even tastes yummy.
The second scenario of my nightly stomach upsets would be just as I'm about to go to bed. This is the less common version, but it happens every now and then. The reason this happens varies by the day. Sometimes, I'm just way too tired and my mind is literally upsetting my stomach. (You'd be surprised how much your mind can make you feel physically sick.) Other times, I may have stretched myself out too thin - as in, I tried to, or maybe did, accomplish too much in one day, and the stress combined with the exhaustion has now made my stomach feel like it's in knots. The solution to these scenarios is a lot easier to solve than the middle of the night one - go to sleep. Once I'm asleep, even if I wake up a few hours later in the middle of the night, it's usually already gone because I really did just need some sleep to catch up and make my whole body, including my stomach, feel better.
Now back to the first scenario, added with some more complications - OF COURSE! (emphasis on the sarcasm there)
Since the first scenario is what happens the majority of the time, I want you to keep that in mind while I talk about the following topic: allergic reactions. I had a very tough time from November 2010 through January 2011. I'm not kidding when I say, I experienced 3 allergic reactions (NEW allergies, mind you) 3 months in a row. That's ONE every MONTH. In November, I became allergic to Zithromax - an antibiotic I have used many times since I was younger to treat things like sinus infections and such. In December, I became allergic to Macrobid - an antibiotic used to treat UTI's. Let's not be embarrassed here, ladies. We've all had one at one time or another, and we're just so lucky to have the advantage of getting them more often than men. (more sarcasm) Lastly, in January, I developed a mild milk allergy. Now, in my opinion, it feels a lot like at least a moderate milk allergy, but hey, that's what came up on the blood test. It may have developed more by now, but oh well. It's under control.
Now let me go into more detail as to how these allergic reactions went down. Yay, details!! Okay, so basically, all 3 months in a row, and all 3 allergic reactions, resulted in me waking up in the mild of night, grabbing the basin, and laying down in bed, waiting for the worst to happen. And then it did. For each reaction, I broke out in major hives and would be itchy on EVERY square inch of my body. I'm talking EVERYWHERE. Not one place on my body was not itchy and it was terrible. I couldn't help but itch myself like crazy. This is where my mom came to the rescue with the peach juice and Benadryl mixture. After a few minutes after taking it, the itching subsided. But then I puked. So I basically puked up what I just took, but it was enough to calm the itching at least. Now the weird thing is, each reaction and month that went by, the puking became less of an issue, but the itching was still MAJOR. November, I vomited twice, December once, and January I honestly can't remember if I did at all - but if I did, it was less and only once.
Now something you should know is I'm also allergic to Biaxin and Omnicef, but these allergies developed when I was just a kid. And they were not nearly as severe as the reactions I just described. All that happened was I developed a rash on my stomach, showed and told the doctor, and he determined I was allergic to those medicines and could no longer take them.
After these events happened, those things calmed down a bit. However, a few months later, (Spring - Summer 2011) I started having severe stomach aches EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. Yes, I know I've talked about having them frequently during the night, but I had never had them to the point where it became a nightly routine. I even ended up going to the hospital late at night after me and my boyfriend has seen a play at my school because it was bothering me the whole time and wouldn't go away. I had even worried at points that my appendix would have to be removed. Long story short, my doctor ended up telling me I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS. I know it sounds simple and like you're just backed up bowel wise, but unless you've experienced it, you have no idea how much pain and nausea you can experience on a daily [and nightly] basis.
Now that I had a diagnosis, there was finally an end in sight [to my IBS]. My doctor gave me a pill called Donatol, which I call my "stomach pill". This pill calms down spasms your stomach is experiencing when the Irritable Bowel Syndrome acts up. I take those pills as needed, not on a regular basis unless my stomach is really acting up. So now, instead of heading for Mylanta, when I wake up during the night with a stomach ache, I take that pill, get the basin just in case as always, and head back to bed. Within about a half hour, with steady breathing, I usually feel a lot better. Along with those pills, I take Dexilant every night to keep the problem under control, so I don't have to take the Donatol on a regular basis. Also, I take 2 fiber supplements (Metamucil) each day to keep my bowels moving regularly. I used to only take 1 a day, but the 2 a day helps a lot more now.
A side note - since I'm female and get my period every month, the IBS sometimes acts up around that week because the organs are close together. So I have to take the Donatol nightly sometimes when I'm expecting or have my period. It's not fun, because it adds to the cramps, nausea, and overall annoyance, but at least it's pretty much under control at this point.
So I hope I helped someone that has similar stomach issues as me. If you're experiencing anything I mentioned, pay your doctor a visit - seriously. Because he has really helped get my stomach issues under control. Remember if you have a severe allergic reaction and an anti-histamine (like Benadryl or Claritin) doesn't help in a quick manner, go to the hospital immediately! It's very dangerous to be experiencing hives and not get it under control fast enough. I was lucky enough that the liquid version of Benadryl did enough for me.
Thanks for reading, as always! I appreciate the views and support so much and really hope to be helping anyone, anywhere around the world! ^_^
Remember to have a positive day! :)