About 5 years ago I was talking with a teacher of one of my children and I was mentioning that I had stomach aches a lot, was tired, would get occasional headaches, and got bloated and gassy after eating breads and crackers, etc. She is a diagnosed Celiac and she told me it sounded like I might have it. She advised I go get a test before taking wheat out of my diet to be sure. I wish I followed that advice.
I decide to do an elimination diet after talking with my father-in-law, a doctor. I took wheat out for a week and I noticed I felt quite a bit better. I decided to go ahead and eliminate it from my diet and I was on the mend.
The problem with this, however, is that over the years I have been sneaking bread and other foods that still contain gluten in them. I realized recently that because I never got the official diagnosis, I subconsciously thought it would be fine if I cheated once-in-awhile. But when I cheated, I paid dearly for it and the symptoms continued to worsen as the years have gone on.
This past week I cheated again with my daughter's birthday cake and I was doubled over in pain. I could feel aches like I was being scraped inside and I just felt very raw inside. This pain has not gone away since and I have finally wised up to the fact that if I continue down this path, I may end up having some very serious health issues including cancer.
I've had two different tests for Celiac disease and they have both come back negative. I have been mostly off the gluten though. I remember my doctor, after telling her all of the horrible symptoms I was having, say "If it's hurting you then don't eat it!" I wish it was that simple.
All along, I have wanted to stay somewhat 'normal' by indulging every so often in foods that everyone else is eating. Social situations are the worst! I have experienced this being a very emotional thing having to give up certain comfort foods. I am a lover of pizza, cake, bread, and many other pastries but I don't particularly like the gluten-free versions. I have made some pretty good alternatives that I share with my clients through my bakery but all the sugar is a problem for me too.
I need to heal my gut, which means 3-6 months of resting my intestinal tract so it can heal. I need to stay completely away from the offenders ~ gluten, corn, sugar, dairy, etc. so I can build back up the friendly flora in my gut and get feeling better.
Here is my action plan:
1. Stay away from the offending foods listed above for 6 months
2. Ingest pre and pro-biotics every day to give my body the friendly flora it needs to rebuild.
3. Eat fermented foods like Bubbie's sauerkraut, pickles, and fermented vegetables.
4. Stay away from all breads and cereals
5. Eat bland foods to give my gut a rest.
6. Exercise at least 30 minutes every day to keep my body strong
7. Use my herbs (Dr. Christopher's formulas for my thyroid, adrenals, Vitalherbs for my multi-vitamin, and drink plenty of red raspberry leaf tea every day).
8. I also have a protein shake that I love called Seven Point 2 that is all certified organic and plant-based.
9. I will incorporate sugar nutrients as well called Glyconutrients, which have already helped me a lot!
10. Take it easy on myself and not create a lot of stress in my life (this one is a challenge for me, but I can do it.)
As I continue down this path of healing from my poor choices, I will inevitably find more answers to my many questions and I will be happy to share them with you.
I hope you will be smarter than me by getting checked first if you suspect you may be gluten-intolerant or celiac and get a blood test done before eliminating the gluten. For some reason having that diagnosis makes a difference to us personally as well as those around us. I think some people, mostly family members, have looked at me as a hypochondriac at times. I don't blame them, but I do know that there is definitely something very wrong and I need to address it before making it any worse.
I also know that I am my own 'normal' and that things will get better. Keeping a positive, loving attitude toward myself and all those around me is very important to heal. I hope this helps you too.