2/7/13

My life without Gluten: Why you should care.

I never use this blog for personal stories especially illness-related stuff, but I hope that if there is anyone going through what I went most of my life and I can help that person then this is more than worthy.  A year ago due to severe stomach pain and frequent heartburn I had my fourth endoscopy done in a span of ten years.  I had suffered from severe stomach pain and heartburn most of my life.  While the results of the endoscopies hinted at gastritis, this time they discovered a Peptic ulcer in the duodenum so I was sent for more tests to find out what caused it.  The most common cause is stomach bacteria, abuse of pain killers such as aspirin and ibuprofen and a gluten allergy.  Since I came negative in the biopsy to all of the above the only cause left was a rare condition called Zollinger-Ellison syndrome people with this disease have a tumor in the pancreas mostly malign. This tumor releases high levels of a hormone that increases stomach acid.  I have to say that my father died of Pancreatic cancer more than ten years ago so when the Doctor vaguely mentioned this I cried for days so hard that my voice changed and people thought I had a cold. 
I also suffered from severe migraine that would last for at least three days, from back pain, brain fog, tiredness, lethargy and was always physically weak.  The only position I would feel comfortable in was being reclined with pillows under my back.  I couldn't even sit or lay down on the floor because basically every position was difficult and painful for me.  It was as if I had small needles inside my mid-section.  It was a very uncomfortable feeling.
Reading more about gluten-allergy we learned that it is not only genetic and there are various levels of it where even the mildest one has an accumulative effect.  So as my hubby suggested I started a gluten-free diet "trial" for a bit exactly two weeks before the second endoscopy.  By the first week my heartburn and pain were gone, my back pain got better, I didn't have any headaches and for first time in my life my body felt comfortable inside me.  The endoscopy only lasted about 15 minutes and the doctor did not see anything abnormal.  No ulcer whatsoever! 
It's been almost a year since I've been living on a strictly Gluten-fren diet and it's the first time in my life that I feel at ease within myself.  If by any chance I eat something with Gluten by mistake the headache of the following day would let me know.
If you suffer from two or more of the symptoms I mentioned above try to take gluten out of your life for a period of time and you'll see the big difference.  Get to know your body and feel good in it.
image, my owned.
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6 comments:

Bourbon & Pearls said...

I have no problem with gluten but one of my friends suffered just as you did, changing her diet has transformed her life.

Cute Dresses for Cheap said...

Thanks for sharing your personal story. Having recently started eating gluten free myself I can appreciate your experiences and the headaches and stomach aches of accidentally eating gluten from time to time.

therelishedroost said...

I dont have a gluten allergy, but I do think I am intolerant. I have been to GI MD a few times, with issues and at one point I thought just cut it out to see, and of course I feel better when I dont eat wheat products! But its hard, I love good bread and pasta, need a good brand to switch to!
XO Karolyn

Bourbon & Pearls said...

Meant to add, I'm not on Instagram but saw your pics, I adore your style - the red dress and boots? Wow!

Mary Ann at classic•casual•home said...

Good advice. Thank you.

classiq said...

I don't have a problem with gluten, but I know how important is a right diet for those who do. Thank you for opening up, Julie.