I cringe sometimes when I have to tell a waiter I’m gluten free. Sometimes I’m overly apologetic, as if it’s my fault I can’t have gluten. I’d love to not be gluten free, but it was one of the first things that really worked at helping to ease my symptoms when I was first diagnosed with Graves Disease.
There was a time when it hurt to sit and watch TV, my joints would ache. My fingers and wrists throbbed, my tummy was always upset or bloated, and I was puffy around my eyes on the daily. Hindsight is 20/20 so I can see now where it was gluten wreaking havoc on my system but at the time I had resolved myself to “this is how I”m going to feel now” which isn’t a good way to live, is it?
When my Super Hero Endo (I call him this because he was Endo doc number two - I had fired the first one for being pushy and not on Team Anne) suggested we stop gluten while he did other tests, I was sad but determined to be a good student. That very night I went with my nephew and my friend Michael to get all of my favorite “gluten” foods for takeout. We piled the dining room table high with pizza, burgers, Chinese food, bread on bread wrapped in bread then fried…. it was pretty much like Thanksgiving minus the turkey, all in its own gluten-filled goodbye.
Within two weeks I felt different - aches were subsiding, I wasn’t itchy and I saw the puffiness around my eyes decrease. It wasn’t long until I could feel on my insides the effect it was having and physically I just felt better. I was happier, too, and felt mentally clearer. Can I honestly say this result was because of dropping gluten? No but I can say it’s my experience and whenever I tried to have a little gluten to see “if” I could stomach it now or when I‘ve been accidentally gluten-ed the symptoms come back within 24 hours, if not sooner.
This is why I chose to be gluten free - I did it with my doctor’s permission and we made it part of my health strategy.
Has your doctor advised you to be gluten free to change the way you are eating as a more holistic approach to your health? Let me know in the comments!