Why I Switched to Gluten Free and How It Helped
How often are you asked about your nutrition when you go see your doctor for health problems? Although most physicians understand there is a connection between your health and your diet, they have very little time to spend discussing or educating you on nutrition, and end up prescribing medications to attempt to simply treat your symptoms instead.
Although medication can be helpful and necessary, what if you were able to get to the root cause of your problems and positively change your health condition? I would take the “no medicine” option every time if all I had to do was change my eating habits. Wouldn’t you?
I’ll start with sharing my personal health story:
I was very sick, and so tired I could sleep all day and not feel rested. I had dry puffy skin and eyes, a bloated belly, brittle nails and hair, a lump in my throat all the time that seemed to make it difficult to swallow food, and very irregular and miserable hormone cycles. I was also gaining weight uncontrollably.
2-3 times a month I would get these episodes of waking up feeling “hung-over” without ever having a drink the night before. When that would happen, I would be so dizzy and nauseas I would have to stay in bed for 3 days to just sleep it off. On the days I wasn’t dizzy, I had constant brain fog and attempted to treat it with massive doses of caffeine to just get by. It was affecting my work, my relationships, and I was simply miserable. I was stressed, depressed, and felt like I was on the verge of a complete breakdown.
I had been to the doctor many times off and on for these symptoms for over 10 years, only to be told it was a “normal part of aging,” or that I needed to “reduce my stressful lifestyle.” It was so very frustrating.
Finally, in 2008, I reached rock bottom, went to my doctor again so sick I truly remember thinking I’d rather die than live one more day like I had for the past 10 years… and this time they had an answer. I had Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I had probably had it for many years, but it was just undiagnosed.
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease where your body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland. It can start out somewhat undetected, but after many years of my body attacking, my thyroid had finally started showing signs: a large goiter, several large nodules, and severe hypothyroidism.
I was prescribed thyroid meds to treat the hypothyroidism and sent on my way. I had no idea that I needed to change my diet or that Hashimoto’s was treatable. I had further testing over the next couple years as the goiter and nodules grew. They grew to the typical size of what can be cancerous, so eventually I had a partial thyroidectomy. Luckily, biopsy results finally showed I was cancer free.
However, my health continued to decline and my thyroid stopped working altogether. After the surgery, I gained another 20lbs, in one month!! Medication wasn’t working, and my symptoms were worsening. I also endured 5 miscarriages. (One miracle baby in the middle of all that) The miscarriages possibly preventable if my doctors had treated my autoimmune disease, and not just the thyroid (TSH) levels. My own immune system was fighting me every step of the way.
After about 6 years of this miserable cycle, a dear friend told me about her doctor who also had Hashimoto’s and knew how to treat it. My life was forever changed!
My new doctor was able to treat my Hashimoto’s with new medications, but most of all, simple nutrition changes. My inflammatory markers were so high I was on the verge of multiple autoimmune diseases and my food was contributing to the misery. The medications could help, but in no way would they do the job. My nutrition lifestyle had to change.
The first thing I cut was gluten and dairy. Gluten in particular causes the Hashimoto's antibodies to grow. It made such a difference that I dropped 30 pounds in about 6 weeks! I had been so swollen with inflammation, so bloated, that when I finally took away the foods that were making me sick, my body could begin to respond in a healthy and healing way.
Now, my personal journey is a long one, so I won’t go any further into that, but I want you to consider if you may need to make some simple changes as well. You see, gluten sensitivity has been shown to be linked to so many miserable diseases and conditions, I would hate for you to have to endure years and years of misery, when you can experience some relief now!
What are some of the signs of gluten sensitivity? Here is a short list that may be helpful to you. (If you have these symptoms, I encourage you to seek medical care, from a doctor who will dig deeper than just the surface symptoms.)
Numbness/pins and needles in extremities
Joint and/or muscle pain (similar as associated with fibromyalgia)
Now, I know this list seems like it covers everything, but I can tell you first hand, I have experienced all of them, and still have some, but they all were greatly reduced or even gone after cutting gluten and dairy from my diet.
Going gluten free is a lifestyle change that may make you feel overwhelmed and incapable. I remember the journey well, and how helpless I felt when I first left my new Dr’s office with the instructions to “go gluten free.” I had no idea how complicated it could be. Gluten was in everything it seemed.
Good news, I can help. I’ve been gluten free since 2017, and I can say it was one of the best decisions I have made for my health. It’s part of the reason I added Health Coach to my list of certifications, I didn’t want anyone else to feel so helpless.
I have made it my personal mission to help others through health coaching so I can help bridge the gap between Doctors and Patients. Doctors are overwhelmed, they want to help and do their best to give information and treatment to get the results you want. But there simply is not enough time for them to carry you through the process.
I hope to do that. I can help you navigate the changes that your Doctor says to do, but you have no idea how to put into action. Schedule a consult with me at www.leanwellonline.com/services-1 . I look forward to working with you!!
Anderson, J. (n.d.). 8 Surprising Signs You May Have a Gluten Sensitivity. Retrieved November 12, 2020, from https://www.verywellhealth.com/surprising-signs-you-may-have-a-gluten-allergy-4147574