I’ve been gluten-free for nearly 8 weeks now (excluding three incidents when I knowingly or accidentally ingested some gluten…and boy did I pay for it each time!). I’ve adjusted to eating different breakfast and lunch foods (I still haven’t found GF bread that I can stand the taste/texture of!), I’ve learned to cook our dinners GF, and I’ve tried–successfully and unsuccessfully–to find new desserts and sweets. All-in-all, I don’t lament the food I can’t eat. I’ve learned what foods I can eat to keep my blood sugar normal. I’ve learned where to look for hidden gluten. I’ve coincidentally figured out that I’m horribly allergic to white wine….ha, ha….of all things to figure out since it is unrelated to gluten (I can drink red wine just fine!). Let’s just say I’ve adjusted better than I thought I would and I’ve learned more than I would have guessed.
So how do I feel? The biggest improvement has been my stomach and digestive issues. Although I had horrible “attacks” sporadically in the past (sometimes several times in one week, sometimes I’d go months without one), I have had only two since I went GF and both times were within hours of ingesting gluten. Also, all of the things that I used to think were triggers for diarrhea (running, being anxious or nervous, caffeine) are no longer triggers. I think those things were often closely related to ingesting gluten (think of all the foods that are “good” for runners: pasta, energy bars, granola, breads, etc). I feel really glad to know I can count on not getting sick whereas before I felt like getting sick or not was just a random gamble that I had no control over.
But after those first few weeks of feeling significantly better, I feel like maybe I’ve hit a plateau. I don’t know if I will continue to feel better over time–is it like detox? But some of things that I was hoping would improve haven’t yet–sleeping better, sinus/respiratory problems, skin problems, joint pain…..I wonder if these will improve with time or I should just be grateful for the ways in which I do feel better and learn to deal with the rest of the problems.
We’ll see what the future holds. For now, I’m sticking with GF. I know that with elimination diets they often recommend that after an elimination period (in this case, they recommend 6 weeks), you go back and try food with gluten in it to see if there is a reaction. After the few times early in the elimination diet where I ate out and felt poisoned, I don’t even want to TRY to test gluten. (BTW, I have had successful “eating out” experiences at places where I knew the menu well enough to avoid gluten or where I could order a salad NOT from a salad bar). I really should try something basic at home that I am used to eating–like toast or spaghetti, but truly, the possibility of getting ill and spending three days feeling like JUNK makes me not even want to test it.
Boring and disappointing old plateau or not, I have sworn off gluten for now!