Here’s the Rub

I started this whole diet change thing about 2 1/2 months ago figuring that if I cut enough sugar and things that turn into sugar (flour) out of my system that I’d reverse the whole insulin resistance thing. So I said “sayonara” to my meds and sugar and flour. Which meant I also had to say a brief adieu to exercise as well. The whole low-carb thing doesn’t mesh well with exercise. So for one whole month there was no bread, oatmeal, sugary anything, not even fruit. Not a berry. And I noticed that about once a week I’d have that weak, tired thing happen but it would only last for a day. Not a week or two or six. Besides that I actually felt great. I mean, really great. Better than I’d felt in years. So after 8 weeks I decided to add in a bit of bread because I was so hungry. All.the.time. So I ate a piece of bread a day for about 3 days. By day 3 I felt dead. Or more accurately, I felt like I could die. All along when I’ve said I felt sick, it was the only way to describe feeling so tired that I couldn’t move. Some times it was hard to even breathe. And I didn’t even count the brain fog in with the tiredness that was debilitating at times. Weird.

But maybe not so weird. I ran across an article, purely by chance (if there is such a thing), about sub-clinical gluten intolerance. Well, actually I took a quiz from Dr. Mercola about the foods I should be eating. See, I was so hungry *all the time* that I thought that more diet changes might be in order. Should I be eating more fat? Less fat? But lumped in with an eating plan and other stuff was an article about the aforementioned sub-clinical gluten intolerance. Sub-clinical, meaning hidden. As in, Doctors looking at you like you have a second head when the results from your blood-work indicate that nothing is wrong with you but you’re telling them that you feel awful all the time.

I still didn’t really think anything of the gluten thing. Gluten free foods seem to be all the rage these days with candy packages proudly proclaiming that they are, in fact, gluten free. It seemed to me like the whole fat-free cake fad all over again. But I couldn’t ignore the fact that every time I ate anything with gluten, I felt awful. For instance, our friends kept our kiddos for us a couple of weeks ago so that Travis and I could have a date night. It’s kind of a long story but out of desperation for a restaurant, we ended up at The Olive Garden. I hadn’t had pasta in more than two months and I didn’t intend to eat pasta but I was starving and it was just too tempting. So I had pasta con broccoli and bread sticks and it was wonderful and I was full, finally. The next day I was tired, tired, tired but as usual, I chalked it up to being sick. By Sunday I was so tired I felt like I couldn’t stand up or breathe and missed church. Then I was brain foggy for the next several days. I hadn’t had that problem in quite a while. But it lasted most of that week. And I have to say that once I started feeling better and the brain fog went away, it’s so much more irritating when it comes back. I can’t focus, it’s hard to think, it’s hard to read and I most definitely can’t do three things at once(as a mom, I’m often required to do three things at once). I get irritable and end up snapping at some member of the family. I really hate that.

I’ve known for quite a while what happens to me when I eat sugar. The results are instant an unmistakable. I’m beginning to be able to sort out the effect that wheat has on me. Or more specifically gluten, or really more specifically gliadin (I’d link to it but, yawn). I’d suspected wheat in the past but was told that if that was the case that I’d have celiac disease. I most definitely do not have celiac disease. So I kept searching. It’s been 9 years now and I think I may be at the end of my search. Typically people that can’t tolerate gluten also are allergic to milk. I don’t seem to have any issue with milk thankfully. I suppose that a food allergy test would help but people that have the hidden gluten intolerance will not test positive for a wheat allergy. I have a friend that is going to have a biopsy done to confirm gluten intolerance. I’ve had my quota of biopsy things for the year and I figure it’s just easier to avoid gluten.

So why go through this whole boring blog post of what I suspect is wrong with me? Well, for one, my blog friends (who mostly happen to also be friends and family) have gone through this whole head-scratching, frustrating process with me. And I hope that describing my symptoms might help someone else (I’m looking at *you* dad). Oh, and this thing is hereditary, btw. And I feel so good now that I thought you’d want to know. I’m actually pretty emotional at the thought of having lost the last 9 years of my life to bread. And tomorrow I’m actually going hiking. I’m not talking about hiking or wishing I could go hiking or dreaming about the day that I’m well enough to go hiking. Travis and I are taking the girls to Fall Creek Falls. And I’m going to hike and climb rocks and walk through a stream and look at waterfalls. And I’m going to eat a sandwich on brown rice bread for lunch. It’s actually pretty good. And I’m going to laugh and breathe again.

I don’t seem to be able to actually link to the article. You may need an account to read it.


16 thoughts on “Here’s the Rub

  1. Amy,

    Wow! It sounds like you have really been through it! I am glad that you have found the “source” of your suffering and thus a remedy. BTW, your posts are indeed interesting and I concure with your father that you are indeed a very talented writer! Best wishes to you!

  2. Wow. That’s so awesome. It’s sort of like when I found Ivan’s motivation for potty training…but much, much better. 🙂

    I had wondered how you did after eating at Olive Garden that night. I was hoping it wouldn’t affect you, it did, but at least it was another piece of the puzzle.

    Couldn’t be happier for you…well, I guess there are a couple other things that would make me even happier for you but I’m sure you’ll post those eventually.

  3. That rocks! I mean the whole part about figuring out stuff. We get so crazy busy that it’s hard to establish a link between food and feeling, much less even consider that there could be a link. Happy for you all.

  4. I am so. incredibly. happy. for you! What a wonderful feeling! It’s hard to be sensitive to such a common food, but you learn to work your way around it and yeah. The whole feeling better thing makes it so worthwhile 🙂

  5. This is fantastic news! And what a great time to live with a gluten intolerance. Seriously. Even Kroger has gluten free this or that!

    Love you, and thrilled God is giving you the knowledge and tools to be well.

  6. Hey Amy,
    I’m really glad for you that you are feeling better! I go to the doctor Friday myself, I’m trying to figure out why I’m feeling so tired all the time! Not only tired, but very achy and irritable also! I think food and drinking Pepsi all the time is some of my problem! Food can really do a number on your body! I hope I can find my problem and feel as good as you do!

    I enjoy reading your blog!

    Talk to ya later!

    • It’s Food For Life wheat and gluten free bread. I bought it at Publix and it was $6 a loaf. It’s pricey but worth it in my opinion. It’s not light and fluffy like regular bread, which you’d expect. I always toast it because I think it’s better warm. It’s a very dense, yeast bread and smells wonderful when you heat it up. I think taste-wise it’s better than regular sandwich bread. If you have a Whole Foods near you it would be a good place to check out. They have a really good selection of gluten free bread, biscuits, cakes, etc.

  7. I’m so glad you’re feeling better! I know what a struggle it has been. I’ve had some similar mystery health issues in my life and it really can be frustrating not to have a diagnosis or know what to do to make things better.

    • Julia, I’m sorry that you’re struggling with your health too. I really hope you’re able to get some answers soon.

  8. Pingback: Catch-Up « The Mrs. Adventures of Button Girl

  9. Pingback: Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Scones « The Button Casa

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