I’ve been Humbled over the years witnessing my bodies inability to take care of itself.  I’ve had to step in and change my lifestyle to keep up with my health and it humbles me to know that the plans GOD has for me are complex and worthy. Teaching me lessons I never knew I wanted.  Taking every day in stride.

The summer of 2012 was one I will not forget. This was the summer the dam broke and my body shut down.  Before I go into the summer of not so fun spent in bed I want you to know that my body was showing small signs of gluten allergies long before my body gave into what I call FULL BLOWN Celiacs.

A prime example was when I used to drink maybe 2 beers a year and the couple times I drank a beer in the years leading up to my diagnosis I practically landed in the hospital.  In fact, I ended up calling the ambulance I was so ill. Many times my husband or a close friend had to help me.  I would end up violently ill wrapped around the toilet in extreme belly pain and unexplained body aches, and temperature changes.   Instant regret and my body was telling me it’s symptoms.  Back them Gluten wasn’t the big deal it is today and I never put the puzzle pieces together. I just stopped drinking beer. I think my body took years to build up the antibodies and the allergy slowly presented its ugly face to me. It also depended on the amount of wheat in my diet.

In case you aren’t aware I also have had type 1 diabetes since I was 12, 31 years.  I noticed it was harder to control my sugars and I would have unexplained lapses in my control.  Little did I know that my gluten allergy was the culprit to many days of terrible blood sugar control.  Here’s the science behind it.  Gluten attacks the villi in the small intestine. This villi, or small hair like strings who’s goal is to absorb the nutrition that travels through our digestive track and in turn fuel our bodies and cellular structure. Gluten was a huge disturbance in my bodies ability to control energy levels and sugar control.  Messing with my bodies ability to actually get FED and because of this creating an invisible obstacle for my insulin and blood sugar control. Bottom line I was a mess.

In early June 2012 I ventured alone to my cousins house to help her with a large landscape project. Landscaping is a passion of mine and they wanted my expertise in this arena.  Her husband Bert and I did everything. Dug all the holes, planted all materials, mulched and finished an entire front yard foundation planting. It was beautiful. During this weekend Berts mom was in town and cooked all things wheat. Fried dough, homemade pasta, homemade wheat pizza. ALL amazing and I ate it all, I was starving from all the intense labor. Well needless to say my BODY REVOLTED.  This weekend was my turning point with this disease. I was never the same after this.

Now, with this info let’s talk about that summer the DAM broke.  I felt like absolute crap.  Some of my most obvious symptoms were severe headaches, lethargy, brain fog, loss of memory, intense joint pain, major gastric pains, constipation followed by severe diarrhea, awful waves of nausea, and the kicker was I developed anxiety and panic disorder. I was bed ridden many days. My kids summer was spent at home.  I was not myself, not even a morsel of who I used to be.  I didn’t have the strength to garden,  I had super limited energy, my diabetes was up and down and NEVER level. I started to become a recluse and the only places I even allowed myself to go was to my kids practices and grocery shopping.  I planned my day around how bad I felt.  I started having anxiety 24-7.  I started having panic attacks driving. I started panicking every morning my husband left for work. THIS WAS NOT ME!! An army wife who for years on end did it all by herself.  I was a shadowy sliver of myself and it took over me in a matter of months. I was scared!

Now- I started going to the doctor from the get go.  I ended up going to the doctor 7 times that summer.  Each time, never settling on what was going on with me. Many tests run, anxiety meds were started, hemoglobin A1C’s were a disaster, allergy tests to other items were taken.  Finally in late July my doctor decided to check me for gluten intolerance.

DING DING DING!! I remember I was at the pool with a friend who drug me there and promised to stay with me, because I was panicked I would get sick. I welcomed the diagnosis because if it meant feeling better, I was on board.  Completely ditching WHEAT food products was hard. We had to completely create a new food budget, because GF products are outrageously expensive in 2012 and still are in 2017. I mean $6 for a loaf of GF bread is lame, right? But my hubby being the amazing man he is said- do it. Live life- we will adjust.  I IMMEDIATELY stopped eating all thing wheat. I’ve never knowingly cheated in all these years.  It’s so not worth it.  I always know if it has snuck into my diet when eating outside of the home because all those symptoms resurface. Not worth it to me.

My tests were confirmed with genetic testing and in fact I have Celiacs disease which is an autoimmune disease.  My body just wants to fight itself.  Waiting for the third shoe to drop and get diagnosed with a third AI disease.

I have lots of opinions now that I’m a clean eater and have discovered how to densely feed my body on how thousands battle these same issues and the WHY of it.  It’s our FOOD guys.  But this is another blog post in my near future.

I hope this has helped you understand how Celiacs can present itself. There are many other symptoms I didn’t have than many others present with, so make sure you are doing your own due diligence. But,  if you want to go gluten free, I think its so doable in this day in age.  The more plant based you are the better anyways;) Try it for a week and really pay attention to your body.

Thank you for tuning in to my chronic life.

Love an Health,

Suzan

 

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