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Why You Need to Know About Gastric Intestinal Metaplasia

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A few weeks ago, I was diagnosed with gastric intestinal metaplasia (GIM), and you need to be in the know about it. The reason comes from a deep concern that there are things I’ve discovered about this disease that could impact anybody.

If you’re somebody who has a history of or is currently experiencing chronic acid reflux, digestive problems, and a lot of stomach aches, then you need to know about gastric intestinal metaplasia. Typically, the bacteria, helicobacter pylori is associated with the disease, but I don’t have that.

Since I became aware that I have long-haul COVID-19, I’ve been in repeated battles involving severe intestinal distress, inability to digest food, recurring acid reflux, and heartburn. Other unpleasant symptoms including vomiting have been also occurring. I’ll have episodes, that last for weeks, of constipation and a frozen digestive system. Those symptoms, little did I know, greatly impacted the mucosa or intestinal lining of my stomach.

I’m not just talking about basic stomach aches, rather, these pains are a combination of cramps, a burning sensation, and eating becomes difficult. After I eat a meal, I’ll notice my food struggling to make its way down my esophagus and into my large and small intestines. And, even after I eat a snack, I’ll feel unusually full or like I had just consumed a Thanksgiving feast.

Those symptoms alerted me that something was very wrong. But I had no clue and have never heard of chronic intestinal inflammation leading to stomach cancer.

Other symptoms I was having made it hard for me to go into public. I couldn’t sit in a one-hour group meeting without my stomach growling or sounding like a revving car engine. It was embarrassingly noticeable and I’ve had to limit social gatherings.

While I understand friends and colleagues would be loving, nonjudgmental, and understanding, the last thing I want to do is draw attention away from somebody else in a crowded setting. Adversely, I don’t want anybody to think or feel that I’m avoiding them. I’m not.

I’ve been working to get a handle on these symptoms and am in the midst of an elimination diet, which has been causing unpredictable symptoms to say the least.

Anybody can get gastric intestinal metaplasia. It is a pre-cancerous condition as a result of chronic intestinal inflammation. I have been reading a lot of mixed information about intestinal metaplasia, and I am now undergoing further evaluation at Mayo Clinic.

As management protocol for gastric intestinal metaplasia, I am doing an elimination diet, as mentioned, and I’m eating balanced and clean. I’ve been a wellness warrior and advocate for healthy living for 16 years now and have experienced, firsthand, the powerful healing benefits of nutrition.

I’ll be honest and raw with all of you when I say that I am scared out of my wits and have once again tweaked my diet and wellness routines. But I won’t be allowing fear to dictate my life. I am watching my mindset and keeping it leveled. I am hoping that I am still in the very early stages of this and that I have a wide range of treatment options.

I am embracing healthy ways of eating. I’ve enrolled in a yoga class after being away from it for a while due to illness. I won’t despair, and instead, I’ll be even more proactive about how I manage my lifestyle. Being proactive in the face of struggle and adversity is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

Getty image by uniquepixel

Originally published: March 21, 2023
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