I have been gluten free for six years now. I did not start this as a fad diet or because I had celiac disease. I developed a skin rash that was finally linked to gluten. The doctor said that I was gluten intolerant and if I did not stop eating gluten, I could develop an autoimmune disease or that I possibly had an autoimmune disease that they could not diagnose.
I immediately went gluten free. The skin rash cleared up with the help of steroids and going gluten free. Recently, it has been concluded that those with the skin rash, DH, (which is what I have) do have Celiac. It doesn’t really matter how or what you label it, changing my diet changed my world. And amazingly, other random symptoms I had been experiencing over the past couple years started clearing up.
– My migraines decreased from 2 to 3 a month to 1 every couple months.
– My random IBS that my doctor had previously said was in my head, went away.
– I would have the worst gas and that was gone!
– I finally began to lose weight.
– I was no longer tired 24 hours a day.
– I did not feel depressed all the time.
– I was always dehydrated no matter how much water I drank in one day.
– I was anemic across the board. I was having to take several supplements to my levels from being too low. My body was just not absorbing them.
– My balance drastically improved. I am still clumsy but nowhere CLOSE to the level of clumsiness I was experiencing.
– And this skin rash! The official name is lichen planus. It covered my body. It was red and itchy. It burned. I was miserable 24/7.
– And finally, I was able to go off my high blood pressure (HBP) medicine earlier this year. I has diagnosed with HBP when i was 29 and the doctor could provide no other explanation than it was hereditary. I am now 34 and I no longer have HBP, no longer taking medicine and I feel great!
All of this occurred while I was engaged, planning a wedding and raising a teenager. I spent so much time reading books, articles, learning what maltodextrin is, every variation for wheat, barley and rye products, understanding what caramel color and natural flavoring mean and just figuring things out through trial and error.
I started this website to show my knowledge with others struggling with unexplained dietary issue. I am slow to put stuff up there but I am getting better at it every day. The great part is that I have the content, I just need to find the time and energy.
My professional goal is to enroll at North Carolina State University to receive my Masters in Science in Nutrition. I have already helped a couple people discover their dietary restrictions and I want to make it a career. Stay tuned while I share more about my experience so hopefully it will help yours.
The main thing you need to do when you first go gluten free is to keep it simple. Secondly, take a small notebook with you to the grocery store. Just because the label says gluten free, it may still have gluten in it or processed in a factory that processes wheat. It really depends on how sensitive you are. I am very sensitive. Anyway, write down the name of the product and research it yourself. There is also usually a number or email on the lane. Call and ask them questions.
I am not only gluten intolerant but also dyes, processes preservatives, and artificial flavorings bother me. If you are looking to be truly all natural and gluten free, check the ingredients on labels and learn about the company that makes the product. Just because something is gluten free, it does not mean that it is all natural too.