Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Trying the Gluten-free Lifestyle

Last week I watched Dr. Oz and he had a special about Celiac disease. It was really interesting to learn about all of the ways that wheat/gluten find its way into our bodies--through food, but also through shampoo, lotions, soy sauce, salad dressings, and other products. During the show I looked at my shampoo and I discovered that my very own shampoo had wheat in it!

I'm still a little confused about the symptoms of celiac disease because it appears that it changes from person to person. Some of the symptoms are: gastrointestinal problems (check, I've got that), rashes (check, I've got that), fatigue (check, I've got that), anemia (don't know if I've got it), migraines (check, I've got that) and a myriad of other symptoms. What I gather from reading about it is that it is an autoimmune disease and that your body is allergic to gluten.

I started thinking back to when i was in high school and I used to work at the local pizza shop. I walked around with large rashes all over my arms and hands after making pizza dough and my mother used to wonder if I was allergic to the dough. A couple of years ago she mentioned that as a child I was tested positive for being allergic to wheat, but I haven't listened to her much because her memory often changes over the years.

Last year I was having really strange symptoms. My acupuncturist told me that I had a lot of inflammation in my body, and after tests from the doctor it was confirmed that I had a lot of inflammation. He ran a number of tests on me to see if I had lupus, and I tested positive on many of the tests but negative on a few. So it's clear that I have some sort of inflammation or possibly autoimmune problem, but I don't know what it is. So when I watched Dr. Oz last week I figured I'd try to cut out wheat to see if after a week I felt any better.

Well, let me tell you, being gluten free isn't easy. I haven't been able to do it-contrary to really trying all week and precooking soups and other food that don't have wheat. Wheat is in everything. And it's really hard when you are addicted to certain things-like I have suddenly realized that I am seriously addicted to bread and pasta. And I really like pasta.

I'm not really sure that I want to go gluten free, or I really even need to. But I am trying to go through the process of elimination to see if after cutting it out I feel better. I do admit that after eating gluten free for one day, I ate bread and crackers the next day and I had a stomach ache and felt bloated all day. But then again I also ate cheese. So that's another thing that I later have to eliminate to see if dairy is causing stomach issues for me as well.

This week I am going to continue on, trying to do the gluten free lifestyle as a way to try to identify if I am having problems with wheat. I know that it's going to be hard, but for the past couple of days I have also noticed that although I am eating enough that my metabolism is raging and that I constantly feel hungry-so this might also be the needed weight loss jump start that I needed. Perhaps too much bread, etc has been bogging me down. Only time will tell!!
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