Monday, September 17, 2012

Going Gluten Free



For the past five years or so (maybe even longer) I have been having horrible stomach issues. The Army doctors put me on all sorts of acid reflux meds. When those didn't work they had me try multiple brands of acid relief pills. Those still didn't work. A couple years ago while living in Maryland I had to go to the ER for unbearable back and stomach pain. With one guess the doctors there figured out that I had a rotten gallbladder. It needed to come out. stat! They removed it and although it did relieve my pain, I started noticing horrible cramping (way worse than period cramping) after I would eat. I couldnt figure out what was causing the cramps. They didn't appear only when I ate fried food, or any specific item- so I thought. I would have bad cramps if we ate at home or went out. If we had spaghetti or cereal. It was extremely frustrating, but I thought it was just a byproduct of not having my gallbladder anymore. Since moving in with my parents we have discovered (what I think) is the issue. Wheat. When my dad was young he was allergic to wheat and couldn't eat it. I am thinking I have always had an intolerance to it. According to my research, if a person who has a gluten (wheat) intolerance has any sort of major surgery (gallbladder definitely qualifies) the symptoms can be magnified after recovery. Which would explain why I have only noticed the horrible cramps since my gallbladder surgery. This year my dad (who had grown out of his gluten allergy) has gone back on the gluten free diet. He motioned for me to join him, and figuring I had nothing to lose except pain, I accepted. Its been over a month that I have been gluten free and let me tell you- no cramps! none! The other day I got a bit relaxed and had a cookie thinking there was minimal flour and I wouldn't be able to tell. wrong! Lets just say that I wont be having a cookie for a while again. I am looking forward to starting this gluten free plan in hopes that I will feel better. Already I have more energy than I can ever remember. I feel that so many of my medical complaints over the past 5 years are explained in the gluten intolerance. According to livestrong.com "Gluten intolerance can sometimes manifest as unexplained infertility". Why was this not presented when all the infertility specialists couldn't figure out why I wasn't getting pregnant. I was so tired of "everything looks great" or "we don't know why you can't get pregnant". According to the book The Wheat Belly (which I am currently reading) a symptom of gluten intolerance is "incapacitating cramps" yes! I had been describing my cramps as so bad that if you are driving you need to grip the wheel of the car and hold on. Or if you are walking you need to stop and hold on until the cramps are gong. incapacitating indeed. With so many life changing events going on right now, it is nice to have hope. Hopefully I will not get burnt out trying to find gluten free foods. Hopefully I will be seeing even more benefits than I can see now. I am not sure how it will effect the blog, but I look forward to sharing gluten free successes (and failures) with you. Stay tuned.

4 comments:

  1. I am happy to hear that you figured out what was wrong! I know how "helpful' Army doctors can be (although every dr the kids have had are amazing and very alternative friendly). Enjoy the extra energy!

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  2. I think you're really on to something. Check this site/book out I found a few months ago: www.wheatbellyblog.com So glad you found something that's helping!

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  3. Yes "Olive" thats the book that started this revelation of mine! My dad was reading it and suggested it. Halfway into the first chapter I had my ah-ha moment!

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  4. I am so glad that you had your ah-ha moment. It really stinks that it took this long to figure it out. I hope you continue to feel better and better. Love you :-D

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