Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Gluten-Free and Feeling Fine

I have been on the gluten-free diet for one week so it's definitely time to report.

Unfortunately, my data has been compromised by an insidious infiltrator into my lab experiment with my body.  I came down with the flu on Friday.

Ugh. I never saw it coming. On Thursday I was fine. I woke up Friday morning and felt like I'd been trying to swallow a hot iron in my sleep. However, despite my pathetic state and an intense desire to shoot myself in the head, not only did I survive the flu but I survived it gluten-free.

My arthritis is almost non-existent and I now know what it's like to have a "normal" person's belly. In other words, no more strategizing where the nearest restrooms are every time I leave the house. The numbing and tingling sensations I used to get in my arms and legs is gone. I can't speak for the irritability and fatigue, or the diarrhea and nausea, as those are quite normal responses to having the flu. I hate when a lab experiment gets cross-contaminated! More importantly, I hate feeling like a petri dish. 

On the social front being gluten-free has proven to be more of a challenge:

 I live in the South. It's like living in another country. There is no Whole Foods or Earthfare. There are virtually no good grocery stores in this area AT ALL. The nearest Whole Foods and Earthfare are about two hours from here. Furthermore, the grocery stores here don't have specialized sections for people with specific needs, like diabetics or those with Celiac Disease. So searching for food has been a bit tough.

I did, however, find this wonderful website where you can find everything you want and need but can't get locally:

450w x 115h Gluten-Free Mall for Gluten-Free Foods

They have bread. 'Nuff said.

Despite all my whining about the pathetic condition of grocery stores in this state I happen to work in one. This leads me to my other gluten-free social "challenge". When I'm at work I am constantly reminded of all the things I am not allowed to eat. If it weren't for sites like www.celiac.com I think I would probably go into a fit. Thankfully, sites like celiac.com and the Gluten-Free Mall offer me all kinds of ways to continue to eat my favorite foods (modified, of course), things like pizza and pancakes. Mmmmmm!

My last social challenge of the week of being gluten-free was that on the worst night of my flu my husband decided to order chinese food for dinner. What could I have? A quickie take-out order turned into a half hour search on the internet to answer that question. Due to the limited options and my flu-induced lack of appetite we settled for egg-drop soup. Once again, Mmmmmm!

Being sick has put me behind the eight-ball. I wanted to discover recipes, buy more ingredients, and expand my gluten-free experience but so far all I've got is the typical rice, potatoes and corn diet to go on. I am hoping that this week will be one of much enlightenment, experiments, and experience with an expanded gluten-free universe for me.

I'll let you know next week. 

Oh, and if any of you gluten-free aficionados have any advice or recipes you'd like to share then PLEASE DO, BY ALL MEANS! (And thank you.)


  1. Have you gone gluten free because of a celiac diagnosis or to address your arthritis or other autoimmune or inflammatory condition? Regardless, welcome! I have been gluten free since September of 2009, took my three kids gf in September of 2010, all of us went dairy free as well in October of 2010 and by November we discovered one of my boys can't eat soy so we are mostly soy free as well.

    Let me know if you need resources. There are blogs, cookbooks and lists. Not only does my family feel GREAT but the food we eat tastes better. I can't recommend this life enough, particularly if you suffer from any autoimmune or inflammatory condition. It is a brand new life and you feel MUCH better within a month.

  2. Thanks, Jake! It's a long story so I'll try to be concise. About four years ago I was diagnosed with arthritis. Went to a rheumatologist (sp?) and after lots of tests he told me I had some auto-immune disorder that was causing the arthritis. I've always had IBS. 2 years ago I had pain so bad I landed in the emergency room. After lots of tests I was told I had colitis. For more about THAT read my other post about "Metaphysics". I managed pretty well until recently when the colitis came back again. Doctors say they have to do a colon biopsy and colonoscopy and blood tests to find out if I have celiac. I figured I could try the gluten-free diet first and see if my symptoms dissipated on their own. That's all the "testing" I require. Ha ha!

    It never dawned on me until about 2 weeks ago that the arthritis, auto-immune disorder, AND the colitis could all be connected. My eyes have been OPENED!

  3. Celiac stories are always long. :( We live with multiple disorders and undiagnosed pain for years with no doctor putting the pieces together. So glad you found the answer. :)