Answers and Questions – Part 1

The past three days have been interesting.  I have discovered a couple of useful things about myself and about other people from watching the movie “Eating You Alive” (I’ll talk about this in Part 2 of this series), but I also have so many more questions to answer.  As always, my post will likely be TMI ;).

I had my first ever colonoscopy on Wednesday, April 4th.

A little back story…  I went to the GI doc because things never really seemed “right” after the urodynamics.  It seemed that the more physical therapy and yoga I have been doing, the better everything was going in that area, but the worse other parts felt.  I also tried fiber gummies, as recommended by my physical therapist, but things just seemed to get worse.  That really got me thinking about regularity and constipation…  And, I was still concerned by the nurse asking me if I’ve ever been told I might have internal hemorrhoids.

I decided to see a GI doctor and he said it sounded like IBS with constipation, which could be caused by stress, tension and the everything else I am experiencing, but he wanted to do a colonoscopy to make sure there were no other problems.  He also gave me a medicine called Trulance to help me find “the new normal”.  Well, let’s just say that if Trulance is the new normal, I’ll take the old way any day… I will save you the embarrassment of having to read exactly how Trulance affected me, but it wasn’t pretty.  After a week, I tried a similar, but lower dose drug called Linzess.  The Linzess worked better, but still not the “normal” I am desiring.  When I went for my colonoscopy, the doctor said to try alternating the Linzess every other day.  This is where I am now.  I guess the other option is to open the capsule (unfortunately, it’s not a tablet) and trying to lessen the concentration of the drug to see if that works better.  These drugs both definitely help you go more, but for me, not in the way I was hoping…

Anyway, I did my colonscopy prep on Tuesday and other than the Suprep tasting like nasty cough syrup and making me incredibly nauseous, it wasn’t that terrible.  I mean, I guess after two weeks of those drugs, I was ready for anything!!  I noticed something interesting with the Suprep – my face turned bright red when I drank it – way more red than any beer or wine or food I have had.  I decided to look up the ingredients…

Each 6 ounce bottle contains: sodium sulfate 17.5 grams, potassium sulfate 3.13 grams, magnesium sulfate 1.6 grams. Inactive ingredients include: sodium benzoate, NF, sucralose, malic acid FCC, citric acid USP, flavoring ingredients, purified water, USP. The solution is a clear to slightly hazy liquid.

What’s the common word in that paragraph…. sulfate!!! That’s got to be what makes my face red.  It actually makes sense when you think about it.

Here are a couple of articles about sulfite and sulfate in the body:

The first one I can’t share as a link because it’s a PDF, but Google “The detoxification system sulfoxidation and sulfation” and it’s the first PDF.  This is definitely super technical, which is why I also am including the next article.

Foods Matter Article on Sulfites and Sulfates

So, sulfite is bad, sulfate is good, but sulfate makes my face turn red…. and sulfite turns to sulfate in the body (which should be a good thing), therefore, sulfites would also make my face turn red.  Sulfate and sulfite can be found in food, beer, or wine.  Other sulfur containing compounds also turn to sulfite and then sulfate in the body… so other sulfur containing stuff could also make my face turn red.  Sulfur is a component in sweat (it’s responsible for the smell), and also in some adhesives.  When I exercise, I look like I am dying, I get so red, and many bandages and tapes give me a rash.  There’s something here; I just don’t know what it is yet.  I printed the entire three-part series written by Mark Donohue on Sulfur and Sulfur Compounds, and I’m a Ph.D. chemist… Surely, I will get a lead from reading these documents!!

The actual colonoscopy went as well as it can for someone who struggles with anxiety during medical procedures.  It did confirm that I had internal hemorrhoids, but nothing else was out of the ordinary.  At least that helps explain the horrible urodynamics study when the catheter was inserted back there, and it supports the whole straining and constipation thing…

Oh, and today is my day “off” of the Linzess… and despite eating a lot of fiber yesterday, things are back to not working right again.  It seems they only work (and they work entirely too well) when I take the medication.  That has to change… Nutritionally…

I’ve been thinking… Looking back over every diet or eating plan I have ever done, I can only think of one that made me more “regular” and that was the Daniel Fast, which was a modified Vegan diet.  Another interesting thing that happened during my Daniel Fast is several people, including that yoga instructor I was working with, told me that that my skin looked amazing.  Hmmm….  Maybe there’s something to this?

Ironically, I wanted to go to the movies yesterday and there was a one-day flick playing called “Eating You Alive,” which I will discuss in part 2 of this blog…

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