Monday, August 4, 2008

Going Gluten Free

The first year after I gave birth to my 3rd child I began to feel physically bad. Her birth was difficult, due to some unnecessary medical interventions during the labor & delivery. I hemorrhaged after the birth & was very anemic due to the blood loss. I can remember having some strange things happens for several months afterward. I would get this weird numb sensation that would go around my abdomen like a belt. It did eventually go way after a few months. When she was around 5 months old I started having a lot of sinus problems. Then came the painful digestive disturbances . Although I eventually began to improve I never was 100%. I went through another pregnancy & new symptoms appeared. I think they worsened after the pregnancy. I lost a lot of could have been due to not eating much because it seemed every time I ate I would have digestive problems. I was often very fatigued as well. I would get severely short of breath too, this seemed to be hormonally induced , it did go away after I became pregnant with my 5th child. I had many tests....2 colonoscopies, thyroid tests, parathyroid tests, bone density tests (that showed I had osteopenia in my late 20's) but everything else came back normal.

I did see a medical doctor who had started a practice using alternative treatments & tests (functional medicine). She did help me some but her supplements were so expensive, as well as the testing. She found I had an H. Pylori infection that we did treat the conventional way with medication. My b12 levels were low so I had several injections. I began to feel better but not 100%.

I did have my family doctor do the blood test to check for Celiac disease but it came back normal. Around this time I started going to a food co-op which was run by a lady who had Celiac disease. She had been initially diagnosed with microscopic colitis. She also was tested for Celiac disease...her results came back normal. She started to research her illness and came upon the site of a Dr. Kenneth Fine. He offers unconventional testing (stool tests) to check for Celiac because blood tests are not always accurate. She took the test & it was positive for Celiac. She improved dramatically on GF diet but eventually had to follow a stricter diet because the GF diet was no longer helping her.

I decided to take this test, I figured what did I have to lose, at the most I would be out the $100 it cost for the test......that's a lot less than the hundreds of dollars I wasted at the doctor's office. I was told it would take several weeks to get the results back. I remember one evening shortly after sending this test back to the lab , feeling overwhelmed & so frustrated . I was so tired of feeling bad & not knowing what was wrong with me. I prayed that the Lord would give me answers & show me what was wrong with me. The very next day I got an email from Dr. Kenneth Fine's office & my results were POSITIVE! My body was reacting to gluten. I took this as an answer to my prayer.

I have to say though even though God answered me I sometimes doubt I have problems with gluten. I guess because the conventional/ normal way of testing came back normal. I hate this doubting because it causes me to cheat on my GF diet. I don't always feel bad when I eat gluten but there are times I do & I try to make myself believe it wasn't really the gluten but some other food. I've considered having other food allergy tests but it's not in our budget right now . Maybe eventually. I left out many details of how I tried changing my diet for the better, etc. So for those who can relate or are interested this is the shortened, tear free, uncomplicated version of my journey to going gluten free.


Carrie said...

I do understand! It is SO hard, and the past few weeks to be honest, I've just felt like giving up on the diet altogether. Thanks for sharing your story! I hope things get better for you and I hope you can find some delicious recipes on my site that will help you find your place being gluten free! I'm still trying to find the perfect bread recipe... but I know it's out there somewhere! ;-) I'll just keep trying until then!

prov31rj said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I am sorry you went through so much and I know it was frustrating. We can spend so much money on doctors and still get no help.

Being on a special diet is a challenge and I understand that sometimes you just want to eat "normally" again.

My low carb eating has helped me to feel better and helped the symptoms of some of my health problems. However, occasianally I think I want to just eat some bread or noodles. :)

Only occasionally though.