Friday, February 7, 2014

Going Gluten Free Due to Sensitivities (It's Not Easy!)

Right after Thanksgiving, I had a bit of a wake up call. I knew I was fat, but the scale now terrified me as I watched the numbers climb. Michael and I have been trying to get pregnant again since my last miscarriage in January 2012 with no success yet. I know my weight is not helping this along. 
Recalling how very early in my pregnancy with Daniella, not knowing yet that I was pregnant, Michael and I went on the Maximized Living Advanced Plan Healing Diet. In six weeks' time, I lost 25+ lbs. Since it removes all grains from your diet, I decided to take a slightly different approach and I wanted to go gluten free. I have long suspected that both Michael and I minimally have a sensitivity to gluten. I decided to start off slowly, gradually removing more and more gluten from my diet with the expectation of going 100% gluten free during Lent.
Well, things didn't go exactly as planned. I began by removing gluten from one meal a day. Feeling better already and noticing less overall inflammation in my body, after about a week, I increased it to removing gluten from two meals a day and being approximately 70% gluten free. Here's where things got a bit crazy. Not only was I finding it difficult to find plenty to eat that was gluten free, but my body responded...and not in a good way.

Suddenly, I was constantly running to the bathroom with diarrhea multiple times a day. I knew it wasn't something viral because no one else in my family had the problem. Then, something scary began happening. I began passing blood. I knew that I didn't have hemorrhoids. This was not just a few drops of blood either, it was quite a bit and it happened multiple times. It wasn't unusual for it to occur more than once a day even.
At this point, I consulted two very important people in my life, both of whom I trust a great deal. I consulted my chiropractor and my former foster mom, who is a paramedic with extensive medical knowledge. Why didn't I see a doctor, you ask? Two reasons.
1. I don't really trust them.
2. I knew I wasn't dying (though the thought DID cross my mind...)
3. I don't have medical insurance.

Thanks to discussions with both of them, Dr. Google, and my gut instinct (literally my gut was trying to tell me something!), we have come to the conclusion that I either have Celiac's Disease or an allergy/sensitivity to gluten. Apparently, it tends to manifest itself when it is greatly reduced in your diet. This didn't happen to me while on the Maximized Living Advanced Plan Healing Diet because then I had no gluten. I went from all to none then. By gradually decreasing gluten, my gut responded and tried "fighting off" the gluten now that there was less of it and it began noticing it more.
So I weaned down to having gluten only  once every 36+ hours. I began having agony in my gut. Whenever I would eat gluten, I would be agony for hours, followed by tolerable pain for several more hours. Finally, I decided on this past Saturday that I was done. I could not go on in plain just to be able to eat certain foods.
I even met with a Mass coordinator after Mass on Saturday night to discuss a gluten free Communion Host. I was given a Catholic pyx for Eucharist (not an affiliate link, just for reference for anyone who is interested). I was then instructed of the procedure for how to avoid cross contamination. Sadly, I will no longer be able to take Communion directly for the Priest's hands to my lips as that would be potential for cross contamination.
There's a whole new world out there for me to learn as I begin life gluten free. I know that this is just the beginning and I hope to share my journey with you as I go.
Oh, and I have lost ten pounds so far since Christmas. Hopefully being gluten free will help me continue to lose weight.
Do you have any advice for me about gluten free living? Please comment below to share it with me!