I decided to begin a gluten-free diet after much research and after several years had passed. I first began thinking about celiac disease about 7 years ago. IBS or irritable bowel syndrome runs in my family. I discussed with my mother that maybe we had celiac disease. As I researched symptoms though, I read that weight loss, diarrhea, and inability to retain nutrients were the main symptoms along with damage to the villi. Damage to the villi, which is in the lining of your intestines, is only detectable through biopsy. (No thank you!)
I thought, no, I can’t have that because I’m pretty healthy with a few extra pounds to lose.
Sadly, my mother was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease that causes swelling of the muscles. The toxic drugs she took to relieve symptoms led to cancer. She passed away in 2009. After her death, I wondered again if something we were eating was causing my family members to get autoimmune diseases. My mother and I believed that her mother also passed away from the same type of disease she had. As a woman especially, I am terrified of getting the same type of disease. I have already been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s, which is an autoimmune disease. I began having worse symptoms, with gas and bloating so bad that my stomach would become extended and hurt terribly. I would have to come home after work and lay down. I could go in to more detail, but let’s just say it was miserable!
Last fall I purchased the book, Wheat Belly by William Davis,MD. Mr. Davis says that the wheat we eat today has been genetically modified to contain 90% more gluten than the wheat our grandparents ate. He tells of patients with heart problems, arthritis, diabetes, migraines, and thyroid diseases that were immediately helped by going on a wheat free diet. You do not have to have the typical symptoms of celiac disease to have a problem digesting gluten.
I decided to get tested by an endocrinologist for celiac disease. I continued to eat wheat because the test results will not be accurate if you quit eating wheat. I found an endocrinologist that is on the board of the celiac support group in our city. My test came back showing that I had only one genetic marker for celiac disease, instead of the two needed to diagnose it. My doctor told me that I do not have celiac disease and could continue to eat wheat.
I decided that I was going to go ahead and try a wheat free diet to see if it would help ease my symptoms. I began eating gluten free at the end of December of 2013. Within a week I noticed a huge improvement in my bathroom habits. I was more regular and the bloating and discomfort I had been experiencing disappeared. I feel so much better that I don’t even crave any type of bread or wheat products. I am too afraid of going back to that place of feeling miserable again.
If you have any health problems whatsoever, that you are using drugs to control, I encourage you to go gluten free or at least do more research into gluten sensitivity. For me, going gluten free is not a fad, it is a necessity for my health.
I’ve heard several important stories that I would love to share with you in another post. I’ll also share what I eat in another post, because that is one of the most difficult things for most people in the beginning.
I would love to hear your stories of how going gluten-free has improved your health!