Before a few months ago food was just a thing I ate. There were points in my life that I didn’t eat nearly enough of it to be healthy, and there were points where I ate way to much. But, it was never something I had to think much about. If I was hungry, or upset, I ate something….anything!
While talking about other people’s food allergies I often joked that “I Love Gluten”. And, to a degree I did. I ate very little fruits and veggies, and went heavy on the gluten. (Not that I actually knew what gluten was) I just ate what was tasty.
For the last few years at work we have had mandatory blood testing done. Two years ago my thyroid levels came back higher than normal, but I was told by a nurse through a mandatory one-on-one session that the levels weren’t high enough to be worried. So, I didn’t bother with them. Then last year, during the mandatory blood testing my thyroid levels were even higher. A quick check of Google and WebMD I found that the levels were high enough for me to consider getting further testing. A couple of more blood test later and I was diagnosed with a condition where my body produces antibodies that are attacking my thyroid causing it not to function. Without much research I was referred to an Endocrinologist who seemed to only be concerned with putting me on meds to mask my symptoms. Anything from acid reflux, fatigue, indigestion……and the list goes on. I was getting so little help from the Dr., back to Google and WebMD I went. I quickly found that the first thing I should have been advised to do once getting the thyroid diagnosis was to remove gluten from my diet. I did a bit more research , made another useless trip to the Dr., and decided on my own I would try eating Gluten Free to see if any of my symptoms went away. Within three days the acid reflux and indigestion I was struggling with for so long with was gone. I am at about 2 months Gluten Free and feel noticeably better.
Although I didn’t get much support from my Dr. on the gluten free suggestion (I am convinced he is getting paid by each pill he prescribes) he ran a Celiac blood panel for me. Of course, he did the blood test after I have been gluten free for 2 months so I wasn’t holding out too much hope for the test to come back positive. I figured it would just be a way for him to prove to me that his thyroid pills were the only thing I needed.
Earlier today I got the Celiac Blood Panel results back as a weak positive. The levels of antibodies in my blood were elevated enough to be able to say that I am in fact reacting to gluten. More of my own research told me that when these tests are performed the person should be on a gluten diet for several months. So, who knows how much more elevated they would be had I not made the choice to go gluten free two months ago. There are other tests that can be done to come up with a more accurate positive, but that would involve me eating gluten again. And, I am not ready to do that to myself again.
This positive test only proves to me that I was not crazy when I walked into my Drs office two months ago asking if I changed what I ate would it solve some of my medical issues. It also reinforces to me my need to be careful with everything I put in my mouth. Because although I may not have immediate symptoms, my internal organs may be suffering without me knowing.
When I talk about being gluten free, I don’t get any cheat days. I don’t get to go out with friends for pizza and ignore the fact that one slice of pizza may make me sick for days. I also am not on a fad diet, trying to be like all of the cool celebrities trying to drop a quick 10 lbs. I am doing this only to be healthy with as few pills from the Dr. as possible.
I have an appt. with an Integrative Medicine Dr. in June that will hopefully be able to put me on a path to better health, minus bottles of pills.
But, for now, Gluten Free is my reality. I have used up all of my Cheat Days.