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Topic: Question about health  (Read 1275 times)

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Question about health
« on: June 02, 2019, 02:19:19 PM »
Hey everyone, long time no see :)

I had a quick question. I would've posted it in food, but it wasn't so much to do with recipes or which food I was missing. Ever since I moved here I've had some increasingly worsening stomach issues. I finally made an appointment with my GP.

In short, I have a stomach ache every single day now at some point, usually after eating. It isn't heartburn (although I get that sometimes) and it isn't just a case of being overfull. It's not severe pains, just uncomfortable and it's starting to affect my daily life and overall happiness. Even sometimes if my husband and I are snuggling I have to push his hand off of my tummy because it's sensitive. And no, I am not pregnant or anything.

I've gained a little bit of weight since moving here, but I've been watching what I eat and going to the gym so it's not like I've hopped onto a junk food train or started eating crazy bad since I moved here. I know it could also be stress/anxiety, but that can't be the reason for it happening every single day, right?

My husband made a comment early that got me thinking and I decided to post it here to see your thoughts.


Basically, he said that maybe the guidelines for what's allowed/not allowed in food here vs the US are different and my body is having a difficult time adjusting to what's in the food here. Even though it's common knowledge that the US allows more chemicals and stuff in the food we consume, maybe my body got used to those things and it's just transitioning?

What are your thoughts? Has anyone else experienced anything like this? In the end, I'm going to the GP next week to see what the issue is. It could be completely unrelated to my moving to the UK, but it was just a thought.

Hope you are all adjusting well. xx
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Re: Question about health
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2019, 02:30:27 PM »
My first thought is that it could be related to a change of diet/type of food you're eating - I find that when I detach overseas, I get bad stomach pains for several weeks after I move (sometimes for the entire time I'm away) because I'm adjusting to the differences in my diet (and a lack of fresh milk).

Another thought is that it could be IBS-related (or something similar), which can be triggered by stress or a big change in your life. I occasionally suffer from it, but it comes and goes - I first got it when I moved back from the US in 2008, and I think it was due to the stress and anxiety I'd been through over the previous few months. The symptoms lasted a few months and then settled down, but they still come back now and then.


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Re: Question about health
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2019, 02:35:05 PM »
Hey everyone, long time no see :)

I had a quick question. I would've posted it in food, but it wasn't so much to do with recipes or which food I was missing. Ever since I moved here I've had some increasingly worsening stomach issues. I finally made an appointment with my GP.

In short, I have a stomach ache every single day now at some point, usually after eating. It isn't heartburn (although I get that sometimes) and it isn't just a case of being overfull. It's not severe pains, just uncomfortable and it's starting to affect my daily life and overall happiness. Even sometimes if my husband and I are snuggling I have to push his hand off of my tummy because it's sensitive. And no, I am not pregnant or anything.

I've gained a little bit of weight since moving here, but I've been watching what I eat and going to the gym so it's not like I've hopped onto a junk food train or started eating crazy bad since I moved here. I know it could also be stress/anxiety, but that can't be the reason for it happening every single day, right?

My husband made a comment early that got me thinking and I decided to post it here to see your thoughts.


Basically, he said that maybe the guidelines for what's allowed/not allowed in food here vs the US are different and my body is having a difficult time adjusting to what's in the food here. Even though it's common knowledge that the US allows more chemicals and stuff in the food we consume, maybe my body got used to those things and it's just transitioning?

What are your thoughts? Has anyone else experienced anything like this? In the end, I'm going to the GP next week to see what the issue is. It could be completely unrelated to my moving to the UK, but it was just a thought.

Hope you are all adjusting well. xx
What are your symptoms exactly? Gas, bloating, silent burping, (those that have this will know exactly what I mean) diarrhoea...

I've been fighting SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) since I started coming over here... nearly 3 years now.

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Re: Question about health
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2019, 02:46:35 PM »
It's such a wide variety of things. So if I eat just a normal meal, about 10 min after I start getting cramping. It feels like a hand is in there squeezing my stomach. Sometimes I get really bloated and uncomfortable to the point where my pants dont fit. Other times I'm fine. Last weekend I was constipated for 4 days in a row and now I'm back to normal. My diet doesn't change much. I kind of eat the same things regularly. Not too different from the US. Its bad when I'm at work on my feet because my stomach feels heavy, I get bloated and it is painful. But other times I'm just sitting at my computer and it hurts. The most consistent thing is it usually happens after I've eaten. I'm usually fine in the morning. I dread eating meals sometimes now.

