I owe it to my mom that I am starting to write this blog, she suggested I write about my experiences and thoughts as I travel down the newly paved road of being gluten free. As Julie Andrews sang in Sound of Music “Let’s Start at the Very Beginning”
I have not lived my entire life on a gluten free diet, in fact my food loves revolve mainly around bread, pasta and desserts, so as you can imagine having to switch what I have known for my entire life has taken some getting used to. About a year and a half ago I began an odyssey to figure out why I why I was suffering from intestinal problems (I won’t go in to detail, no worries, we’ll just say I wasn’t feeling well most of the time). I started by seeing my regular doctor and went through tests for celiac (negative), h. pylori (negative), and an abdominal ultrasound (normal). At that point I was referred to a GI doctor who decided to do an endoscopy (normal) and then in lieu of a colonoscopy (thank goodness!) a CT scan with contrast (normal). After ruling out any physical abnormalities we decided to try to modify my diet by avoiding creamy foods, foods high in insoluble fibers, among other things. I saw some improvements but still wasn’t feeling a whole lot better. Last November when I went for a check up with my GI doctor he suggested trying a gluten free diet. I was up for anything that would make me feel better so I decided to give it a try. I read a lot on the internet about what exactly was involved and also met with a nutritionist.
The transition was hard and took me some time to make, but I feel like now I’m feeling better most of the time and I’ve really gotten a handle on it and thought I would share my discoveries with the rest of the world. I’m definitely no expert but I am learning how to adapt recipes and finding places and things to eat that taste good!
When I met with the nutritionist she mentioned that I might want to look in to getting tested for a fructose intolerance as well. I did a little experimenting and read a lot online about it and felt strongly that I may primarily be suffering from that and the gluten was an outgrowth of that. I went back to see my GI doctor in March and mentioned that I wanted to be tested for it he agreed, but thought it was a small chance. I was sent home with a test kit, which involved blowing in to glass tubes after drinking a high fructose drink that was sent off to a lab in Massachusetts. The results came back and were positive. So what does that mean? I have to limit my intake of fructose (since I think it’s basically impossible to totally eliminate it) which means I watch the amounts of fruits and vegetables I eat, avoid corn syrup, honey, molasses, high fructose corn syrup, anything with excess fructose basically. Sucrose (table sugar) is ok because it’s a combo of fructose and glucose, but I still try not to eat too much at once.
So that’s my story in as much of a nutshell as I could manage to squeeze it in to, hope you’ll stay tuned for more. Oh and I’m not an expert on any of this stuff, just know what works for me.