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.