Wednesday

Connecting The Dots...

Reading a post on Facebook the other day on 10 Common Symptoms and Signs of Gluten Allergy struck a cord. As I continued to read, it began to dawn on me that I have been gluten sensitive for a very, very long time, even since childhood. I know I had written on this earlier Gluten Doesn't Like Me, but after reading the above mentioned I felt like I had to expand.
They call it the Staff of Life
If your Gluten Sensitive
You have to stay away
from it.

1. Can cause problems with Infertility.  It's a wonder Dave and I had the girls. Although there didn't seem to be any problems with either of us we had a difficult time getting pregnant. After reading this, it made sense. You wouldn't think that gluten could be a culprit but in my case it seems it was.

2. Causes dizziness or Vertigo type symptoms.  Went through all kinds of testing for vertigo and was inconclusive, but would have major attacks to the point of having to sleep to re-center my brain. After going gluten free I have noticed that I have only had one very, very minor episode of dizziness. Also I have been able to go off of my vertigo medication.

3. Inflammation and swelling of joints.  As a kid every summer my knees for no apparent reason would swell up like balloons and put me in jeopardy of not being able to go to summer camp. The Doctor had no explanation for it, but they would go down in time for me to be given the all clear to be able to attend. Also corn is known as an inflammatory food and I cannot eat it as it causes the joints in my hands to swell.

4  Keratosis Pilaris. I had this on the back of my arms.  It is known as "chicken skin" a type of condition (bumps) which is also associated with celiac disease. The Skin Doctor diagnosed it as eczema, said was due to dry skin. Wrong! Once I took gluten out of the diet the skin cleared right up and is silky smooth!  
Dry bumps

5. Fatigue and brain fog after you eat.  After I would eat a meal containing gluten I would want to sleep.  Don't feel that way now.  Or I would loose concentration.

6. Digestive issues.  After doing a Paleo diet for almost a year I tried to eat a hamburger with a regular bun. Within 30 minutes I was sick and running for a bathroom. Several weeks later I had dinner with a friend, had a lovely salad with a dinner roll. Almost didn't make it home (restaurant 4 miles away) had to stop and use a restroom and use it again when I got home a mile and a half later and was sick for 6 hours after wards.  Could not believe that it was the bread that was making me sick

Out of the 10 symptoms I had 6 probably 7.

I started to connect the dots and realize that gluten had been making me sick since I was a small child. Mom and dad love a little restaurant in downtown Tulsa that made Chop Suey, of course they would always give me some and every time it would make me sick. Mom always said I would get sick because I could not tolerate the celery.  No mom it was the Udon noodles made from wheat that I could not tolerate and the flour in the Chop Suey recipe. If we had only known that I could have eaten something else that didn't have wheat in it and you wouldn't have been up all night holding my head over the toilet and changing the bedsheets 6 times and being frustrated with me. 

My system grew to tolerate it somewhat, but I lived with diarrhea most of my life never knowing what set my system off. Now I know. Now I stay away from the foods that will cause me problems.

My biggest concern is eating out. I try to be very careful and ask questions but sometimes I don't always get straight answers.  I always know when I have ingested wheat as I will be sick before leaving the establishment. Not fun! That is how fast it will hit me. I wish restaurants would mark on their menus the items that are gluten free.  It would be so helpful. Not all the servers are going to know or care.  Recently I got a gluten free pizza crust and thought I had asked all the right questions and had chosen a gluten free sauce. Servers, If I am asking about gluten free items don't let me order a pizza sauce that has flour in it. Got sicker than a dog and missed out on a family event.

I have even sent food back because it was smothered with gravy. Then they turned around and send it back out to me with everything else smothered with gravy. Sometimes you can't win even when you say no gravy. I still got sick even though I didn't eat the items that had the gravy on it. Discovered they just washed off my meat and sent it back out to me and there must have been some still on it and just that small amount made me sick.

Last winter I developed Microscopic Colitis, a chronic condition. Which I am happy to say I am now in remission.  One of the precursors to Microscopic Colitis is a gluten sensitivity. The doctor says I will have this for the rest of my life. I am working on healing my gut by making and eating bone broth and staying far, far away from gluten.  Has not eating gluten made a difference? Yes. I am 25 pounds lighter. It has helped to bring my A1C down to normal limits. I am feeling great and don't feel like I have brain fog any longer.

If you have questions about going gluten free please feel free to ask me or questions about recipes I have a bunch. I am willing to share.