Since I started posting recipes for gluten free foods, I have had a lot of people ask me how I found out I am gluten intolerant.
It all started a week after my birthday in 2010 when I got my MRT results back. I had already consulted with a GI specialist who wanted to run a test to see if I have Celiac sprue AKA Celiac disease. My test results listed 47 food allergies. Wheat was one of my worst reactions. The dietitian I was very helpful in helping me figure out what I CAN eat, offered a few recipes, helped me find creamer for my coffee (since I already know I am lactose intolerant) and helped me search for breads I can eat too. She was awesome!
Spelt, Kamut, Rye, Oats and Barley were on my lists of non-allergy foods. For the most part, in the beginning I ate a lot of fresh veggies, salads, some fruits and vegetable soups. One day I made a veggie soup with Barley and later that day my stomach hurt a little. That night my abdomen hurt so bad I cried, I became quite bloated and I ended up having horrible diarrhea. I chalked it up to having accidentally adding something to the soup that I am allergic to. I went over all the ingredients and couldn’t find anything. I was stumped and just brushed it off as a stomach bug and went on with life.
For breakfast, I found that oats are very cheap so I started buying some cheap oats and started having the same symptoms. I eventually just quit eating oats and figured I had developed an allergy to them. I sulked for a bit and then remembered that I had made some dessert type thing with a bag of gluten free oat flour and I had no symptoms when I ate them. I also did fine eating the instant oatmeal mixes by Glutenfreeda.
The next trip to Washington to the dietitian went well. I found some spelt bread that was store bought and had nothing I was allergic to in it. I was so excited that I made myself four pizza sandwiches in the early morning hours, crawled into bed for a little sleep and left for home early in the morning.
By the time I had made it to Snoqualmie Pass, I seriously thought of finding a hospital. My gut hurt so bad it felt like someone was running a grappling hook through my intestines and every joint in my body ached. I felt like crap and I ended up stopping at every rest area and nearly every exit from Bremerton to Spokane. When I finally made it home, I was miserable for a few days and had migraines for the next week. I was sure it was the spelt bread and just threw it away even though it didn’t have anything I was allergic to.
I started thinking about what the GI doctor said about celiac sprue and did a little research on what foods on the list that I can eat have gluten. I crossed them off and vowed never to eat them again. The pain wasn’t worth it!
The next appointment I talked to the dietitian about my symptoms and how the GI specialist wanted to test me for celiac sprue. Living 500 miles away from my doctors, I just didn’t get around to making the appointment because I couldn’t get my dietitian and GI appointments on the same week. She explained that it is very possible that I am gluten intolerant.
She highly suggested the test if I wanted it but said that if I avoid gluten before the test, I could come back with a false negative result. She said if I was going to take the test then to eat something with gluten before hand, I think she said the week before? It might have been a few days. OR I could just avoid all gluten since I am obviously gluten intolerant, at the least. (Note: There is such a thing as non-celiac gluten intolerance). I really wanted the celiac test done but I just couldn’t bring myself to putting myself in intense pain for a test. So, I opted to just avoid gluten.
Eventually, I would love to have the test done and some day I might actually go through it. But for now, I am very content just avoiding gluten products and not torturing myself.