Thursday, March 12, 2009

The journey through eating gluten to being gluten-free-Part 1

You stumble upon research that leads you to think that this is what your challenges are lately. You didn't even know what "gluten" was until now. Now you realize that this word might be effecting you more than just not knowing what the word iS or means.

Gluten-intolerance or celiac? January 2007, after doing some research and I don't even remember how I stumbled upon gluten, I was reading over the symptoms and realized that I fit most of them. Mirgraines, stomach distention, fogginess, inability to focus (not just because of my children), irritability, anemia, etc.

I decided to have my chiropractor, that does Applied Kineselogy, to test me for gluten intolerance. Sure enough, I tested for gluten-intolerance, NO gluten in my diet.

At first, I was elated because I found out what was wrong with me. I had read that people's symptoms ever alleviated from following a gluten-free diet. Ok, I can do that. Just change my diet and those terrible, throwing-up, wanting to shot myself, miagraines would be gone.

So, I started to do more research into a gluten-free diet. First, I had to know what gluten was before I could avoid it. Gluten is the protein in wheat, barley, rye, and they used to believe in oats. With more research, they have found that the common problem with oats is the cross-contimation with wheat because oats are often grown in the a field where wheat was grown last year. Though, they are finding that so celiacs or gluten intolerant people still can't handle oats, me being one of them.

Bread isn't one of my favorite foods, like sugar, but when you have to eliminate it from your diet, you start to realize how much of it you actually were eating. That's just wheat that you know about such as bread, pasta, cereals, dinner rolls, etc... How about the hidden wheat, like in dips, soups, and seasonings. Then there is barley. I don't eat barley at all except if I was eating something like Rice Krispies. You would think that they would be fine since it is a rice. When you read the package, you read "barley malt/ malt flavoring". Many packaged foods have this barley malt as an added sugar for flavoring. UGH! How confusing. Let's say you eat something that is "wheat-free" but isn't labeled "gluten-free". I thought I was doing good by buying a "wheat-free" Newman's Own Fig Newton. Didn't accure to me that it wasn't gluten-free so I ate it. WHAM... a migraine and three days later a rash all over my stomach. So I looked at the label when I went back to store (bought it in the bulk section) and sure enough, it was made of barley flour.

Sometimes you just assume that a product wouldn't have wheat in it, why would it. A friend of ours came to a party we were having and brought a cold, pre-packaged creamy spinach dip. Spinach, milk, other ingredients.... why would there be wheat in there. I should have known better after 2 years of eating gluten free but I just dove in with my gluten-free crackers and made sure no one else dipped reagular crackers in there so I wouldn't be cross-contaminated. All of a sudden, it accured to me that I never read the label. But was still fairly certain that there wouldn't be anything with wheat in a creamy-spinach dip. YIKES, wheat half way down this VERY long list (another topic)!! WHY, didn't I read the label BEFORE I stuck my gluten-free cracker in there and eat half the container? I KNOW better that's the part the annoys me.

Find out... what happened in part 2 and more of my continuing journey!