My Deal With Being Gluten Free
For years while growing up I had so many stomach issues. My family blamed it on eating too much too fast, overload of dairy, hoping I would grow out of it, etc... Well I never grew out of my constant digestive issues. During high school was when my stomach issues were at the worst. I had lost alot of weight and felt sick all the time. I couldn't keep any food down and felt nauseous after almost every meal. As a result, I was eating all dry bread products (mostly gluten). It was a vicious cycle. I would eat gluten, feel horrible, and then eat more gluten. In that same time period, a weird rash developed on some of my fingers. My doctors thought I had a thyroid problem, had surgery on my finger to see if they could tell what the rash was, and basically they were stumped. After that year, thankfully my symptoms started to get a little better and I began putting weight back on.
However, they never seemed to fully go away. I happened to be reading a book about Celiac's Disease and basically realized I had every single symptom. It finally clicked! After going to a dermatologist that specializes in it, I was diagnosed. I have to say I was so relieved to finally know what was up with my stomach and was actually happy it was an easy fix.
Or so I thought. Going gluten free was extremely difficult. Gluten can be found hiding in almost every food! At first, it was very challenging to learn to interpret ingredient lists since most of them are not in plain English. However, over time by going to support groups and research, I learned how to live a gluten free lifestyle without feeling deprived. After being gluten free for three years now, all of my stomach issues have disappeared and my rash only appears if I get glutened accidentally.