Thursday, August 29, 2013

Inspirational Gluten Free Stories: Better, Younger, Stronger

My name is Mulu, and I am gluten intolerant. 

Food has always been an important part of my life, ever since I got my Betty Crocker cookbook when I was ten years old. Cooking, and most especially baking, let me use my creativity and became my stress reliever.

I have spent a large part of my life in chronic pain, mostly due to gynecological issues. But it wasn't until I took care of those issues that I realized that I had other things going on. I had really horrible gastric issues, low energy, debilitating migraines, and I couldn't get any sleep no matter how tired I was.

Before going gluten free

I went to countless doctors. I took so many tests, from brain MRIs to CTs to blood tests, and had so many pointless doctor's appointments. It was so frustrating because no matter how horrible I felt, every doctor told me that it was all in my head and there was nothing wrong with me. I just kept feeling miserable. I actually had one physician tell me that this was all in my head because there was no way I was in that much pain and that I needed to be on anti-depressants. I don't have a problem with anti-depressants if I'm depressed. But I didn't know what anti-depressants were going to do for explosive diarrhea or migraines so bad that I couldn't leave my dark bedroom. So I kept suffering and had a total mistrust of physicians.

Things changed for me when I started working at a naturopathic clinic. It was about three months in that I started having horrible gastric symptoms. I wasn't absorbing anything that I ate. Everything I ate would come out whole, like I never chewed it. I missed a lot of work and couldn't focus on any task. It was horrible. I saw a couple of NDs that actually asked me what I ate and if I had considered that maybe I was gluten intolerant. One ND that I saw told me that I should do the elimination diet so we could have an idea of what was irritating my body. I didn't even consider it since it was the week before Thanksgiving and all I could think about was stuffing, gravy, and pumpkin pie. And I honestly never thought that what I ate would be the cause of all my pain and misery. So I kept eating and drinking the way that I always had for the next eight months.

Eventually, I couldn't take it any longer. July 5, 2012, I started the elimination diet. It was very difficult and I had a bad attitude about it. I was mad at the fact that I couldn't eat any bread or cheese anymore. I just kept thinking about it as being deprived and as a loss. It wasn't until six week later that it clicked. A co-worker asked me how I felt, and I realized that I hadn't had a migraine or diarrhea in a while, and was sleeping for more than three hours a night. I was more focused at work, had more energy, was moving better, and was less irritable.

That was the turning point.

It has been almost a year now, and I have not had a migraine. When I prepare my food or go out to a gluten free restaurant, I feel great and don't have any symptoms. Whenever I accidentally ingest wheat or gluten, my body reacts quickly and sometimes very violently.

I feel better, younger, and stronger than I have in twenty years. My quality of life has improved so much.

After going gluten free

Life is amazing now.


Read more of Mulu's story at her new blog, Free and Whole Living.

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