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Apologies in advance for the likely long and complicated post, but I am feeling thoroughly confused and wondering if anyone has a similar experience. I'm twenty six, and pretty much for as long as I can remember, I've had stomach pains/bloating much of the time and felt very heavy and uncomfortable after food. I've also had chronic anxiety from an early age (started having panic attacks aged 3), and didn't have a particularly happy childhood. I grew up on a diet of lots of pasta, bread, ice cream, cakes and biscuits (all homemade), but was never overweight. Aged 19, and away at university, I grew so fed up with being in pain, I started restricting food, and, combined with a bit more stress, lost quite a bit of weight quickly. I had no idea what I was doing with regarding changing my diet though, and ended up pretty much living on cereal, toast, and apples - and sweets for enough energy to keep me going. That lasted for several years, during which time I was underweight but not severely so, but felt consistently awful: fatigued, brain fog, headaches, stomach and muscle aches and a lot of nausea. After yet another stressful period, I started to get muscular chest pains (diagnosed as a 'brief' bout of costochondritis and still going strong 3 years later), never-ending sore throats, and itching all over my body. After many fruitless blood tests and a couple of X-rays, I was given a vague diagnosis of fibromyalgia and sent away with high strength painkillers and a warning I'd need to learn to live with it. Ever since I was a child, I've also lived with a disgusting sour taste in my mouth after eating, which can be almost impossible to shift. I chewed so much chewing gum to try to improve it, I ended up developing an extreme sensitivity to sorbitol (artificial sweetener). In recent years, I've started to realise the taste is only brought on by foods high in carbs. Any sugars trigger it, including dried and fresh fruits, as do breads and starches. The only things I can eat to avoid or get rid of it, are nuts/seeds, coffee, or vegetables. A couple of years ago, I started losing weight again, slowly. Fast forward to this year, and my GP suggested I might likely have coeliac disease. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get a conclusive test result as I don't seem to produce IgA, so the test measures come back as inaccurate, and I haven't yet had an endoscopy. I have had a colonoscopy, which showed no inflammation, so no Chrohns/ulcerative colitis.I decided to give up gluten anyway in March, as I was so desperate to try anything which might make me feel better. Without gluten, my brain fog improved hugely, and the few occasions I have had gluten it comes back with a vengeance. Unfortunately, I've continued to lose weight. My BMI is 14 on a good day, and that scares me. I rarely eat sugar, since that aggravates my symptoms, but do still eat apples. I eat masses of quinoa, which I seem to be fine with (thankfully!), lots of beans, houmous, avocados, olive oil, nuts and seeds and loads of vegetables. I've been vegetarian since the age of 16 for and absolutely hate the idea of having to eat meat or fish. Unfortunately dairy also irritates my stomach, but I do force myself to eat it sometimes. I can eat soya if I put up with the upset stomach afterwards... The NHS seem at a loss as to what to do with me, short of referring me to an anorexia clinic. My blood tests all come back healthy, and I've also seen a private nutritionist who tested vitamin and mineral levels, but apart from a vitamin D deficiency ( now corrected) they were fine too. The nutritionist tried a lot of supplements including probiotics, none of which had a noticeable effect. I'm very scared of losing more weight, but am really not sure what I can try. I just wondered if anyone else had had similar experiences, or any advice to share? Oh and I know coconut oil is supposed to be helpful in these sort of situations, but I absolutely cannot stand the stuff, so please don't suggest that...
Thank you so much for reading
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