This past year has been filled with a lot of learning, trial and error, and finally some solutions with my stomach issues. It all started with nausea every few nights, where I would wake up and feel that I was about to get sick. Soon that increased to every night that I would have to wait out this feeling, desperately drinking peppermint tea and rubbing oil on my belly. It also is important to give a shout out to my husband, who more often than not woke up with me and provided much-needed comfort during the never-ending nausea.
I finally went to my doctor, who is a lovely woman that likes to start with "small solutions" instead of jumping to scary conclusions. She prescribed me some antacids to take every morning to test and see if I have h. pylori or was overproducing acid. These were great for about one month, and then it returned with a vengeance. Not only did I have nightly nausea, but there was no such thing as an, ahem, "normal" bathroom trip (do you catch my drift?). After a few weeks of this, an intense burning and pain was felt in my gut at all times, and I do mean ALL THE TIME. Oh, you're hungry and want to eat something? PREPARE FOR THE INTERNAL BONFIRE OF A LIFETIME! That's about how mealtime went.
It came to a head one night when Nate and I thought my appendix was rupturing because of the pain, and after a costly trip to the ER we still had no answers. Multiple doctors appointments, tests, procedures left my gastrointestinal doctor baffled, and so I got the "diagnosis" of IBS. Now, I see so many "doctor-bashing" natural health bogs, and if you're here to listen to me describe the evils of doctors, you'll have to go elsewhere. I still believe that my doctors deeply cared, and they were incredibly kind to me. I still prefer natural solutions, but I have no complaints about how I was treated by my doctors, and they provided the testing I needed to rule out other illnesses.
Enter: Aloe Vera juice
I had tried multiple other natural solutions with marginal success, and then I stumbled upon some information about the benefits of aloe vera. Needless to say, I was beyond desperate for relief, so I ran out to the nearest natural foods stores (I checked everywhere else) and picked up a bottle.
Folks, I won't bore you with a play-by-play of the weeks that followed, but within a a few days, the burning had decreased and within a month I had so much more freedom in what I could eat (I had to cut out just about everything except chicken, rice, and bananas). I even returned to my beloved coffee addiction!
Now, there were some other integral players in my gut-healing process, but I believe that aloe vera juice was the missing piece. Basically what it does is break down the build-up in your intestinal lining, getting the nasty toxins out of your body. After it does that, it rebuilds and soothes the lining, and plays an integral part in helping you absorb nutrients, as well as adding a few essential vitamins and minerals.
When I started out, I took one or two ounces before every meal (one ounce is roughly two tablespoons), and now, three months later, I just have an ounce before dinner. There are also days where I go completely without it (yay, freedom!).
From the research I've done, brand doesn't make a huge difference, but the ones that I've tried are "Lilly of the Valley" and the "Lakewood Organic" brand on the right. The Lakewood brand is a bit less abrasive to drink because they put a tiny bit of lemon juice in it. A bottle like this will last you about two weeks if you have it three times a day.
Well, friends, I'm off to continue the never ending packing and cleaning to prepare for our departure in three weeks. Happy health!