by Janetha on November 13, 2012

in questions answered

i would have to say that the top question i receive is, “what is going on with your guts?” 

to be completely honest, i have avoided answering this because i am so, so frustrated with my body not functioning properly. i hate to think about it let alone blog about it. but today, i am blogging about it. this is going to be long and wordy.

if you are just joining us, let me give you a rundown. i have a lazy colon and the smooth muscle nerve endings in my insides don’t function properly. i have severe abdominal pain and bloating on a near daily basis. i poop rarely. it’s my blog, i can talk about poop. so, after thousands of dollars and several tests… there is no real conclusion or diagnosis for my situation. the doctors just wanna remove my colon. i really don’t want to let them. i have had my colon for awhile.. 29 years and 5 months to be exact. i am somewhat attached to it.

if you want more of a back story than that, you can read this post or watch this video or read this post. careful with that last link. there are some not so awesome photos of my bloat sitch. warned ya.

last time i posted about my issues was back in march. i tried a really dumb 7 day cleanse called zrii.. it did nothing. i went to a naturopath with a groupon and she did a little bit of acupuncture and gave me some suggestions but we didn’t really click. don’t get me wrong, i think the advice she gave was great, but i wasn’t really confident that she could help me, so i didn’t go back. i went to a colon specialist and had a motility test, which ruled out pelvic floor dysfunction–which i was kind of hoping it was because a blog friend had this condition and used biofeedback and is completely better now. darn it, i hate being a mystery.

so, i left off last march. the colon specialist wants me to get a couple more medical tests–a defecogram and a sitz marker test–both of which will cost me quite a bit of money even with my insurance. the reason i have shied away from getting the tests just yet is because the doc told me that, depending on the outcome of the tests, i’d either need to get my colon partially or completely removed OR i would have to take prescription medication for time and all eternity. neither option seem very swell. those are both last resort situations for me.

ever since april i have just dealt with my dumb guts. i will say that eliminating the majority of dairy has seemed to help. i don’t know why, because it’s a muscular dysfunction (as far as i know), but i think that maybe the lack of dairy causes less bloating and build up in my intestines which then leads to less work my dysfunctional colon has to do which THEN leads to less pain. maybe. i dunno. i am no expert, but those are my thoughts. i quit cottage cheese, cow’s milk, whey protein, and the majority of dairy… but i haven’t quit other cheeses, ice cream, or the (very) occasional greek yogurt. i can’t say that this has eliminated my pain and problems, but it seems like they are a little less severe. i did try whey protein powder again a couple months ago and it gave me a pretty bad stomach ache, so i decided to stick to my plant fusion protein powder rather than the whey. i miss cottage cheese like CRAZY!!!! but i tried it again awhile ago and it caused added pain and bloating, so i just don’t eat it. it sucks.. i love cottage cheese! but i don’t love added pain.

anyway… let’s talk about today. or yesterday, i guess. yesterday my boss asked me how my colon/stomach/gut situation was, and i told him it was the same as usual. still painful, still bloated, still a mystery. he insisted i go to dr. ding. he didn’t really tell me what type of doctor he was, but he told me he would use natural medicine and fix me. he said he trusts dr. ding with his life! i trust my boss–a lot. he is one of the most trustworthy people i know and whenever i need a doctor referral he is the person i ask. i don’t know why i didn’t ask him about a natural doctor referral before–it never occurred to me. i am glad he threw the suggestion out there yesterday.

SO.. today, i went to see dr. ding. and i loved him. he was knowledgeable, professional, courteous, and helpful. i paid $55 for a consultation and acupuncture session, which i believe is very affordable and fair. i had looked into naturopathy and herbal medicine before and one session was around $250! can’t hack that. i was pleasantly surprised at the fair price for the two and a half hours i was at his office today.

i actually just thought i was paying for a consultation, not an acupuncture session, so when he took me into the acupuncture room and told me to hop on the bed i was caught off guard. i figured i had nothing to lose, though, so i hopped up and got poked in ten million places. okay, not ten million, only about 25. there were needles in my ears, the top of my head, my abdominal region, my shins, my ankles, my arms, and my wrists. i looked like a porcupine!

this acupuncture session was way different than the one i had last march. these needles didn’t even feel like anything going into my skin. dr. ding explained everything as he poked and punctured my body. he had a LOT to say and he talks really fast.. so i felt a little overwhelmed with the information, but it all definitely made a lot of sense.

after sticking me all over the place, he shined some heat lamps on my porcupiney body, turned off the lights, and told me to take a mental break for the next 45 minutes. i was actually quite surprised at this because i wasn’t expecting it. it was definitely nice to just lay there, but i have to say it was a little hard for me to shut my brain off and relax. i got a tad antsy as time went by, but the 45 minutes was eventually over and dr. ding came back in, removed the needles, and we met back in his office.

he’d explained many things to me regarding how to treat my issues with acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine, which has been around for four thousand years. here is some more info about the medicine he prescribed to me.

