Thursday, October 17, 2013

GEE EFF: Why I went Gluten Free, Part 1

Lately, it seems like it is very vogue to go gluten free.  You'll lose weight, or you'll feel so much better they say.  Just stop eating anything that has wheat, rye, barley, smelt, or kamut in it.  You will come closer to the Gods then you ever thought imaginable. Sure, people, sure. *SNORT*

Come on, who doesn't love a freshly baked roll with butter oozing down the side.  I'll tell you who, this girl.  I grew up on freshly baked bread and rolls.  My Mom baked it every single weekend and then we ate it all week long. It was the bestie, best, best, I tell you!  I loved it and to this day, I daydream about it. Not. Kidding.

My maternal Grandfather is from German descent.  He used to tell me that all Germans loved their bread.  He used to take special trips into town each week, just to buy bread.  That was it, just bread, nothing else.  He served it with every single meal as a side dish to just with milk (in milk toast) as a snack.  He loved bread, I think, more than life itself.  I must get this obsession from him and it is a perfectly normal obsession I think.  It could be worse for cripes sake.  As I got older, I moved towards the healthy stuff like whole wheat or better yet, sprouted.  I was healthy plus I got my coveted bread.

Then, I found out that I had some pretty terrific thyroid health issues.  Now, I had been expecting this.  Thyroid disease runs rampant in my family on both sides, maternal and paternal.  My sister got it when she was just sixteen and I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism after the birth of my first child (it is commonly onset after childbirth). I got my synthroid (synthetic thyroid hormone), took it daily, and life moved on --- with bread!  But even with the synthetic thyroid replacement meds, I still didn't feel the greatest.  I had a multitude of symptoms:  adult acne, bad breath, sores in my mouth and on my tongue, tingling extremities, signs of early menopause, infertility, swelling in the hands and feet, vitamin D deficiency, mood swings, short temper, anxiety, dark circles under my eyes, pale skin, chronic fatigue, sinus pressure, and sleeping issues.  Now, these didn't happen all the time though some are more chronic like the pale skin and dark circles but the sores in my mouth were intermittent and very painful.  My regular practioner, who I love dearly, referred me to an endocrinologist who basically said, he just didn't know, "all your numbers are normal."  So I took it that I was just a whiner - I mean look at that list - and I moved on, just trying to get by day by day.

I was ordering vitamins from a friend of mine, who also happens to be our old neighbor who I know has had a myriad of health issues along with her kids, and she mentioned that maybe I should try a holistic approach.  Now, she has given this advice to me before with #1 when she was a baby and it did not turn out so great, but that was 8 years ago and I am not an infant.  Maybe I needed to check this out.  So I made an appointment and went.  It turns out that my thyroid antibodies were off the charts - like 100x what they should be. OK, then.  Now what?  Well the only thing you can really do, they told me, is to go gluten free.  Gluten what?  I was being a smart ass. I had heard of it, of course, it was the cool thing to do, but I love bread. I eat it EVERY DAY PEOPLE!  I started to feel the anxiety creep up on me (I also have some food issues but that is for another post) about eliminating something completely from my diet.  How was I going to do this?  Would it even work? How would my family react? Will I ever get to eat bread again? The horror!

That's it for today, I'll continue this topic in another post next week.  Stay tuned!

Until then,
J.K. Sasse

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