My new doctor didn’t know what she was talking about, I had never been allergic to anything in my life and I always ate healthy; consuming fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain pasta, wheat bread, and lean meats full of protein with a handful of vitamins and plenty of water to wash it all down. That was my life every day, along with exercise, very little sugar and plenty of sleep. Isn’t this what every health and wellness book lays out for us on our quest to remain youthful and robust?
I tell the doctor that I am going to get a second opinion, even though I had nowhere else to go. I just knew she had to be wrong. I have always heard that menopause was rough so maybe that was it. I was going through menopause, feeling as if I was close to death on a daily basis, suffering with abdominal pain and bloating, crazy menstrual cycles, migraines, muscular disturbances as well as bone and joint pain and the inability to keep my balance. There was constipation or diarrhea, depending on the day, and the absolute loss of all the energy that I once had and now so dearly missed.
The doctor hands me a card loaded with lots of fine print and says, ‘Do what you feel you have to do but in the meantime, carry this card with you and be sure you don’t eat any of the foods listed or you will end up with serious intestinal damage or possibly even cancer, Kerri, either way it will be a slow painful death’. My head just drops and I start to read:
- Apples – What? I ate apples every morning with my oatmeal.
- Crab – Friday night date night with my hubby and those scrumptious California rolls!!
- Gluten – I had no idea what this was but I knew I loved it because I loved food!
- Rye – Oh the yummy, delicious turkey sandwiches on rye!! Bring on the bread!
- Green Peas – No, no, not my favorite vegetable!
- Baker Yeast – What? Do they even make good food without this stuff?
- Wheat – Oh my goodness, it just keeps getting worse!
- Barley – The scrumptious nutty flavor that perks up my soups!
- Sesame – Fish! Oh what was I going to put on my fish?
- Basil – No wheat pasta for those cold nights at home and now no basil to spice things up?
- Safflower – I could live without this – no big deal. It’s just oil right?
- Malt – I don’t drink beer or whiskey so I think I’m safe here. I got this!
- Grapes – No grapes? No wine? NO WINE???? Someone, please put me out of my misery now!
What was I going to eat? I was going to have to change my whole entire lifestyle just to stay alive and get healthy. The environment that I had surrounded myself with since I was a teenager, the environment I learned was the best way of life was now making me really sick.
This is the story of how I became gluten-free fabulous. One day of avoiding the foods above made such a difference in the way that I felt that there was no need to get a second opinion. I knew then that the doctor was right and it was up to me to save myself from a lifetime of misery.
Avoiding gluten because of sensitivity or Celiac disease in the United States was nearly unheard of 50 years ago, yet today it’s become a well-known cause of our bad health. I have had several friends over the year’s talk of being allergic to gluten or of having Celiac disease but I never educated myself on it. Then after years of being a bill of great health, I got sick – really sick and I saw doctor after doctor, neurologist, gynecologist, optometrist, gastrointestinal specialist, orthopedic surgeons, pain specialists, etc. You name it, I saw them. They ran test after test, did procedure after procedure, costing me thousands and thousands of dollars that had me misdiagnosed twice, leaving me with a cabinet full of narcotics, a spirit full of frustration and a balled up fist that nearly leveled a doctor that said it was all in my head, after handing me a prescription for Zoloft.
While venting, my friend suggested that I contact a health and wellness doctor, a doctor of natural medicine that was spoken highly off in our area so I made my way in to see her. Her first question, ‘What do you eat on a daily basis?’ This I learned is the first question any doctor should ask you when you are sick; suffering from any of the listed ailments I mentioned above or shown below.
I have made it my mission to embrace an entirely new approach to nutrition, living gluten-free and feeling fabulous in a world with shelves full of gluten packed foods. I will share my experiences and pass along valuable product reviews and recipes, to help you in your journey of taking your health back and living a gluten-free fabulous life.
Celiac Disease (celiac sprue, non-topical sprue, and gluten-sensitive enteropathy)
An autoimmune disorder; where the immune system attacks the tissues of the body. This is triggered by consuming a protein called gluten, found in wheat, barley and rye. This interferes with the absorption of nutrients from food by damaging a part of the small intestine called villi making it nearly impossible for the body to absorb nutrients into the bloodstream. This leads to malnourishment and a host of other problems including cancer, osteoporosis, infertility, diabetes, and the onset of other autoimmune diseases.
Tragically, 95% of people with celiac disease remain undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. This means that up to three million Americans have celiac disease and only about 150,000 know they have the condition.