One Gluten Free Week and Counting

So, after the wonderful wheat straw incident I got to thinking.

I have been back and forth to doctors for going on 12 years with stomach pain, cramping after eating, rushing to the bathroom everytime I eat, heartburn, reflux, skin rashes, body aches, joint pain, and just a long, long laundry list of symptoms.

Something has to give. The last several months since the car accident have been the worst. I have constant pain in my shoulders, body aches, and on and on the list goes.  I have been seeing a rheumatologist trying to get some answers. Recently he told me that he is at a loss. My bloodwork show inflammation, but nothing specific. My symptoms are all over the place and multi-focal.

I am willing at this point to try anything to feel better again. I long for the days when I could play with my children without pain.

So, I have been researching some things. I have a lot of autoimmune stuff that has surfaced over the years. Thyroid problems, fertility issues, clotting factors, diabetes, gastro stuff, etc. Lots of time autoimmune issues go hand in hand with each other.

Gluten sensitivity and Celiac are autoimmune issues.

So, I have been gluten free for a week.

I feel better.

Not perfect, but better.

I walked to the bathroom this morning and realized something major that I used to take for granted. MY FEET DIDN’T HURT WHEN I WALKED.

I mean not even a little.

I can’t remember the last time that I put my feet down in the morning and didn’t hobble to the bathroom.

I mean no pain at all.

I am in Awe. Not speechless, that just wouldn’t be me.

But, in awe no less.

My family has been on the diet as well. I mean, come on. If I am going to do this, and after all that I have read, they could benefit from this as much as me.

And you know what?

They feel better too. My 6 yo is sleeping better. Her stomach doesn’t hurt. Her attention span is better (yay for homeshcooling!!) and she is making leaps and bounds in her studies.

I went to a birthday party last night and my friend asked if I wanted some cheesecake and I had to explain that no, I couldn’t just not eat the crust, when someone overheard us. She hurried over to ask if I was a celiac. Apparently her husband was diagnosed not too long ago and she was excited to find a kindred spirit in the group. I explained to her, the short version, about was is going on and then she asked if I was going to have a biopsy. I quickly told her no. I mean now that I feel better I don’t want to eat gluten again and feel worse just so I get can get a diagnosis that says I can’t eat gluten. Right?

The conversation also caught the ears of my girlfriend’s college age daughter who has been suffering from severe abdominal symptoms for the last few years. She came over and started asking about the diet because she had also been doing some research after undergoing some testing recently. She is also scheduled for an upper endoscopy during Christmas break.

Of course, being a teenager and living on pizza, she asked THE question.

“So, you just have to avoid gluten, like, most of the time, right?”

I explained that, no. You have to avoid gluten, like, ALL THE TIME. EVEN THE LITTLEST CRUBMB CAN CAUSE INTESTINAL DAMAGE

A look of disappointment crossed her face. I quickly followed this up with foods that I know she likes. I told her that all meat, vegetables, and such are inherently gluten free. I explained that it the breading and such that causes the problems. She seemed a little less sad, but that was pretty much the end of the conversation.

Anyway, I tell you this to tell you this.

My future recipes will be working around being gluten free. I have decided that our entire kitchen and anything I make in it will be made as such. That way I don’t have to worry about cross contamination and my family can have the benefits of a gluten free diet along with me.

My ramblings may include more information about gluten free eating and living and I hope that you enjoy them.

I hope to help others out there who are going through the same thing and maybe inform others of what we are doing and why.

Y’all Come Back Now.

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December 6, 2009. Notebook.

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