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Thursday, July 12, 2012

My GI System Hates Me - part one: Suspecting gluten was a problem

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). 

Source                                                                                                        Source

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. 

Originally, I didn't think I had a problem with gluten. I was clutching at straws and desperate for answers and I was willing to try anything for relief. 

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? 



  1. Thank you for posting this... really really thank you! I am going through similar problems and I feel like I am so alone... your story gives me so much hope and I can not wait to read more.. thank you Kristy :-)

    1. Hi Caitlynn,
      Please know that you're not alone! Digestive issues affect so many people. I know it feels like sometimes you're alone and nothing is working out for you, because I felt the same, but you just have to stick it out and get to the root of the problem!
      Feel free to email me anytime at :)

  2. Thanks for sharing your experience with us! I think there are a lot of people who are confused about intolerances and reading about your experience would help them so much! :D

    1. Here's hoping it will help people! I know hearing other people's stories helped me a lot! :)

  3. I had been having the worst stomach aches for about 3 or 4 years in my early 60's . I had ultra sound Xrays and my Doc told me that I had everything from ulcers to gall stones . It eventually became so bad that I thought I had stomach cancer . In desperation I asked him ' Do you think I have coeliac disease ? ' He looked strange and replied ' Why do you say that ? ' I replied because my daughter was born a coeliac 32 years ago . He said ' Why didn't you tell me ? ' and I replied ' You're the Doctor , why didn't you ask or even diagnose it ? '
    I had the old camera down the throat trick and was told that the villi in the bowel were flattened ie I was a coeliac . Went totally gluten free and no more problems except for my bank account getting lower with the crazy prices g/f food is .
    At age 30 was diagnosed with a strawberry intolerance also . Not eating strawberries is easy .

    1. Gluten free food is definitely more expensive, when you buy the specialist foods like flours, cereal etc - but it is so much better than suffering the pain!

      I'm also intolerant to strawberries - as well as a wholeeeeeeeeee big list of other foods. Unfortunately because of the gluten damage, I have so many intolerances that it makes eating even more difficult - whilst I can buy gluten free foods, they may have other ingredients I can't have - so it's a constant label reading battle!


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