I was rescued by a hurricane.
The problem started soon after I had our first son. Every time I ate, I had so much pain I had to lie down on the couch. When I had my second son, I realized I might have lactose intolerance, an idea inspired by an infant’s struggle with indigestion. But, truthfully, even after cutting out all lactose, I still dealt with the same pain. And, I often wondered how I could feel so terrible after eating something plain like Saltines or pretzels.
Fast forward to September 2008 …
The Cincinnati area dealt with the 80 miles per hour winds leftover from Hurricane Ike. We didn’t lose our roof like most of our neighbors, but we did lose power—for days. With the power out, we had to improvise with our cooking. That was the trick for me.
Having eaten only rice from Whole Grain Rice-a-Roni with carrots on the side, I couldn’t understand what could’ve caused me so much digestive pain afterward. Then I read the box. The only debatable ingredient that jumped off the box was GLUTEN. Actually, something like “extra gluten added”.
Once we had our power again, I read every website I could about gluten. It didn’t take long to discover the autoimmune disease called Celiacs, wholly caused by gluten. A few tests soon confirmed that the excruciating pain I’d felt for eight years was indeed due to Celiacs Disease. But, amazingly, medicine doesn’t help with Celiacs. The symptoms only disappear by cutting gluten out of all consumed food. Thus began my gluten-free year.
Apparently, gluten (or the proteins found in whole wheat and other grains) acts like little burrs when it passes through a digestive system. Scraping the digestive tract of someone with Celiacs, it causes every problem imaginable (including cancer), along with every symptom. I could write for days on the topic, but since I don’t enjoy gory details and am not a physician, I’m providing further links here (if you’re interested).
In one year, I can say my skin color has darkened about five shades to its rightful color, I feel more energy and strength, and I haven’t felt an ounce of the pain I used to have to suffer. It hasn’t been easy, not eating anything with gluten. Bread, cakes, cookies, pies, pasta—you name it—everything good has gluten. But I have happily resisted, because I can’t even begin to tell how truly great and healthy I feel. No pain anymore. Amazing! All because of gluten.
So, I’m writing all this now as a sort of celebration—to one year of digestive health—and as a huge thank you to Hurricane Ike, for saving me.
Given how great I feel now, looks like I’ll be going gluten-free for life.