In 2008 began my long battle against the Gluten-Free Blues!
I didn’t know what was going on with my body. Constant headaches, constipation, and stomach pain, I thought that something was very seriously wrong with me. I would sit and think the worse over and over in my head, like is it cancer, or stomach ulcers? You know how sometimes us moms can be a little dramatic. I would spend hours googling, and looking at information online to diagnose myself, which is a definite no-no. It got so bad that it seemed like my hubby, close family, and some friends didn’t believe me. It seemed they believed that maybe it really was not that bad, and just maybe it is all in my head.
But after months of ER visits, doctors appointments, and specialist appointments. NOTHING was changing at all. I had begun a stock pile of prescription medications for acid reflux, fiber, and laxatives. But then the light at the end of the tunnel began to shine. I was finally diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine (colon). Irritable bowel syndrome commonly causes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. IBS is a chronic condition that you will need to manage long term. Even with this diagnosis I still had reoccurring symptoms, so I started to do more research, and came across lots of post discussing the correlation between Gluten, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Without much thought I made the decision: no more pain or ER, or doctor visits I needed to find the remedy, I would start with my diet. Gluten-Free it will be!
See I got to a point where I was fed up, honestly this is the one thing that keeps me from ever touching Gluten. The other factor is I was tired of feeling the same even after medications. My transition to Gluten-Free was easy, and according to my research I could have had a Gluten Intolerance (Wheat Allergy) or Celiac Disease. If you have a Gluten intolerance or Wheat allergy, the Mayo Clinic explains that your exposure to a wheat protein primes your immune system for an allergic reaction. You can develop an allergy to any of the four classes of wheat proteins — albumin, globulin, gliadin and gluten.
Sources of wheat proteins
Some sources of wheat proteins are obvious, such as bread. But with all wheat proteins – gluten in particular – can be found in many prepared foods and even in some cosmetics, bath products and play dough. Foods that may include wheat proteins, include:
- Breads and bread crumbs
- Cakes and muffins
- Breakfast cereals
- Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
- Soy sauce
- Some condiments, such as ketchup
- Meat products, such as hot dogs or cold cuts
- Dairy products, such as ice cream
- Natural flavorings
- Gelatinized starch
- Modified food starch
- Vegetable gum
- Jelly beans
- Hard candies
After looking at the list of this items that were available in my kitchen, I started to replace with the Gluten-Free version. Even down to my make-up, I was serious about kicking the gluten out of my life for good.
Healing my Gut
So the process of healing my gut started as I steered clear of Wheat products. I began introducing Gluten-Free products that I would find in stores. Some where good, some were bad, but I started to build up a go to for dinner options, and products. I also began learning how to bake Gluten-Free which is pretty difficult, and is a post all of it’s own. Gluten is what holds baked goods together, so I’ve learned that adding xanthum gum to my recipes to act as a gluten agent. I also learned that not necessarily all Gluten-Free all purpose flours would work for every recipe.
As I made these changes my symptoms began to dissipate. No more pain, constipation, or headache. I vowed to never eat gluten again! Today marks 4 years of no gluten, and I’ve never felt better! The benefits stretched past just the physical symptoms that I experienced to loosing my baby bump (from always being constipated), my face acne cleared up too.
The Best of the Best Gluten-Free food in Genesee County
These are a few of my favorite spots to hit up when I’m hanging around town. Most restaurants now have a Gluten-Free menu that you check out.
Best Pizza: It’s a tie between Hungry Howie’s and Jet’s Pizza
Best Wrap: Pesto’s
Best Sub: Mancino’s
I think I will need to continue this post with some recipes and baked good items too! In conclusion it’s important to note that I have an intolerance, where many actually have Celiac Disease where they have more severe symptoms if exposed to gluten. It is also important to note that the Gluten-Free diet should not be used just to lose weight it should be a consistent lifestyle.
Do you practice a Gluten-Free diet? Share your story with us & your favorite Gluten Free spots around town!