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Met: On Facebook, March 2012
Met in person: 22 December 2015
Started Dating (Long Distance): 1 January 2016
Engaged: 21 February 2017
Married: 14 June 2018
Application Type: Settlement/Spouse Priority

Online application submitted: 15 June, 2018
Biometrics appointment & Docs sent: 18 June 2018
Package arrived in Sheffield: 20 June 2018
Email stating my application was being prepared by ECO: 20 June 2018
Decision made email: 9 August 2018 (36BD)
Documents returned: 13 August 2018

APPROVED!!!!! :)


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Re: Question about health
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2019, 02:52:53 PM »
It's such a wide variety of things. So if I eat just a normal meal, about 10 min after I start getting cramping. It feels like a hand is in there squeezing my stomach. Sometimes I get really bloated and uncomfortable to the point where my pants dont fit. Other times I'm fine. Last weekend I was constipated for 4 days in a row and now I'm back to normal. My diet doesn't change much. I kind of eat the same things regularly. Not too different from the US. Its bad when I'm at work on my feet because my stomach feels heavy, I get bloated and it is painful. But other times I'm just sitting at my computer and it hurts. The most consistent thing is it usually happens after I've eaten. I'm usually fine in the morning. I dread eating meals sometimes now.

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I would research SIBO. It sounds like this is the most likely culprit.

I'm hoping Margo chimes in here too. She really helped me diagnose my problem as SIBO.

I went through a year process of getting a specialist, getting a colonoscopy, endoscopy and colon CT.

The simple SIBO test is no longer available in my area of Scotland because the lab that administers the test is closed.

I'm considerably better after several rounds of antibiotics but the UK has an antibiotic phobia so they won't prescribe me the gold standard antibiotic for SIBO in the US. They only give metronidazole for it and it's not strong enough.

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Re: Question about health
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2019, 03:23:43 PM »
I’m a big fan of probiotics.  I use the Nu U Nutrition ones which don’t break the bank.

And don’t let anyone fool you that food is any better here.  In some ways, things are improved.  But there are still a ton of processed foods here. 


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Re: Question about health
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2019, 03:24:22 PM »
I hope you get to the bottom of it all quickly!


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Re: Question about health
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2019, 03:25:07 PM »
I’m a big fan of probiotics.  I use the Nu U Nutrition ones which don’t break the bank.

And don’t let anyone fool you that food is any better here.  In some ways, things are improved.  But there are still a ton of processed foods here.
Unless it is an overgrowth of bacteria. Then a probiotic is a bad idea unless it is a very specific one.

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Re: Question about health
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2019, 03:32:19 PM »
How is your fibre intake?

I just hope that more people will ignore the fatalism of the argument that we are beyond repair. We are not beyond repair. We are never beyond repair. - AOC


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Re: Question about health
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2019, 03:33:51 PM »
How is your fibre intake?
Fibre is over rated and works like a rake on your intestines. 

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Re: Question about health
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2019, 03:50:03 PM »
Not really helpful but I wouldn't be surprised if it's due to a change in foods/diet and I can't remember when I first moved here, but I know that when I go back to the US to visit (or when I travel elsewhere), the first few days/week I feel crap and bloated and somewhat in pain in my stomach as well before adjusting. If I'm away for longer periods, I get the same coming back to the UK too (but I've found it depends on where I've been to as well). My appetite has waned in those situations as well to the point that I don't find myself hungry much. I've not really noticed it when traveling within Europe, but have noticed it when going back to the US or when I went to Japan so it would make sense that it could be due to change in diet/ingredients. It's annoying because by the time that I feel normal again, it's time to go home!
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Re: Question about health
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2019, 04:00:09 PM »
Fibre is over rated and works like a rake on your intestines. 

I think I may be in agreement. But it is my doctor's go-to "get me out of the room" question.
I just hope that more people will ignore the fatalism of the argument that we are beyond repair. We are not beyond repair. We are never beyond repair. - AOC


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Re: Question about health
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2019, 04:01:34 PM »
I think I may be in agreement. But it is my doctor's go-to "get me out of the room" question.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3435786/

My doctors say a lot of things. Most of them are unhelpful.

