For 19 years of my life I enjoyed soft fluffy breads, croissants and anything with gluten without any obvious problems. I didn't worry too much about ingredients lists and I was able to eat whatever I pleased without having to know who made it, what was in it or how it was cooked.
Sure, I had digestive problems all my life and at one stage I even found I was lactose intolerant - but I seemed to grow out of them or doctors just thought I had a lazy GI system.
It wasn't until I started having extreme stomach cramps, headaches, fatigue, constant nausea and my digestive problems got worse that we suspected any problems.
First I started keeping a food diary of everything I ate. It was suspected that I had extreme IBS so we started searching for the foods that were irritants. First we found acidic foods were extremely irritating (tomatoes, oranges, lemons etc), then we found spicy foods did the same - and I knew I already had issues with digesting soy. My body also hated legumes, pears (the most hypo-allergenic fruit!) and had trouble with high fat foods (oils, butters, coconut).
I eliminated all of those irritant foods (yes, there were still foods I could eat!) but I still wasn't feeling good. My stomach was swelling and bloating to the point where I looked 9 months pregnant each night and had trouble sleeping and constant back pain. My digestive system was just not working and no one could tell me why.
Jesse and I had talked about me possibly eliminating gluten for a while to see if it made a difference. I first told my mum about the idea and I got a resounding no. You see, to her, eliminating gluten meant going without more foods and she worried that I would continue to lose even more weight.
So I went on eating gluten for a few more weeks and keeping a food diary to monitor my symptoms. I had tried gluten free cereals for something different and fell in love with rice pudding as it was a warming winter breakfast. A pattern started to emerge in my food diaries. On the day where I hadn't eaten gluten for breakfast and then eaten a snack that didn't have gluten, my symptoms weren't so severe - but half an hour after a gluten containing lunch my symptoms amplified.
I spoke to my parents again about eliminating gluten and this time they agreed. They saw me rolling around in pain, crying from frustration and knew that I wasn't well whatsoever. The next week was my birthday and I decided that I would eliminate gluten afterwards - I wanted my favourite foods on my birthday, even if it was the last time! We started buying gluten free foods so I had options for my two weeks without gluten.
In my next post, I'll tell you about how I eliminated gluten and what happened next.
So tell me, do you have any food intolerances?
How did you find yours out?
and if you're a coeliac, do you have other food intolerances/allergies?