IMG 7543

i am taking three pills–one for constipation, one for bloating, and one for kidney function (aside from my gut problems, i also get chronic urinary tract infections.. i know, i fail at life.)

i made another acupuncture appointment for next tuesday. in the meantime, i am to take the prescribed herbs as well as follow a few guidelines:

  • eliminate dairy completely (ugh)
  • avoid coffee (gah!) and soda (no big deal)
  • avoid extremely cold food and drinks
  • avoid super spicy foods
  • practice the “four commandments” each day

the four commandments can be found here (in great detail) but in a nutshell they are:

  1. perform relaxed deep breathing (six breaths every two hours.) the logic behind this is “running water is never stale”, and deep breathing can maximize all channels of the body and mind so detoxification and received nourishment will occur.
  2. eliminate negative thoughts and focus on creating positive chemical production of the brain which then transfers to energizing body cells to help us heal. (he explains it better if you click that link, i just don’t want to plagiarize.. ha)
  3. a mini tune up: run warm water along your spinal cord to stimulate more chi (body energy.)
  4. grounding exercise: soak feet in warm epsom salt water for 15-30 minutes to generate downward energy flow.
like i said, dr. ding had SO much information, so it’s hard to remember it all to share with you guys.. but his general message was clear. he said that our bodies don’t need an overpriced cleanse, a fad diet, or an expensive special treatment.. they just need to have balance. if we follow the laws of nature to restore balance to our bodies and our lives it will allow our chi to flow properly and eliminate ailments. his practices are thousands and thousands of years old and have proven time and time again to restore balance to the body and create healing and health through natural remedies. i really liked this doctor.. we definitely clicked. i also like that my boss knows several people who swear by him–he is reputable. i trust him. everything he said made a lot of sense and i left very hopeful. like i’ve said–i have nothing to lose. i may as well give this a fair shot, right?

i know many people are against this type of healing and medicine or think it is BS, but i want to give it a shot. if it works (or, i should say WHEN it works!) then it is a whole hell of a lot better than removing my colon. that’s so… permanent. and may not even fix the situation. no thanks.

i know this has been word-heavy, but i also know several of you were wondering what was up with my guts. now you know. i will try not to be so flaky on the updates.. promise.

penny and randy say hi!

IMG 7533IMG 7538

okay, just kidding, randy doesn’t say hi. he’s fast asleep… bored from my rambles ;)

thanks for reading!


1. have you tried acupuncture? if so, what for? if not, would you? 

2. what are your thoughts on eastern medicine vs. western medicine?

xo. janetha g.

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Heather November 16, 2012 at 10:04 pm

A TCM doctor and acupuncturist suggested I give up dairy when I had a bad cold I could not get rid of. It didn’t help my cold but my stomach felt WAY better….I also played around with eliminating gluten as well and without both in my diet (which seemed like it would be impossible) I am so much happier and healthier!

Michelle November 18, 2012 at 11:19 am

Have you even tried Miralax?

Janetha November 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm


KaraHadley November 19, 2012 at 9:49 am

I am a very firm believer that a lot of what we do to our bodies hurt our bodies by throwing them out of balance. So anything that puts more balance into our bodies is great in my book. I so very much hope this works for you because, while I’m not a doctor, I can’t see how removing part/all of your colon would help anything.

Calee November 21, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Finally got around to reading this. Thanks for posting the link. Yuck. Eliminating anything from your diet sucks.

So, the obvious question here is, what the hell would you do without a colon? Would you have to use a machine to poop (and if you get that reference, I will love you even more)?

Also I’m so sorry you are still stuck with gut problems. Things crop up for me from time to time … like bananas. I can’t eat them. Sometimes they’re okay. Sometimes they’re not. Come to find out that there’s a protein in them that your body sometimes thinks is gluten, which is why bananas sometimes, but not always, make me sick.

Seriously — try out some vegan non-dairy subs. I was hell-bent against trying any gluten-free bread and pasta fakeouts for the first year of GF eating. I just was going for things naturally made without gluten. But then I realized how much I missed those things, so I’ve been trying to find good substitutes.

Also — stomach problems + caffeine = sucky times. I still have issues when I drink coffee or heavily caffeinated teas.

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