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Re: Question about health
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2019, 04:40:57 PM »
Thoughts of a non-medical-professional person and not meant to be medical advice, but things I've encountered and done:

Stress - Yes, stress can do that to you. I went through that on and off for years when I was in a stressful situation. At one point I remember having a plate on my stomach/midsection while I was laying down and everyone in the room could see my heartbeat by how much the plate was moving. Until you take care of the stress - good stress, bad stress, it's still stress - it can play havoc with your body. You've had a major upheaval in your life recently. While it's a good thing, it's still stress!

Probiotics - a lot of them are destroyed by stomach acid, and don't even get to your gut. So if you go that route you'll want to find something that's coated and will actually make it to where it needs to be. Apparently having them in a dairy food can help buffer the effect of the acid, too. The Placebo Effect is well documented with some  people who improve suddenly who are popping non-coated pills.

Bugs - you may have picked up a bacteria you're not used to, and have a case of gastritis.  Sometimes that can take quite a while to settle down.

Other things - Could be IBS. Could be GERD. Could have something to do with your gallbladder or bile ducts. God forbid, it could be the start of ulcers. There's a lot of exotic and less exotic things that could be going on. And very little way to know what they are without some testing - and even then you might not know!

Food Sensitivity - Could be a food intolerance or sensitivity you've developed. For example, there are proteins in cow's milk that some people are allergic to, but they can drink milk from cows that have a slightly different protein - I think it's Type A1 v Type A2. Perhaps the dairy cows here are different from what you're used to (or they're fed something different) and you're just now running into the problem? If you have milk products at every meal... then again, if it happens when you've not had dairy, that particular example would be ruled out.  They use a lot of beet sugar here rather than cane sugar or corn sugar as in the States. Sugar is sugar, chemically, but there may be some hitchhiking molecules.... My point is, if it's a prepared food, it could be almost anything in it.

The EU has stricter regulations about keeping a lot of the nastier stuff that you still find in processed food in the States out of the food here, but there's still a lot of "stuff" in processed food. So, it could well be that there's something here - maybe a sugar substitute (one of the sugar alcohols) that's causing you trouble. (I personally have hell with those.)

Maybe, try:  In the past, what I'd do in these situations is go on the BRAT diet for a while to see if I could weed some obvious things out. Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and plain toast is the BRAT. I have, a few times, dropped it down to just the white rice and chicken broth for a couple of days, then added the other things in over time, one at a time. It's hard to live on that if you're working and away from home, though, so the whole BRAT might be more sustaining. Drinking nothing but water or maybe a clear broth is good.  I'd do it for a few days to see if things settle down with the tummy. If it did, I'd then slowly add more foods into my diet, no more than one a day.  Absolutely no alcohol or caffeinated drinks until it sorts out. Probably no fizzy drinks, too. I'd not go for a lot of hours without something in my stomach - dry toast, rice, crackers, something. With a strategy like this, as you add more foods in, if you're sensitive to something hopefully you'd get a pretty quick reaction and could then know (or check the ingredient list for possible suspects) what your body doesn't like.  If you don't feel better after a few days on the really restricted diet, or if it got worse, I would assume it's not food-related. (Unless the culprit is Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, or something in the bread.)

Time - Sometimes I found that my stomach had gotten irritated for unknown reasons and just giving it a bit of a rest was enough to reset things and heal up. If you had a new virus or a new bacteria introduced to your system, it may take a while for things to balance back out again. Sometimes waiting is all you can do. But I would add that absolutely if you are in pain or it's getting worse rather than better, see a medical professional sooner rather than waiting. If you can do a bullet-point list of your symptoms and how long each has been going on, it might be useful to bring along.

Best of luck - I hope you feel better soon!

PS - Worrying about it is not good, though. Adds to stress! So don't let it go on too long.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2019, 04:55:24 PM by Nan D. »


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Re: Question about health
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2019, 08:08:32 PM »
Everything I would think of has been mentioned :)

I would try OTC zantac when you have the pain, as that can help gastritis. If the pain is tied to fatty meals, that's a sign it is your gallbladder. If you eat things on the high FODMAP list and get super bloated, that's probably SIBO. It's worth mentioning hormonal birth control changes your gut bacteria, the implant less than pills but it still has an effect. I would have a chat with your GP though, because they can do the cursory tests for vitamins and H Pylori quite cheaply and that gives a starting point. I tend to eat a simpler diet when my stomach is like that, just chicken and rice without a ton of seasoning, steamed low fodmap veggies, no apples, no takeaway, and as I get better start adding in yogurt/kefir and smoothies. Mindfulness meditation or yoga or any other activity you find refreshing can help the stress side of things. :) I hope you feel better soon!

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