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the honeymoon is over

August 27, 2010

Yep.  My honeymoon with gluten-free living has come to an end.  Just when it started to look like things were coming together, my body started doing all kinds of wacky things.

First came the bloating. Fun.  This can apparently happen to people with gluten intolerance when they switch over to a gluten-free diet… other foods start to agitate the body that didn’t before.  Supposedly, the intestines need time to heal, and then you can incorporate those foods back in to your diet.   So, not only do I need to avoid dairy at the moment, I also need to make sure I don’t eat too much soy or any MSG (I had this gluten-free instant soup stuff from Trader Joe’s that really made me sick).

Also, I started taking probiotics! Why am I so excited?!  Because when I take probiotics even a little dairy doesn’t bother my tummy (thank god!).  Apparently, going gluten-free can throw off your good bacteria levels.  Who knew so many things would be impacted by going gluten-free?  My question is this:  would all of these things happen if I was going gluten-free without a gluten intolerance? I’m guessing no, but I’m curious.

So, I got the probiotic thing figured out, thanks to Sam for making an emergency run to the 24 hour drug store.  Seriously, within minutes of taking the probiotic my tummy went from disastrous to normal.

Now there is the issue of iron. My energy levels have plummeted, now that I am nearly a month in to gluten-free living.  I felt like my body was moving through water instead of air.  It even took some effort to type at work.  I had the feeling it was my iron, and yes, it turns out that wheat-based flour is iron-enriched (and, unprocessed, wheat contains iron), but gluten-free flours and grains are neither iron enriched nor are they naturally high in iron.

So I am trying really hard to eat beef (eek!) but have only managed to do so a few times.  It takes some getting used to, considering I have spent the last 12 years refusing to eat mammals (after learning in middle school about cultures where eating dogs is seen as normal and other cultures where cows are revered as sacred… I decided that eating any mammal was wrong… middle-school logic, perhaps, but it stuck with me).

Meanwhile, I started taking my women’s multi-vitamin again (which contain iron), though I’m not super excited about it.  I have the cheapy brand of vitamins which have, on a few occasions, made me nautious/ dizzy when taken without food.  I think I will invest in some gentler vitamins made specifically for celiacs when I get my raise (keep your fingers crossed!).

I have also been moody. Moodier than normal.  I was hoping that going gluten-free would fix this, but it seems to be augmenting it: my highs are higher, my lows are lower.  I’m still trying to stay optimistic.  Maybe my body needs to heal and adjust to being gluten-free before my mood will stabilize.  Another thing to consider is that maybe I am still getting “glutened” here and there, which supposedly can really mess with an otherwise gluten-free body.  I have read and heard that gluten sensitivity increases with reduced exposure in people who are intolerant.

Sooo…. there’s still a long journey ahead.  Wish me luck!

❤ Diana Banana

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