The battle probably began a decade or so ago. We led a busy life, ate and drank too much, wore our little stresses and strains rather heavily on our shoulders. That was the time when my concentration, never the best, started getting worse. I had started functioning at half mast.
And thus began a cycle of singularly unintelligent living. Bad lifestyle- problems at work and at home- more senseless numbing of the faculties through compensatory food and alcohol overindulgence and so it continued. The seed was sown.
Recurrent acidity and flatulence were making their embarrassing presence felt quite regularly. They were taken care of by temporary relief packages. But the lifestyle continued for years. The body endured and suddenly gave up. You are middle aged, it seemed to say. Desist or I will rebel. And so it did. The stomach and intestines became unable to hold anything. I lost water, all the food I ate and a lot of weight. I would also have giddy spells and feel completely drained of energy.
I was already taking homeopathic medicine for a thyroid problem. Further tests revealed that my body was deficient in the vitamin B12. Started homeopathy. It did not really work. My stomach still could not hold anything. Then we tried stronger allopathic medicines. They worked for a while.
Meanwhile, I was closely monitoring my diet at the doctor’s advice. Spices, chocolates, coffee and alcohol – these were definite triggers. So I avoided them. Filtered and boiled drinking water helped. Given that I was in my mid-forties, the doctor gave me a course of B 12 injections that lasted a couple of months. Blood tests revealed that the deficiency had been made up.
Yet, my intestinal problems persisted. I gave up more things and included a variety of wholewheat grains. It worked fine for a while, but I would have a relapse at the slightest indiscretion. The stomach and rectal muscles felt weak and always prepared to let go.
The doctor was at her wits end and I was sick of the whole affair, so I just limped along for many months. Typically, when I ate something spicy or milky or had a little brandy or worried too much, I knew I would have a loose motion the next morning. And all this while, boiled water became part of my life.
Then again, there was a really bad spell. Back to the doctor. This time she prescribed a quantity of Electral to be consumed within two days. It worked like a charm, I had solid motions after ages and felt quite energized, but was I to have Electral for the rest of my life?
Lifelong medication scares me, so does strong medication. I had already started reaping the benefits of meditation and Yoga. But an irregularity would cause a relapse. I had been living like this for more than two years.
I realized that there were two things working simultaneously. One was clearly the possible B12 and mineral deficiency, the other was IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
I checked a few websites for natural cures for vitamin and mineral deficiency. Almonds, cinnamon, cardamom, dried dates, black raisins, figs fresh or dry – these help counter the deficiency, besides being a great snack. I steep cinnamon or cardamom in boiling water, maybe once a week and drink that. Also, a small sachet of Electral once a month.
For IBS, I have turned to Ayurveda. Sharangdhara Pharmaceuticals’ Kutaj Compound seems to be working. It can be ordered online.
I also have begun taking their Shatavari Compound for the thyroid problem, instead of the Eltroxin 25 that I was having. I would also be consulting an Ayurvedic doctor about the consumption of these two.
We all know that the human body is a composite organ, and what happens to one body part affects another. Yet we forget this very often, and look for quick, limited cures. I no longer do that. I might possibly live a medicine free life again. Even if I don’t, no sweat. I will make the best of what I have.
A holistic approach is needed. And it is very simple. Fresh nutritious food that is consumed pleasantly and mindfully, a calm mind, exercise, meditation, avoidance of what clearly does not suit you – these are the keys to good health.