For most of my life, I have had some, um, very embarassing problems with my gut. But, since my father and most of my siblings had the same problems, I just thought it was normal, that some people were just, um, that way. My husband and his daughter would laugh and make smart remarks about my, um, problem.
But all that has changed very dramatically for me in just a week. About two weeks ago, I received a life changing email from one of my cousins. In that email, he described his symptoms, which included diahrea, pain in his legs and back, tiredness, “brain fog”, and constant hunger, just to name a few. He told about how he had been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease back in November of 2006 and had been taking medication for it ever since, but getting no better. He said he finally did a google search with all of his symptoms and “allergy”, and found a lot of information about Celiac disease.
Celiac disease runs in families. It is 95% heriditary. It is the most common genetic disorder in the world. It is caused by an intolerance of gluten, which is found in wheat products. It presents itself with a host of symptoms, which can range from constant diahrea to constant constipation. In children, it can cause behaviour disorders, ADHD, failure to thrive and/or failure to gain weight. In adults it can lead to other endoctrin disorders like thyroid disease, diabetes, lymphomas, and a greater risk of liver cancer, the disease that killed my father at the age of 62.
Because a lot of my cousin’s problems sound like my own, I decided to try a gluten free diet for two weeks, just to see if celiac disease could be MY problem. I am writing today to let the world know, that I think it is.
I no longer have to take pain releivers every night before I go to bed because my legs don’t hurt anymore. I am not hungry all the time. I am able to think better and my eyes seem to see things brighter. And I have been diahrrea free for a week. Even after eating salads, (I used to think I was allergic to lettuce), even after eating braised liver, (I used to think I was allergic to liver, which I love), even after eating eggs for breakfast (I used to think I was sensitive to eggs). All this time the culprit has been the croutons, the gravy, the toast! It is such a freedom to NOT have to be sure I am near a bathroom, the closer the better, when I decide to eat something.
I have found some pretty good gluten free products at the local grocery store. At the Rose Garden, they have an entire gluten free section. At Dunlap’s one of our favorite restaurants in town, when I asked the waitress is there was any flour used in preparation of the braised liver, she told me she had some other gluten free customers so she understood my problem. Yes!
I have sent my cousin several emails thanking him for sending me the information he sent. But, just for the world to see, Thank you, Jimmy! I really appreciate it. And, um, so does Jim!