A Lifetime of Struggles: Weight, Health, and Covid-19
All my life, as far back as I can remember, my weight has been an issue. In fact, I was on my first diet by the age of 7 when my school recommended to my parents that I should lose weight. Since then, I have spent my entire lifetime losing weight and putting it back on; losing it and putting it back on.
Now, as a post-menopausal middle-aged woman, who is suffering chronic gastric issues as a long-term consequence of Covid-19, I find myself unable to eat much at all. In fact, I literally survive on a diet of a smoothie for breakfast and a non-extravagant meal at lunch, nothing at night and no snacking in between meals, yet, the excess weight I carry still doesn’t shift.
I have been told, by colleagues in the health field, that I under-eat. If that were the case, then you would think the weight would just fall off me, but no. Some might argue that my body is storing everything I feed it as a precaution against famine.
And for those of you out there questioning my physical activity, let me just say that, despite spending a lot of hours in front of the computer, I am quite an active person and I enjoy walking every day.
Unraveling the Complexities: Searching for Answers
A rational explanation might be the presence of chronic inflammation within my body, but where and what is causing it?
My chronic digestive issues started back in 2020 when I was diagnosed with Covid-19, and suffered an allergic reaction to Azithromycin.
I suddenly developed a food intolerance to lactose, gluten and all processed foods; not that I ever ate very many. I grew up in a fresh food culture. So, my processed food consumption has always been minimal. On top of that, I have been a pescetarian, bordering vegan, for almost two decades. But, now, I seem to be intolerant to any food, including what is dubbed as a health food, that contains even a minimal trace of chemicals.
My body frequently swells to painful proportions, and if I eat anything over “normal satiation levels” I have difficulty breathing. To put this in layman’s terms, it also feels like I have an eel, stretched out along my upper abdomen area. When I push it down, it feels like it shifts a little but it is both painful to the touch and causes sharp stabbing pains in other areas of my stomach and intestines.
I can no longer pull my stomach in or do abdominal exercises properly due to the pain, restricted movement and an inability to breathe properly when I attempt to do so. I am consistently and almost permanently bloated; regardless of what I consume or if I even consume anything at all. Some days, I can actually feel something, almost worm-like, under my skin but after a bit of prodding or massaging, it disappears only to re-appear somewhere else in the abdomen/stomach area.
As you can imagine, this is incredibly frustrating; especially when I am trying to relate it and show it to a conventional health professional.
Beyond Medical Limits: Rethinking Long Covid Conditions
To date, I have had 4 or 5 MRIs, 4 or 5 ultrasounds, an endoscopy, 4 or 5 x-rays and countless blood tests. There is still no explanation for my symptoms. According to all the results, I am perfectly fine despite the fact, that anyone can obviously see that my body is swollen.
Incredible but true, aside from a spinal hernia and the appearance of lumps on some of my organs, post Covid-19, I am told there is nothing wrong with me when the naked eye can clearly see that there is.
According to a doctor/researcher I spoke to in 2020, Covid-19 is reputed to form a sack, of some kind, in the host’s stomach. However, as far as I am aware, what is contained within that sack is still a mystery. My question is this:: “What if our current medical technology is too outdated to detect whatever is going on within the bodies of long Covid sufferers? In other words, is it at all possible that a lot of long-term conditions, caused by Covid-19, pass under the radar because we lack sufficient technological sophistication, in the medical field, to collect accurate imagery, or data in general, about key aspects of Covid-19?
Shared Struggles: Connecting with Others Affected by Long Covid
I am not the only person suffering this plight. As a Holistic Health professional / Naturopath, I have spoken to several clients who are going through something similar. Nearly all of them reported sudden food intolerances, gastric issues ranging from mild to acute, and inexplicable nausea in the presence of other types of food.
One lady, in particular, told me she felt as if she had a snake in her stomach that shifts from one area to another, which I can totally relate to. And, before you think it, I even went as far as having several tests to detect the presence of worms.
Now, I am still awaiting a colonoscopy, a microbiome exam and more tests, I have decided enough is enough. I am taking matters into my own hands, yet again, and I am determined to reboot my operating system, even if that means adopting drastic measures such as resorting to a juice fast or even water fast.
I will keep you all informed.