In September 2008 I started a journey that serves as a good example of the limits of the American health care system, where you can go through three months, 15 doctor visits, $7,000 in medical tests, three prescriptions and five over-the-counter medications trying to treat your abdominal pain, and after you lose ten pounds due to said pain, you are asked by the “specialists” if you have an eating disorder.
To make a long and unladylike story short, starting in the fall of 2008 I would inflate like a beach ball whenever I ate a full-sized meal, and my innards would feel like they’d been aged in a smokehouse and then stretched, creaking, over an anvil. I haven’t felt my psoas muscles since, although in general everything else has improved.
Eventually I could manage symptoms by eating only small meals and never after 6 p.m., although all bets were off when it came to carbonated beverages, which had taken on napalm-like qualities regarding my digestion.
I briefly worried that my year-long ascorbic acid (vitamin C) habit (to reduce histamine) had burned holes in my gut, but 18 months after stopping it there was no improvement, so that wasn’t it. I tried digestive enzymes and betaine hydrochloride, but they didn’t help. Going on the simple evidence that it felt as if something that should be gooey and stretchy had turned dry and crackly, I started researching mucous membranes and tissues and moisture and deficiency, etc. I came up with vitamin A deficiency as a possible factor, and taking that supplement did indeed help to some degree.
When I was beginning my iodine megadose experiment, I found other Yahoo Iodine group members who had suffered from similar abdominal issues. In addition to a gazillion other things, iodine is needed for mucous membrane health. After a month or so I saw some improvement, enough that could once again binge on supermarket sushi without too much grief and abuse Pepsi with a much reduced discomfort level. However, it never solved the issue entirely and I eventually had to stop the iodine since it, too, gave me complete insomnia. As noted above, I discovered that big doses of vitamin D3 helped this a lot, but unfortunately it also gives me debilitating headaches after a few days on it.