Friday, September 27, 2013

Health & Fitness Friday: My Journey to a Gluten-Free Diet

Happy Friday Peeps! It's good to be back and I have something really important to talk about today.


In order to tell my little story, I need to work backwards on our Health & Fitness Friday list and start with

THINK

For as long as I can remember, I've always had stomach issues. In college, I was at our health clinic every 6 months complaining of chronic stomach aches and pains. I was treated for everything from acid reflux, to "potential ulcers" to IBS. A lot of times, the meds they prescribed would help and I would think "Yes! We've figured it out."

But then they would come back again.

Things haven't changed much in my adult life either. Same aches and pains, same diagnosis, and I never really pushed the issue. But a few weeks ago, after a long weekend of wedding celebrations and fancy dinners, I had a stomach ache that was so bad...I could barely stand straight. It hurt all over so it was hard to explain to my doctor where the pain was coming from. My gallbladder, appendix and kidneys were ruled out, and after two ultrasounds we knew all my "lady parts" were working just fine too. I left with nothing more than a prescription for Motrin.

The stomach ache lasted for a few more days, although not as severe as it was the first day. I was texting with my girls Heather and Sarah and BOTH of them asked if I had ever been tested for Celiac Disease. I can honestly say that I don't know much about Celiac, but what I've always been told is that people who suffer from it get violently ill whenever they eat even the smallest amount of gluten. I eat gluten like it's my damn JOB and I can't say that I get a stomach ache every time I eat it. I do display some of the classic symptoms, but not to the extent that I would ever assume I had it. But I was out of options and I started to THINK...what if I did have it? Could that explain all of my stomach issues over the last 20 years? It was time to stop thinking about it and just do what I needed to 

DO

The next day I made a follow-up appointment with my doctor. After giving him more of my history, he thought it was a smart idea to run some blood work, including a Celiac Panel to see if that would get us more answers.

A week later I got my results and my Celiac Panel came back POSITIVE.

I was honestly in shock when he told me. As much as I hoped for an answer, I wasn't prepared to actually get one. He explained that the positive result could mean one of two things:

1) I have Celiac Disease or


There is also the .2% chance that my blood work was a lab error :-) Because that is not likely, I am seeing a Gastro specialist to discuss the next step, which will most likely be a biopsy of my small intestine to determine if I do, in fact, have Celiac. 

But no matter the results, it looks like a Gluten-free diet is in my very near future. This is going to be a HUGE lifestyle change for me, but I am facing it head on. Heather loaned me a great book to get started...

The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide

My mom also sent me this fantastic article that answered a lot of my questions.

Even though I have to keep gluten in my diet until all testing is done, it's time I really start figuring out what I am going to

EAT!

To be honest...I am a bit overwhelmed thinking about all the things I will need to change in my diet. No more real breads, cakes, cookies, pasta...so many of the things I love. All I have to say is that it is a damn good thing that coffee and wine are gluten-free because seriously...I would have to be committed.

But all joking {and worry} aside...I am feeling very positive about this change. All my ups and downs with gaining weight and feeling bloated all the time may disappear when I start this new diet and that alone makes me excited to get started. It will be an adjustment, but I am SO LUCKY to have all the resources that are available now, including all the g-free food in grocery stores and restaurants. And of course, let's not forget my two g-free buddies that will be my on-call nutritionists in the beginning :-)  

For those of you that are currently on a gluten-free diet or have been considering one for health reasons, I just found out tonight that if you have a subscription to Emeals, they have a Gluten-Free plan!!!!! I am so excited to start stock -piling recipes that will be good enough for Eric and the kids to eat too. 

And because I am a cookbook whore, there are a few new ones I am hoping to add to my shelf. Each of these have wonderful reviews:

Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great: More Than 150 Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, and Dairy-Free Recipes for D

Paleo Cooking from Elana's Pantry: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free Recipes

And of course for the holidays, I will NEED THIS!

Gluten-Free Holiday Baking

I am sorry I strayed off course a bit for this week's Health & Fitness Friday, but this was big health news in my world and I just wanted to share it with all of you in the hopes of getting some tips and advice as I start this new journey.

And seriously guys...once I get all this under control, I have 150 miles left to run to get to 1,000 on Nike+ and if I am going to do that before 2013 is over, I need to get my ass in gear!!!!

Let's do this peeps!!!


4 comments:

  1. So glad you figured out what's wrong with you. I'm sorry this is what you found out. At least this day and age it is pretty easy to find gluten free foods at the grocery store. I have several friends who are gluten free. You'll figure it out momma! And just think how much better you are going to feel.

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  2. We have a lot of food allergies that run in the family! My sister, grandma and I are dairy free and my nephew is gluten free. It's always interesting what foods my mom can come up with to eat on the holidays! But even though it is difficult at first, it just becomes habit. And when you realize how much better you feel, it will make it easier to make the right choices instead of cheating. Good luck! and I hope it helps :)

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  3. I like this site. Thanks for sharing this article, great way of bring such topic to discussion. Wow, that was pretty interesting. Inspiring, as well. Thanks for sharing such inspiring experience with us. Great blog, congrats!

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  4. OMG! Can't believe you might have Celiac! I know it sounds "mean.." but I'm excited for you. :) Cutting gluten out of my diet has been incredible for soooooo many reasons and I know you'll give me FAB new recipe ideas! Text me if you have any questions! I'm not a pro, but I sure have learned a TON!

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