I am about to show you what an autoimmune disease called Eosinophilic Esophagitis looks like. I am also going to show you what happens to your digestive system when you drink heavily, smoke, and/or take NSAIDS like I did for pain (popped like candy). First, the backstory:
I am 42, female, and have 4 grown children. When I was in my late teens and early 20’s I was a party girl (when my kids were not home that is). I started smoking (not while pregnant) when I was 14. I straightened up when I got married at 23 and my kids grew up with a sober mom (thank God), but I still smoked.
In 2006 or 2007 I was diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis and started having back issues. I also started having symptoms of Hidradenitis Suppurativa, but didn’t know what that even was until 2015. I didn’t drink, wasn’t overweight, didn’t do drugs, but I smoked and took Ibuprofen for back and period pain.
In 2010, I started drinking socially and then every day in 2013. I was in so much pain and depressed from an abusive marriage that I did it to cover the pain inside and out. I also started popping NSAIDs like candy for the pain and took Nexium for acid reflux. I had no insurance and no way to see a doctor.
In 2016, I remarried and stopped drinking for a year until stress, pain, and depression kicked in again. For about 7 months in 2017, I drank until I realized how stupid I was and stopped. It was ruining my life as a whole and I was done with it. I don’t crave it and don’t want it in my life, which is good, but damage from years of smoking, drinking, having autoimmune diseases, and popping NSAIDs has taken it’s toll on my insides. My doctor had me on 800mg of Ibuprofen 3 times a day!
I have had IBS symptoms ( alternating constipation and loose stools with pain and cramps) even before I drank. I think they started about 2004. In April 2017. I started having bloody stools, more pain, loose stools, and mucus come out. In Nov 2017, I had enough and went to a doctor for my Hidradenitis and EVERYTHING (see all my posts).
I posted my results of my Colonoscopy and Endoscopy yesterday and want to show you the actual damage done. I know some have it worse, but I am here to tell you this is not fun. I did not get Eosenophilic Esophagitis, Hidradenitis Suppurativa, scoliosis, or arthritis from smoking, drinking, or NSAID’s (I wasn’t drinking at all for YEARS before I got those issues). However, all those things makes what I have worse. I DID get ulcers and inflammation from all those plus not eating enough fiber and being overweight. I was not overweight when all my issues started, but the pain has made it hard to lose weight and I need to lose 60 pounds now.
Smoking, drinking, taking NSAIDs, being overweight, not eating enough fiber or healthy foods, and genetics (DNA) are all factors that cause or make worse what I have.
Please, If you smoke or drink, STOP!
If you are not eating healthy (too much red meat, fat, sugar, and not enough fiber), EAT HEALTHY! You don’t have to be a rabbit, but cut WAY down on the junk, sugar, fat/grease, low fiber foods, high fat dairy, processed/fast foods, and red meat.
If you are taking OTC pain medications or narcotic pain medications, ask your doctor for a medication that won’t hurt your digestive system or look for natural herbs like Turmeric Curcumin. Even cbd oil has been proven effective and safe to take (no you don’t get high because it has little or no THC in it). Long term use of NSAIDs can cause heart problems! Look on your bottle, there’s even a warning now.
If you are overweight, loose weight. I know it’s hard when in pain, but try this: Sit ups or other movements in bed, yoga, 30 min walks (if you can), clean house, play with your kids or animals. Just get moving! If you’re eating right and moving, it will come off. I have already lost 20 pounds since Sept. and I can’t work out much, I just eat better. Can you imagine how much I will loose when I go to the GYM? WOW!
I want to stress that having an autoimmune disease like Hidradenitis, Crohn’s, or whatever is NOT your fault. You did NOT do anything to cause it. But, what you do CAN make it worse and cause other things like ulcers, inflammation, and cancer. I had 2 polyps in my colon and one, polyp-like lesion in my GE Junction (where my esophagus meets my stomach). I probably don’t have cancer, but I am scared it might be. I guess that’s normal, but this whole thing is a wake-up call! Please, don’t be me! These next 1-2 weeks of waiting on biopsy results will be the longest. Be good to yourself and body.