What I eat directly affects how my crotch feels, I claim. Not only that, but if I eat gluten or corn, I get body pains as well.
When I told that to a psychiatrist last winter, he suggested that maybe food had nothing to do with my pain. He said that the increased body and crotch pain I had during the three weeks I spent eating gluten for a celiac trial might have been an unrelated fibromyalgia flare, or maybe a subtle flu.
I dumped him, but that's beside the point.
The point is that yes, it's hard to believe that a food intolerance would manifest itself in the crotch. But there's growing evidence -- even if anecdotal -- that diet can have an impact on pain conditions, including arthritis, interstitial cystitis, and -- yes, doctor -- fibromyalgia.
Living inside it, it's hard to be sure exactly what's going on with my body all the time. For instance, over the past few weeks I've had increased bladder pain and urgency. What's causing that? Is it the black tea I've been drinking or is it just my bladder acting up? I can't be sure, but I switched out my black tea for spearmint and it seems a little better.
Part of why obeying a self-devised crotch-pain diet is so frustrating is that there is no external, medical corroboration of my observations -- that I can't be sure whether it's doing any good or it's all in my head. I claim that when I first went off gluten the pain dropped considerably, and maybe that's real. But did eliminating sugar really help me pee better, or did I imagine it based on the improvement I saw from eliminating gluten?
Looking ahead, I'm trying to get back to my diet of no gluten, corn, soy, dairy, or sugar, because that's how I was eating when I felt best in the past. The past few days I've taken huge steps back that way, and I'm feeling mentally comfortable with it again. I'm interested in seeing whether I have the same results.
One thing that's helped me return mentally to the diet is reading about raw foodism. The raw food diet seems like a crock to me -- specifically, I'm not convinced it would make you feel any better than a low-grain vegan diet -- but I can't stop reading about it! People who follow it report huge benefits to their energy and health. And I ask, how about it, Ms. Peach?
So I'm going to give it a go, but not yet. I need to adjust to a vegan diet first: while I don't eat dairy, I still eat meat and eggs, and I need to get used to fueling myself without them. Then, if I'm still feeling into it, I'll do a raw trial that's long enough to get through the "detox period" (which I suspect is mere adjustment, similar to the withdrawal I felt going off gluten and sugar) and see the benefits of the diet, if they exist.
Yeah, I'm crazy, but to me it sounds like fun. Historically, my self-discipline with diet change is really strong, and I know that after I adjust to a diet the old stuff becomes less tempting. In fact, today I'm craving hummus and raisins like crazy, and I look forward to tomorrow's rice and beans!
Oh, and timing is everything: November is Vegan Month of Food, or VeganMoFo. I think you're supposed to blog about the food you eat, and though I probably won't do that much, it'll be great to go vegan with all that camaraderie.
But -- I reserve the right to eat turkey and stuffing :)