I am soaking up the last few weeks of summer before my boys go back, I hope you are having a great summer as well! I recently made a decision regarding my health that I wanted to share with you. I never, ever thought I would be one to do this but I thought it was worth a try. I decided to go gluten free!!! It’s been almost 2 months now and I feel so much better!
First let me say, I am not a doctor, nor do I have any medical experience what so ever. If you are feeling similar symptoms you should consult your doctor.
After my last post I was feeling better for a while, I was making good eating choices, making sure I stayed hydrated and it worked. I felt like I was working really hard at it, when generally speaking I drink tons of water and eat healthy in general. So May & June were crazy, in a good way of course, you can read more HERE. My symptoms of dizziness, brain fog & heart palpitations began to surface again. After a family trip to an all inclusive resort I decided it was time to follow up again with my doctor, my episodes were at all time high.
I was convinced it was my heart, both my dad and sister were very young when they had a heart attack and I was convinced I was headed there. I followed ALL the tests they suggested, ECCO, Carotid, stress test and they even had me wear a monitor to track episodes. It was such peace of mind to know everything came back clean, with no issues. I am just going to say this, if this helps one person. My sister passed away suddenly, with no warning at the age of 48. Stay on top of seeing a cardiologist, the symptoms for women are often overlooked.
The day after I got back from our family vacation I went to get bloodwork. Let me set this up for you, over the vacation I ate a ton of spinach, ordered red meat and took an iron pill every single day. But…I also indulged in a ton of carbs, more than I ever usually eat. The results came back, I was very low in iron and my sugars were slightly high. They ran a chemical screen and tested for pretty much everything, except Lyme’s Disease, which I will go back for, just to be sure. I was perplexed. How could my iron be so low when my body was taking in so much of it. I began to think it wasn’t being absorbed for some reason. A friend told me she had similar symptoms, they ran all the bloodwork for her and that her doctor had suggested going gluten free after they found nothing conclusive. She had mentioned this to me a few times in the past but I didn’t want to believe that gluten could be responsible for all this craziness in my body. After realizing what I ate over the vacation I began to think there could be a correlation. I talked to my doctor and he said it was worth trying.
Often we think of a gluten allergy or sensitivity as it relates to stomach issues. You can actually develop a sensitivity as you get older and the symptoms can vary. After searching many articles online, the details that struck a cord was that many individuals have low iron (anemia) & feel like they are malnourished because they aren’t absorbing the nutrients, bingo! Plus the dizziness, tingling, fatigue and brain fog symptoms I was experiencing. Apparently gluten can stick to the lining of your stomach so it prevents absorption. It is fascinating and they are different variations of symptoms, THIS article was helpful. I had no idea a food substance could cause such havoc on the body.
When I share with people I am gluten free, they have questions. First question-has it been hard? I would answer this with more of a no than yes. My niece has been GF for years, so she has been a big help. There are so many GF alternatives these days that it makes it much easier. Basically you need to stay away from anything containing wheat, oats, rye and barley. I closely read the ingredients if in question and usually it will say “contains wheat, oats, etc…” The good thing is, there are SO many things I can eat! The only times it feels like a challenge is when it’s pizza night, I LOVE PIZZA! But…they make that in GF as well, some are better than others though. Desserts, another weakness, I just make them at home, my boys can’t tell the difference. Or I find flourless options or ice cream. The second question- did you loose weight? No, I stayed consistent but I have way more energy and I don’t feel blotted all the time! I started out cutting all carbs but that was really hard, I was hungry all the time. On a typical day I start the day with coffee, a bowl of Cheerios or eggs, a veggie drink, a small sandwich for lunch with GF bread, loaded with spinach, a kind bar for a snack with fruit or carrots and dinner is chicken, fish, spinach salad or tomatoes & mozzarella. I indulge when I want to, trust me I don’t deprive myself, I just watch the portions. I have found gluten free substitutes for everything but I look at the ingredients closely, so much of the fillers are words I can’t even pronounce. The biggest take away, listen to your body, had I not I would have never pieced this together and knew enough to try this.
Again, please consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet. It is very important to go through the proper channels of care, I just wanted to share my story with you in case you felt a connection in your own life. As we get older it is so important to take care of ourselves, this is something I am constantly reminding myself of.
Please be kind with your words. Have a happy day friends!