Organs, Food, and Life Lessons

Alright people, this is a “health and malady oriented” post.  If you do not wish to read about someone’s experiences with health-related issues, consider this your one and only warning.  I give this warning because I have come across many people in my life who simply do not want to hear about, cannot be bothered with it, or who simply don’t care.  That is fine, just don’t say I didn’t warn you 😉

With all that behind us, it is time to get down to business. Specifically, the liver and pancreas.  Ah yes, those lovely organs that we never even give one thought to (let alone a second though) until they stop working properly.  I actually consider myself fortunate: I have discovered the problem before any serious damage has been done.  “What do these organs do?”  The pancreas and liver are each assistants to the digestive process.  They help the body to break food down by releasing enzymes through biliary ducts into the digestive tract.  The pancreas also helps to regulate insulin.  You cannot live without these organs and there are inconveniences to one’s organs not wanting to work right.

Namely, food.  I love food.  I am not obese, but I am overweight at the moment.  My health issues are not related to my weight, but eating healthier and exercising will help for different reasons.  For example, I am having to revert back to a diet without red meat, alcohol, NSAID pain killers, etc.  I also find that a lot of protein can cause an incident, so I am trying to incorporate more vegetables and fruits into my diet. Again, all of this is not to lose weight.  Despite what our culture brainwashes us to believe, weight is not the problem. It is generally the result.  I am doing this diet change so that my body has an easier time digesting and processing my food, and ultimately, my fuel.

I have not been told that exercise will help my liver out.  In fact, I can be outright unable to exercise when there are flare ups due to the inflammation causing movement restriction and pain.  However, I used to exercise much more than I do now.. like.. at all.  I  had more stamina, energy, and was just happier overall.  I cannot say that exercise alone was the reason for this, but only a fool would discount the positive effects exercise has on the chemical aspects of our bodies.

And muscle.  Exercise helps to build muscle.  What does muscle do? Well, it helps to more efficiently use fuel that has already been processed and absorbed by the digestive tract.  This means that if my digestive system is not functioning well, the muscle will help to use what little nutrition I am getting even better.  Makes sense to me.  Again, this is not about losing weight to fit into a social norm. I actually like my curves.  I used to be mostly muscle and found this to be a problem.  I ate all the time.  I ate only fruits, veggies, and other purely health-driven foods.   I walked everywhere, worked out both cardio and weights.  I did it all and I was miserable.  I had energy galore but I was starving all the time because my metabolism skyrocketed out of control.  I also got tired pretty quickly of not being able to quickly satiate myself with junk food.  I always made food fresh and used veggies, fruits, etc.  Needless to say, I simply could not afford to maintain this state.  I also learned a few things.

There is such a thing as being muscular, skinny, and what is culturally considered “healthy” in an extreme and unhealthy way.  I looked great on the outside, my body was functioning optimally on the inside.. but to such an extreme that it caused lots of issues.  It still is causing issues.  When I decided to stop building so much muscle, I didn’t do it in a smart way.  I just started eating everything and anything I wanted.  I was sooo burnt out on eating anything remotely “healthy”.  This damaged my metabolism and the gland involved in regulating it.  It swung to the opposite unhealthy extreme of lethargy.  My activity levels have dropped off and my food intake has changed dramatically.  This is not good for the body.  Lesson?  Pick a way of life and stick to it.  If you decide to change it, make the changes slowly and with research done before hand.

As well as the liver, my pancreas isn’t so happy about all of this.  For awhile after my binge eating started, I would go into acute diabetic like symptoms that would flare now and again.  The doctors were stumped, I was frustrated, my wallet was gasping for air.  Finally, I saw a specialist that knew what he was talking about.

He gave me some very good advice and explanations.  My sudden changes in lifestyle alongside my lifelong health issues have caused irreversible damage to my liver and pancreas.  My collitis, multiple bouts with C-Diff, Fibromyalgia, and a host of other health issues were just the beginning.  Stress, anxiety and depression issues, and sleep disorders all combined to set me up.  The final tipping point was taking my body to the various extremes, very quickly.  Lesson learned.

Today, I try to eat healthy but I remember to eat unhealthy too.  My body is used to it and I’m not going to shock it now.  That might sound stupid.  I eat veggies, I restrict red meat and alcohol.  However, I do not deny sweets.  I allow myself a reasonable amount.  I don’t beat myself up about eating them.  I think about the consequences on my one and only organs.  That generally does the trick.

Oh, and the advice the doctor gave me other than the above?  Don’t drink soda pop.  It’s not just the artificial chemicals they put into it, it’s the carbonation itself.  You see, your stomach is shaped a specific way and is designed to leak food out slowly into the digestive tract.  When you drink soda pop, the carbonation opens the stomachs bottom and all the food comes out at once.  This can lead to diabetic type symptoms.  When I stopped drinking soda pop, I noticed a dramatic and positive effect on my health.  That shit is poison.

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