A few years ago, I was obese and very ill. At 5’10” tall, I weighed close to 230 lbs. and was waking up two or three times a night with severe acid reflux. I had absolutely no energy and all of my joints were inflamed. It hurt to walk up stairs; I was forced to go one step at a time while holding onto the bannister.
A local provider of medical services suggested that I “walk to work” while assuring me that if I shed at least thirty pounds, I would feel better. A blood test revealed that I was anemic. My “irregularly shaped red blood cells” suggested that I was bleeding internally. The doc said to schedule a colonoscopy and was going to write a prescription to alleviate my acid reflux. He went on to remind me that since I was in my mid-fifties and had gone through menopause, weight gain was normal and my joints were going to be achy as a part of the aging process. I remember thinking that I felt way too sick for this to be part of the normal aging process. I was four thousand miles from home, living in a remote part of Alaska. I felt old, stuck and very sad.
I did not take the medicine that the doc offered rationalizing that whatever was going on in my stomach, it was trying very hard to escape and I was going to let it. Initially, I tried a gluten-free diet. That diet failed. My acid reflux kept getting worse. At the end, the only food that seemed to stay with me and not cause immediate discomfort was ice cream. I ate plenty of ice cream and got sick on it anyway.