Good Morning! We are going to get on a pretty heavy topic with limited pictures! I just thought I would forewarn you before we begin!
So one of the beauty’s of life is the fact that it can toss you a curve ball when you are least expect it. Life has tossed me many curve balls, some I accept with pleasure, others I run away from and try to act as nothing as happened.
This my friends is where my story begins.
2008~ I was just staring my freshmen year of college. I was so excited. However, the past few weeks leading up to school I was having major stomach issues. Honestly at the time I thought it was normal. Stress from starting school and changing my diet. This was also the year I stared to eat healthy, only Mediterranean based foods. This diet included whole grains, fruits, veggies, lean meat, nuts, and healthy fats. I thought I was doing my body good and the pain in my stomach was a result. I actually started to believe that pain was normal after eating.
2009~ Same thing happening, lots of pain, discomfort, but I truly truly honestly believed that pain was normal. How wrong was I?
2010~ I started to talk more about my pain to my family and friends, and ask them, “Aren’t you in pain after you eat?” Their response, “Um, no what are you talking about!?” So at this point I realized I need to get help. My family understood that I was under a lot of stress, I’m a perfectionist at heart and if I was not perfect in school and work then what is the point in living. This is seriously how I use to view life. Not healthy or positive.
2011~ I started going to my primary doctor, we would talk about the pain I was having and then she put me on anti-depressants. She thought I had IBS and as a result the anti-depressants would chill me out and the pain would subside. About 2 months into the pills, I had to stop. The pills were not helping and it was making me super cranky. I just kept on dealing with the pain. At this point I stopped eating lactose, I had a read in a few books about this intolerance, it wouldn’t hurt to try! After about 2 weeks I saw some pretty major results and continued to avoid dairy, but at times I still had this incredible pain.
2012~ Ah. The year of major changes. Of course I had a lot of stress, of course change was in my life. But I should not be using the bathroom 8 times a day, what was coming out was not normal, worrying if I would make the 30 minute drive to go shopping, always worrying what I was eating, when I was eating it, how much I could eat. I hardly had a social life because my every move was based around food and the toilet. I can’t even describe how much thought went into my every day routine. I felt trapped in my own body.
The next step was to see a new doctor. I could not take the pain any longer. My new doctor was AMAZING. We came up with a treatment plan, and laid out what I should be doing. We did a blood test and realized that I was anemic. They also did a blood test for crones. No such luck. I also started talking some new medicine to start to allow my stomach to heal. My doctor still thought I had IBS But in the back of my mind I really felt it was more than just stress.
As the year started to come to a close, I was busier than ever. I was so nervous about my stomach on our honeymoon, B knows all about my issues, but I didn’t want to be in pain after every meal on our honeymoon. Honestly, on our honeymoon I never felt any real pain. It was a miracle. It must have been IBS!
2013~ We are home from our pain free honeymoon, and guess what? Yup, the pain was back. What is wrong with me!? Then one night as I was drinking my mint tea, trying to sooth my stomach I came across an article on the internet. About gluten free, I knew a lot about this because of being in nutrition but never really thought it could be my problem. The more I read the more I wanted to change my diet.
The day before the 2013 super bowl I declared to B that I was going to go gluten free to just see if this would help my body. I made sure to print a list off from the internet which contained common foods with gluten, words to watch for, and how to make an easy transition to a GF life.
After about a week I noticed a HUGE difference, the first night I cried out of joy because I was not in pain! I seriously had not had that pain free feeling in years. Over the next couple of months I would have flare ups, but nowhere near the pain I had experienced previously.
Now that I am living a GF life, B has also joined me, yes he will still eat his pizza and bagels for long runs, but he has cut out the gluten as much as possible.
The most difficult part is going out to eat, we don’t eat out a lot but when we do it is pretty difficult, I have blogged about Olive Garden and this is seriously the only place we will go to eat because they have a specific GF menu.
I have to say that once I was off gluten for a few months my body and skin felt so much better! I really love the way I feel and this point in my life I can’t imagine ever trying food with gluten again. My friends and family at first felt really bad that I couldn’t eat gluten or dairy, but I just tell them be happy for me! I have found what is causing my pain and now I am pain free!
It truly has been a journey trying to figure out my problem, I do not have crones or celiac, but I do have an intolerance to gluten and dairy and being GF and DF has changed my life for the better!