Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Gluten Free Year in Review

This time last year I was in the beginning of a life change.  I was made to go on a strict gluten free diet for life.  You can read about that here.  It took about 3 months or so before I started noticing a significant difference in my health.  I actually got worse before I got better. 

So, what's different?

This blog is a huge reminder to me that I do need to keep going because I am so much better off!  These are not in any particular order.

1.  No more abdominal pain.  I suffered with severe abdominal pain, a searing pain that felt like I had been run through with a hot poker.  There was no getting away from it and I was taking 3 different antacid medications daily just to keep it under control.  While it helped for the most part, I would still have attacks once a month or so.  I have been off the meds for a year and actually had to throw away the liquid script because it expired!  Praise God!

2.  Fingernails!  I have never been able to grow my nails out.  They would fold or peal.  I now have beautiful nails that are strong and healthy.  I would guess that is Jared's favorite change. 

3.  I used to get so sick.  And stay sick.  For days. The kids would have something and I would catch everything and it would take so much longer to recover.  I have been so much healthier (funny typing this right now because I've been sick, but overall this is very true:))

4.  My depression and anxiety are better.  I have been on anti-depressants off and on for years.  I recently went off my meds after 2.5 years.  I feel healthier and more balanced than I have in a long time. 

5.  No more bloat.  I used to call it "evening bloat" and I would drink teas, try and eat differently, drink lots of water, etc.  Anything to get rid of the rounded belly that I would get every evening.  Super uncomfortable and super unattractive.  Misery.  It's completely gone.  The only time I deal with it is if I accidentally consume gluten. 

6.  I have spent years taking Peri-Colace.  I took three a day for years in order to help my tummy trouble.  Even that didn't fix it.  I have been laxative free for a year.  My life long issue...gone...poof... no more.  PARTY!

7.  Hair!  I cut off 12" off my hair because it was getting so thin and brittle.  I was loosing tons of hair and would blame it on my thyroid only to have my docs say my thyroid results were within normal range.  So why was I losing 1/2 my hair?!!! It's grown back in and is thick as ever.

8.  Tonsil stones.  Gross, don't look it up unless you have a strong stomach.  I used to get these little pockets of infection on my tonsils and I haven't had a single one since going gluten free.

9.  All the others were physical but this one is emotional.  I've had issues with food my whole life.  At my heaviest (9 mos pregnant) I weighed 272lbs.  I have always had a very strong emotional attachment to food and losing so much of what I used to eat was a very trying.  I was very angry and weepy about it for the first few months.  However, in the end, my emotional attachment to food has been severed and I'm so thankful.  I eat what I can, what's available, or I go without.  That's it.  No tears, no emotion.  It is what it is.  That has been so freeing.

I had really hoped that going gluten free would help me with my weight but I figured out gluten free baking pretty quickly :)  It's been a huge change and costly one, but I can't deny the health benefits.  I was so angry when I first was diagnosed, but now I see the undeniable benefits and I'm so thankful for my gluten free life. 

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