I was diagnosed with a stomach ulcer when I was 18.
I could barely move. I couldn’t walk easily or far. I couldn’t work. I couldn’t wear a bra or jeans or anything which was even remotely tight around my tummy. I couldn’t lie on my side. It was extremely painful and upsetting.
So whenever I get any ulcer-like symptoms I have to be really careful. And that’s how I find myself now.
I wanted to share this because I have no doubt that my mental health along with certain life decisions I am currently making have played a huge part. Even though nowadays we’ve established that stomach bacteria is the primary biological cause, mental wellbeing can still play a big part.
So what are my symptoms?
- I’ve had terrible heartburn/acid reflux for about a week. This makes my whole chest burn, my throat hurt and my stomach so sore and tender I can’t even wear the baggiest of all baggy PJ bottoms.
- I’ve had the odd bout of what feels like heart palpitations (even though it is nothing to do with my heart) and it’s felt difficult to breath. Which isn’t fun.
- I feel sick. It’s alleviated a little by food but take one bite too many, or eat something which your stomach isn’t impressed with, and the nausea comes right back.
- I feel light-headed and dizzy, and headaches, and occasionally I mix up my words when I speak. Which sounds odd for a stomach problem but there is a nerve which connects the tummy and the head (apparently!) so there are neurological implications to ill health in the stomach.
I don’t really know anything about gut health although there is now tons of info out there, such as this talk by nutritionist Christy Orrechio or this new book by wellness expert and health coach Robyn Youkilis.
But I know from personal experience that when I feel extreme stress, indecision, unhappiness, depression, anxiety etc for a long period of time, this is where I end up.
My body has been warning me for a long time. With panic attacks, for example. But I’ve chosen to carry on regardless and so now it is getting my attention with increased physical pain which, if unattended, will cause me bigtime problems with mobility and my ability to function normally.
Which in a way is, I have to say, a pretty wonderful gift actually. To have such an intelligent and sensitive in-built GPS system like this looking out for me and attempting to guide me back to total authenticity of self.
But it’s not always easy. As I’ve written about many times before, work is my main ‘trigger’ but I push myself to the brink of my own personal emotional and mental limits time and time again because I don’t yet have an alternative which I can earn from, and I simply can’t afford to not work.
So I’m not sure yet how this will play out but I am taking some immediate precautions until I can get a Doctor’s appointment and perhaps some traditional medicinal remedies.
- Aloe Juice. The helpful sales assistant at Holland & Barrett told me how aloe juice flushes out toxins, aids digestion and also soothes stomach ulcers.
- Multi-Vitamin spray. Also from Holland Barrett. Apparently Vitamin B in particular can repair inflammation, reduce acid reflux and increase energy.
- Rest. As it’s Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK I’ve had 4 days off work and have spent the vast majority of it in bed.
- Reflect. I’m feeling seriously unwell and that is not an acceptable state of being which can be sustained; therefore, I need to consider very seriously what I need to change in my life.
It’s so easy to treat a physical illness like ‘Whoops I’ve gotten ill, I’ll just rest a bit and take some medicine and it’ll go away”. But I believe there are metaphysical reasons behind illness – thanks to Louise Hay the legend! – and I also intuitively recognise that my emotions and thought processes play a massive part. So for me, healing cannot just be about healing the physical. It’s about taking a very long hard look at myself.
If you would like to share any tips or ask any questions, please do leave a comment below.
I wish you all the best of health and self-compassion. xxx