Archives for: February 2010
This is a long story, so here are the clif notes: if you are celiac or wheat sensitive only take prescriptions or over the counter meds that are guaranteed gluten free. Recheck them now and then too.
So after some cyst trouble with my former method of birth control, I went back on the pill. It was nice to be rid of the cysts, but it caused me to get a monthly migraine that put me out for a week at a time. I checked everything, changed everything in my diet and environment, changed types of pill (but same brand) even had my heart checked for defects that could cause migraines, but of course, the answer is always in the last place you look, and it was the first place I should have looked. Of course, I had other gluten symptoms that I blamed on other things, even eczema and a bit of dermatitis herpetiformis, which I blamed on trying some of my kids' gluten free oats. Then I finally thought to check my prescription, (TriNessa and MonoNessa), to find that they didn't claim it was gluten free, or that it wasn't. The starch could be from any source the feel like using, and perhaps wheat starch is getting cheaper due to food allergen labeling laws...more foods companies are sticking with corn starch. (P.S. my heart is in good shape).
So I stopped taking Nessa in the fourth week (the inactive pills) and my budding aura faded never to return. (I believe the inactive pills had the most wheat in them, as the DH flared up in that week as well). The name brand, Ortho, had been fine before, and is gluten free, but the Nessa generic is not. As elated as I am to be without migraines (and cysts), I'm appalled at how easily I could have prevented the migraine misery (one google search would have done it). I did not know wheat caused me to get migraines, although I probably had nearly-constant auras back before BTD wheat-freedom; I just didn't recognize them as migraines at the time.
A constant drip of wheat toxin is NOT a good thing. I feel like I could conquer the world now, without it, yet I'm still healing from all of its effects. I'm taking Deflect on an empty stomach a few times every day, with a little D-Mannose thrown in for good measure. My lower back still is a bit achy and I'm a bit emotional, so I'm looking forward to progress on those fronts in the coming weeks. My appetite has decreased (I was even beginning to crave wheat, without even knowing I was getting some, I'd forgotten how addictive it is! I still could never intentionally eat it, but the craving had been long since forgotten.)
So I'm a little angry, mainly with myself. Allergen labeling laws could be improved as far as medications go, too. Foods have to declare wheat, meds can leave it ambiguous. Fortunately some will volunteer the information. Check your meds! Whether you are new to wheat freedom and not getting the results you hoped for, or it is old hat to you and you may have even become complacent or forgettful about it, check them! At least I don't have to take very many pills, thanks to BTD, so that's less to check up on!
I found a picture of myself in 2004, after losing the baby weight from my first pregnancy, and then some, in preparation for the next pregnancy. (I gain 40 pounds per pregnancy regardless of compliance). I was almost a waif back then! You don't know what you got till it's gone, right? I'll get back there. I'm thinking of how high I'll be able to jump and how much easier black belt testing will be, my goal is to let go of the fluff by the end of the summer. That's easy when I stick to the diet. I'm going to start a bit of running, it's quick stress relief even if I only run a short distance, and it was one of my keys to weight loss before, just for the stress relieving aspect.
One of my dietary downfalls was having kids who are celiac and gluten sensitive...there are too many goodies in the house that won't make me instantly regret eating them. It's easier to have self-control while shopping, then the junk never makes it home. But when it's staring you in the face and you haven't had lunch yet and/or you're stressed out, that makes it a bit harder. Not too hard though, the choice is always mine to make. There are a few of their treats that will no longer make it into the shopping cart, on account of how much they tempt me, but they will still have plenty of other stuff to eat.
Looking back on my life and various stages of dietary knowledge and compliance over the years, I've come to the conclusion that I have no regrets for choosing the right foods and refusing the wrong foods. In the moment, it seems like a big deal..."everyone else is eating it, I want to eat it" or "I'm having a really hard day, that bit of junk would make me feel better for a moment". In the end, it never was worth giving in in the moment.
Here's what I do remember: I remember what it was like to always be sick, in pain, and/or tired. I remember missing out on activities due to not feeling well. I remember being depressed or anxious, for no good reason, I remember not being able to think well or feel the emotions I deserved to feel. I regret not being more "there" for my family and friends. That was when I ate whatever I wanted...it didn't give me the life and memories that I longed for.
Then, I remember feeling good again. I remember getting out and active and having energy instead of pain. I remember that clearly, and am reminded of it every day I continue on that path. Every morning I go to taekwondo I make more memories and feel more grateful for my improved health. Every day I go for a walk with my husband or play around with my kids, I make more memories and feel more grateful. Those are the memories that stick with me. I don't remember the donuts or twinkies I refused to eat, I don't regret picking something healthier than a milkshake or cheesecake, even if at the moment it seemed hard.
Kind of makes self-control worth the effort, doesn't it? Now that I am less sensitive to avoids and toxins, I have to think about things more, I no longer get instant retribution when I eat something I shouldn't (unless it's wheat). I have to remember how I once felt and remember that if I eat wrong for too long, I'll end up back at square one. If I increase my compliance, the rewards are increasing, and the sky is the limit. So now instead of choosing between feeling lousy and ok, I'm choosing between feeling ok and exceptional. Something about me found the "slap on the hand" more motivating, but it's time to grow out of that and find a higher motivation.
I recently turned 35, and even with some recent dietary blunders, I feel better than I did at 25. (I think I look it too). As we age, we can see the cumulative effect of our choices and be blessed or cursed for them in more obvious ways. My body has only gained ability in the recent years, and I want to keep it that way. The thirties can really be the prime of life, if it's a life well lived and nurtured. (Maybe I'll say the same thing in my 40s...I hope so!). Maybe my best decade will be my 90s, the sky is the limit.