As I mentioned in my previous post, I have only just, at the age of 41, discovered I have an Intolerance for wheat gluten. I have been living gluten-free in the months since. It’s only been two months so far – I feel incredible, but I am feeling the pangs of loss.
I haven’t had wheat bread or pasta since the end of the summer. (sigh)
I know there are lots of people out there who have Celiac or wheat gluten intolerance or an allergy and I’m not an isolated case. Those people do not feel sorry for me at all. Some people have never really been able to enjoy wheat or pasta, or cereal, or cookies, or cakes…there are many things that contain wheat gluten out there. And I don’t feel sorry for me either.
And I won’t ever be tempted to eat it, either. Because I know the consequences if I ever do.
Before I discovered my issue with wheat, I felt horrible all the time. The worst part is I didn’t realize how sick I felt until I got better. I honestly thought it was my age creeping up on me and that it would only get worse as I got older. That part made me sad and I was trying everything to keep it from happening. I was working out several times a week, probably pushing myself more than I needed to leaving myself open for injuries. I was always on some new diet to help keep my weight down, which was nearly impossible since my insulin and leptin levels were out of whack.
And nothing was helping. I hurt all the time. I felt lethargic and chronically fatigued. I lacked motivation constantly and had to really mentally overcome it every day. It was a daily struggle. Can you believe I thought this was normal?
One week after going off the gluten (all grains, in fact) I had a complete, unexpected turn around in my overall health. It was amazing! I talked to my doctor about it and he told me I didn’t need a test to verify what I already know. Plus, I would actually have to go back on gluten for four weeks in order to do the blood test for Celiac. But, I wasn’t willing to go back.
Today I’m pain free and have had a complete recovery of my energy. I don’t feel lethargic all the time anymore. I had an itchy, red rash on my scalp that has cleared up, too. Changing my lifestyle and making the bread sacrifice has been the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I’m curious to see what other ailments are related to my gluten intolerance and if they will be alleviated as well over time.
There are many different symptoms of Celiac disease, wheat allergies and a general intolerance for wheat gluten. My symptoms represent only a handful of symptoms which also include chronic diarrhea, malnutrition, weight loss and anemia. If you think you may have Celiac or a wheat sensitivity, talk to your doctor about getting a blood test to rule out Celiac first.
Unfortunately there is no test for any wheat intolerance except for Celiac, which presents with damage to the villi in the intestines. A biopsy is the only way to confirm Celiac disease. If you test negative for Celiac, it doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from an elimination of wheat gluten from your diet. You may still have wheat sensitivity and a diet devoid of gluten may be a good treatment for your symptoms.
If you have any symptoms and suspect you may have a wheat sensitivity of any kind, talk to your doctor about your options.
I still can’t believe the difference going gluten-free has made in my life. I feel better than I have in the past 10 years – I have plenty of energy, I don’t feel swollen or puffy any more, I don’t feel pain any more. I feel like I’ve just gained back 10 years of my life.
But I still miss bread and pasta. What can I say?
To a healthier, happier and longer life.