Saturday, February 7, 2015

Our Gluten Free Journey

It's been quite a while since I've given a true update on our family on the blog.

Last March, our entire family went gluten free.  It started with my husband, who read the book "Wheat Belly" while out of town for work.  He'd been experiencing a lot of symptoms that the book addressed.  So, he figured he'd try cutting out wheat to see if it made any difference.  Within a few days, he noticed a big difference, and by a couple weeks, he had none of the symptoms he'd been dealing with for years.  He encouraged me to try to make changes for the whole family in regards to eliminating wheat.  I was reluctant at first.  After all, I'd had Rapunzel go gluten free for 2 months before in an attempt to heal her skin, and we saw no results.  But he had no plans of eating wheat again, so I figured... why not?  I am an 'all or nothing' type girl though, so if we were going to make the switch to gluten free, we were going to be all in.  So I did my research again, made meal plans and grocery lists, and we started our gluten free journey.

I will admit that even a couple months after we started, I didn't feel any different.  I didn't notice a difference in any of the kids either.  But I stayed the course.  I was a little jealous of my husband, who happened to lose 20lbs just by eliminating gluten.  I was not so lucky.  He was feeling a lot better from no gluten, and by now, I was in the groove and it was easy to continue to eliminate it from all of our diets.  We found out what we could eat where, and what to shop for and cook, and it was not so bad after all.

Even when Belle went off to church summer camp, I made sure to send her with a bag full of safe snacks, and took the time to highlight the things on the camp menu that I thought she could eat with some alterations (hamburger without the bun, breakfast taco without the tortilla, unless there was corn tortillas, etc.).  It ended up working out great for her because they had a salad bar at every meal and she LOVES salad.  They also even had gluten free pasta available on spaghetti night!  Her gluten free diet didn't hinder her camp experience in the slightest.

Over the summer, I saw my endocrinologist to get my thyroid levels checked (I have Hashimoto's autoimmune disease, as well as nodules on my thyroid), and it was the first time in several years that my numbers looked great, without needing to change my med dose again.  I mentioned to the endo that we'd gone gluten free in March, and she had no doubt that was a big reason my numbers looked so good.

Then in January, I went back again, and my numbers were EVEN BETTER.  So good that they said if they get any lower, they'll need to BRING DOWN my dose of meds.  When I was first diagnosed, I was told that my meds would continually be upped through my entire life.  That there was little chance of going backward.  So this new turn of events was very exciting, encouraging news.

Last week, I finally gave in and went to the allergist.  Ever since we moved to San Antonio, in 2009 I've had to take Zyrtec daily for allergies.  If I missed a dose, I felt it!  But as long as I took my Zyrtec, like a good little girl, I was fine.  Until this winter.  The mountain cedar blew in and tried to kill me.  "Cedar fever" is no joke.  I was a stuffy, snotty, sneezy, itchy, miserable mess.  So I finally went to the dr. to get some relief.  As he was looking over my records, he asked me how bad my asthma had been triggered through all of this.  Normally, I have to take my inhaler consistently through the "cold" months (I use the term cold loosely, because we are in central Texas afterall).  But I realized that the only time I needed it (or the nebulizer) this winter was for a short time right before Thanksgiving, when I got a bad upper respiratory infection. That's it.  He agreed that a gluten free diet could be a big contributor to this!

All of this to say, that while I was positive a gluten free diet was the right decision for my husband, I was reluctant to believe it would have any positive effect on the rest of us.  I knew it wouldn't 'hurt', but I definitely didn't think it would help anything.  But I WAS WRONG.  It has taken time for me to see, but it has absolutely made a big difference for me!   No looking back now!

1 comment:

  1. So glad to hear it is working so well for y'all! I got my little man GF 2 months ago and have seen a huge difference in his allergies and his ADHD. He is now lowered to only 10mg of Ritalin vs. the 40 he was on and although he still takes his Zyrtec daily I have noticed that he is no longer sneezing and rubbing his eyes and nose constantly. I know he has to feel sooo much better.