Being Gluten Free

Going Gluten-free was a journey that started in the summer of 2011.

To be honest, it started when I was 7, after my first incorrect diagnosis of my digestive issues. Colitis, IBS, Ulcers, Crohns, faking it. Every one diagnosed, some treated, some ignored. I did my best to eat well, as well as I knew. I avoided fast food, soda, and junk. I tried low fat, dairy free, vegetarian, vegan and raw! Anything that would alleviate some of my pain and discomfort.

Some things helped, here and there, but nothing permanent. Nothing all encompassing. I was sure I was going to deal with all my aches, pains, digestive discomforts and symptoms I didn't even realize were symptoms, for the rest of my life. Or else take some even more damaging medication, which was an unlikely option. Until Thailand!

So you travel to a foreign country, eat exotic food, mingle with travelers and use tap water to brush your teeth, and your digestive tract...Loves IT!? Yes, I am telling you that after a 2.5 weeks in Thailand many of my symptoms abated. Many more than I realized immediately. Yet it was only after I came home that I noticed or understood.

I was baffled at the fact the my issues came rushing back once home. This made no sense until I thought about what I had eaten. Fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs, fish and some meats with lots of Rice! Little to no bread or wheat products most days. Some beer, a steamed roll here and there, but mostly, all forms of rice. Could I have finally found my kryptonite?

I took a month to clean body, no alcohol, no meat, no wheat, minimal sugar and caffine. I felt Fabulous! Except for the cravings for steak and pork and chicken, haha. So I slowly added back meat, finding local farms, walking their grounds, getting to know my food on a personal level (think Portlandia). I bought new books, scoured the internet and learned as much as possible about healing myself from the inside out. And you know what? It worked!

Some symptoms of celiac, the ones that I Had:

  • Digestive problems (abdominal bloating, pain, gas, diarrhea, constipation, pale stools, and weight loss)
  • Iron deficiency
  • Arthritis
  • Depression/anxiety
  • Tingling numbness in hands and feet
  • Tingling sensation in the legs (caused by nerve damage and low calcium)
  • Musculoskeletal problems (muscle cramps, joint and bone pain)
  • Aphthous ulcers (sores in the mouth)
  • Miscarriage or infertility.
  • Erratic menstrual periods

That's not to say that All my ills are completely cured, but I didn't even realize that these things were issues, no less being caused by the way I ate, until I changed my lifestyle. 

I think the biggest benefit for me has been the emotional stability. If I had know that it was simply caused by eating bread all day long, I would have thrown away every morsel of wheat in my mothers house, and I bet she wouldn't have argued either! 

The second biggest change would have to be my pregnancy! There were many years of problems, pain and general reproductive issues. A few months of clean eating and no gluten and Voila! A baby! Who would have guessed it. And she has been the most amazing surprise i could have imagined, and a daily reminder to treat our bodies with respect, because they really do want to work properly. 

Now we are all eating clean and gluten free, with the occasional slip, and are happy, calm and so much healthier than we had been. It has been a wild journey so far and things are only getting better.

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