Today is Monday. I am 29 years old. It’s 10:38 a.m. and I’ve been in bed for more than 12 hours. I can barely move.
My lower back is seized up. My hips, knees, ankles, wrists, shoulders, and neck ache and move stiffly.
For 5 years, I ate zero wheat.
Five years ago, my allergist found that I was allergic to wheat and suggested I go completely wheat free for a time. 3 months later, I’d lost 52 pounds and felt better than I had in years.
The allergist then suggested I slowly add wheat back in small amounts to see. That day I experienced my first anaphylactic reaction. I ended up in the hospital unable to breath and broken out in hives. Once I could breathe again, I felt terrible. My stomach ached, and I felt like I had the flu for days.
For years I avoided wheat like the plague, literally.
Eight weeks ago my test results came back that what we were doing was working, and I was no longer severely allergic to wheat.
I ate a hamburger (with a bun) the next day and didn’t die or need to go to the ER.
It took me a couple of days to put two and two together. Since I started eating wheat again 8 weeks ago, I have gained 37 pounds. I had to go back on my anti-inflammatory medication (at triple the dose I had ever been on) and added a new arthritis medication.
I met with the allergist again and he was shocked firstly, at the weight gain. Even if I don’t need an epi-pen, my body must be intolerant. The after effects of the wheat on my system make me feel old and brittle. Plus, I AM severely allergic to yeast which shows up in most of the wheat products that I was eating.
I’m barely able to move today, and I’m three days off any wheat products.
I don’t eat many “gluten free” packaged products because they are full of sugar and are often made of rice, potatoes, and almonds, and very high calorie.
I am headed back to an anti-inflammatory, mostly vegetable diet.
Thirty days have passed since the day I laid in the bed unable to move. 30 days wheat/gluten free and eating an ant inflammatory diet. I’ve lost 17 pounds while changing nothing else.
My skin is healthier. My joints don’t ache as much even though we are now deep into November, and the weather has turned cold.
Five years ago when I found out about my wheat allergy and intolerance, *awareness* was key. I kept 3 months’ worth of food journals logging everything I ate and drank, and my feelings afterwards before they narrowed down what I was allergic to. On the same scale, if I had not paid attention and put the keys together with my body, working with the doctor and making choices about what to take in would be far more difficult.
I have no formal medical training, but I do have the ability to be aware of my body. Have you ever felt a food reaction, or put two and two together before a doctor looked further?