You want me to do what?

December 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

Before May 2011, I hadn’t even heard of gluten.  But in May, I found out all about it and it changed my life more than I ever thought possible.

In early summer 2010, I was at an amusement park with my friends. We do this every year. On this particular day, I had a sudden blast of nausea and found myself in the bathroom stall getting sick.  Shortly after, I felt completely back to normal. I’m not a person who vomits. I’ve always found it revolting and “fight it.” That day, I had no choice and I knew it. I thought it was something I’d eaten or maybe a ride had gotten to me so I didn’t think much of it.  Then, it happened several times, randomly over the next three months.  I started keeping a log of what I ate or drank or did.  Nothing seemed to “trigger” it.

I went to my family doctor who was a little perturbed that I had waited so long to see her.  She began running labs, sending me to get tests (gallbladder, scans, radioactive egg salad scan to test for narrowing of the esophagus).  You name it, she sent me.  In the meantime I developed a severe stomach pain that would come and go sporadically. Sometimes it would last ten minutes and sometimes it could last for four hours.  It was debilitating! My appetite remained and I continued to gain weight despite the frequent trips to the bathroom.  Nothing made sense. Finally, my doctor had me tested for celiac disease.  Of course that came back normal as well.  My doctor explained to me that even if the test comes back normal, I could still have a “gluten” allergy.  In my head of course, I was asking why on earth the test is even given if it’s not accurate.  So a little over a year later, my doctor recommended I try to eliminate gluten/wheat from my diet.  “You want me to do WHAT?” Needless to say, I was skeptical at first.  For as long as I could remember my diet WAS bread, beer, and other items with flour.  I always ate relatively healthy but those were my staples.  My first thought was “It better not be this.  I can’t live without beer and bread.”

Within the first week, the pain stopped cold.  The vomiting and nausea remained for a short time but quickly dissipated in the next few weeks.  I never, ever thought I say it, but by that second week, I was HAPPY to give up beer and bread. The pain I had during that year was unbelievable.  And to be able to find out what was causing it was a victory in itself.

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