Running low on steam...

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My dad has been sick, nearly constantly, for 5 years. Gerd, IBS, and an esophagus issue. He has multiple bedridden days in large part to his refusal to give up certain foods. He's tried twice now to give up sugar, and each time I've helped him through the month-long hell of withdrawal only to see him revert back in a matter of days. Welp. We're here again. Just about 3 weeks into withdrawal. Debilitating stomach cramps, mood swings, you name it. He's got it. I am trying to cheer him on, but my brother is a sh*t so I'm his only emotional support. I know that if he sticks with it, he will eventually improve, but he keeps looking to me for answers - specific timelines - and they just don't exist. I am so tired of putting on a brave face, and I am scared that this will all be for nothing. Again. I am doing my best to take care of myself, but sometimes I feel so isolated. No one in my circle can understand this particular kind of h*ll. My husband is travelling for work right now, which makes it worse. I don't really need advice, per se, I just wanted to vent in a space where people would understand. So thank you.


forfoxsake, just curious, did a doctor tell your Dad to give up sugar? Is Dad a diabetic? If not, why the removal of sugar products?
It really can be hell at times. In my situation i have had years of dealing with my mothers health issues. Everything is declining with her. My mental fatigue relates to a lifetime of health issues. I suppose i could try and do more but i feel totally sapped.
freqflyer: We've learned through trial and error that no dairy and no added sugar really alleviate his symptoms. Even now, some of his normal symptoms that are related to the esophagus issues, have lessened. And his constipation is already starting to clear up again. So, there's a method to the madness. It's just... maddening.

Riverdale: I get it. I was taking care of my grandmother, too, but she died in October. It's a special kind of exhaustion. Sometimes, the only thing that keeps me sane - the thing I've been trying to say over and over all damned day - is that this is the option that I choose because it's the one I can live with the most. I could tell him he's on his own. I could pawn him off on my brother. But this is the thing that lets me sleep most at night. Even if it's not always a lot most nights. :(
forfoxsake, thanks for update about why the added sugar is an issue.

I also have GERD and it can be tough to find out what products are the bad guys. For me its tomatoes big time. Also any soft drinks, and chocolate. I found if I had a Tums Smoothie tablet before eating a meal and before bedtime it has really helped, but that's me. Otherwise my esophagus would feel like it is on fire.

Ah yes, dairy. It can really mess up one's stomach. I switched over to Lactaid Milk and Lactaid Ice Cream and it was a big difference. For years I never knew why I had such stomach cramps after certain meals. I had to crawl into bed.

Lactaid also makes a tablet one can take before having dairy that also helps. Anyway, it did for me. My Dad had this issue up until he was in his early 90's, and my Mom didn't want to change her grocery list... she was from the old school of "a little bit won't hurt". What a relief for Dad when I got him on Lactaid. No more trots, as he call that issue.

Check with Dad's doctor first if you want to try the Tums Smoothie tablet route, or want to try the Lactaid products.
My Mom had Gerd. She was told no coffee, acidity and spicy foods. Never heard that sugar causes problems. I can see dairy causing problems. Learned something new.
Constant learning JoAnn!
I feel bad for your dad and you. What he is doing is hard.

“Did you know that sugar is 8 times more addictive than cocaine and that sugar is the #1 food that causes heart disease. Detox with real food and treat your body with the respect it deserves.”

Dr Mark Hyman wrote the Blood Sugar Solution 10 Day Detox Diet.
The 10 Day Detox is great. I swear by the third day I did not have cravings. By the end of the 10 days I felt so much better I wanted to go another 10. I try to use his recommendations as my guide in food choices.
I had pain in my joints that completely went away and I lost weight which was my goal. I’ve had IBS for many years but on this diet it doesn’t flare. I was amazed at how the cravings went away when I followed his suggestions.
My girlfriend got rid of her Gerd and off all her meds.
You can find a lot of the info on his website. You might find the book at a discount. It’s been out several years.
It works and no white knuckling.
Do the 10 days with your dad and you’ll both be feeling great.
Have you tried diabetic sugar substitutes? Do they have the same effect? Just be careful they tend to cause gas or pooping
I don't know who can be involved in it because he might need to go to a different doctor. They might have put him on the wrong medications.
Hi Forfoxsake… We had to give up sugar as both of us are diabetic. Did not bother my honey as much as it did me. But I found Splenda thanks to a cardiologist (many years ago). It has worked well. It does not stay in the system like other sugar substitutes so has a tendency not to cause the issues some of the substitutes do. It has a slight after taste but once you get used to it, it is hard to go back to natural sugar. I use it not only in my coffee and tea but also in cooking. I empathize as to the dairy. I have had the same problem for years. Check with your Dad's doctor about him switching to Splenda... might help. 

Hopefully the issues will straighten out for your Dad. Take care and have a great day!

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