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Friday, July 15, 2011

"Gluten" for Punishment

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In order to change we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired. ~Author Unknown

So, awhile back I wrote a piece called “Requiem for the Perfect Chips.” It was about one of our favorite little mom and pop Mexican restaurants and how they changed their wonderful chips. Well I think that now I’m going to have to write a requiem for pretty much all of my favorite food.

Here's why.

I just haven’t been feeling quite right over the past little while, extra extra tired, extra extra cranky and some other kinda weird girl stuff going on if you know what I mean. Since it was time to go to the doctor anyway, I got the number for this super efficient Nurse practitioner that kind of goes beyond the normal screenings to check for hormones and allergies and stuff like that.

So along with all the embarrassing girl check-up things, I had a bunch of blood drawn so they could test it for all this other stuff. Well, I just got the results back a couple of days ago and while there’s nothing terminal or anything, I believe that my life (or at least my eating habits) has just changed forever.

First of all, I found out I have hypothyroidism which means that my thyroid gland isn’t producing enough of the hormone that it is supposed to efficiently run my metabolism. I’m actually a little bit gratified to hear this because I’ve felt for a while now that I diet and exercise and diet and exercise with about as much result as an iceberg at the North Pole (a pre-global warming iceberg that is). Second, I’m apparently super anemic. I’m told that normal iron levels are around 120 (I don’t know 120 of what…grams, milligrams, parts per 1000?) but that my iron level is at a 7. My vitamin B12 level should be 1200 and it’s 400. My vitamin D level should be 80 and it’s 17. Sounds like it’s amazing I could even drag myself to the doctors appointment doesn’t’ it? So needless to say I’ve got a thyroid prescription and I’m also taking a bunch of vitamins and I’m probably looking at having IV iron infusion therapy too.

But on top of all of that…actually adding to all of that is the fact that my blood tests show that I have food allergies. I haven’t been aware of any food allergies in the past. But I’m one of those lucky adoption kids and I just don’t know anything about my family medical history. Superdude has allergies. He is allergic to Penicillin and super sensitive to different kinds of soaps and detergents. I told the super-efficient Nurse Practitioner about this and she said that if one of my kids has allergies, chances are that I probably do as well. So she added that to my blood panel and found that I am allergic to Gluten…wheat gluten…as in bread, pasta, crackers, cookies, pies, cakes and pretty much everything else that makes life worth living. Add to that that I’m also allergic to eggs which are in the cakes, cookies, pancakes not to mention breakfast burritos and pretty much anything at IHOP. And then just to top it off I’m allergic to Cow’s milk. At first I thought, well, ok. I don’t really drink that much milk anyway. But then it started to hit me…yogurt, cheese, pudding, chocolate, butter and worst of all ICE CREAM (WAAAAAAAHHHHH!!).

I’ve only had a couple of days to absorb this and I’ve really been trying to focus on the positive…you know, focus on all the food that I can eat rather than on everything I can’t. Rice is still ok; Corn is on the good list. All the fruits and vegetables of course…including potatoes, which means French fries (whew!) But I did my first round of Gluten-Free shopping last night and it’s pretty bleak. First of all – Holy-Super-Expensive-Food-Batman! I bought a little loaf of gluten-free bread for almost $6. It feels like cardboard and tastes like sand. I think I’m pretty much going to have to look at it as just the best way to convey peanut butter into my mouth (but without milk, why bother eating a peanut butter sandwich?).

In reality, even though I’m fussing and pouting about this I really am going to hit it hard. I’m going to give this gluten-free, dairy-free thing a serious try and see if it works. See if I feel better, see if I lose weight, see if I have more energy and focus and all of that.

To be honest though….I’m already starting to dream about Ice Cream.


Alicia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alicia said...

I feel you on the hypothyroidism and egg allergy..as for the others, not so much, but I know you can do it!
Good Luck Mel! :]

Anaise said...

Oh, my! That's a lot of changes to have to make. I'm sure wishing you a joyful (and withdrawal free) transition time.

A Lark said...

I feel your pain, Mel! I have been through ALL that. The great thing is that you will start feeling better and hopefully that will make it - almost - worth it to be restricted in food. Something I discovered that you might want to try is coconut milk (non-sweetened, refrigerated) in place of regular milk. Ice-cream made out of coconut milk is good, too. Also, if you like sourdough bread I have a suggestion for low-gluten bread. Ask Jason for his chiropractor's address - that's where you get it. (:

Mel said...

Thanks for the good wishes and advice everybody. I'll have to try the coconut milk and ice cream A Lark. I bought some soy milk which I don't hate, but don't really love either. I'll have to try the sourdough too. Jason's chiropractor is actually in my ward, so that should be an easy get. Thanks again.

Karen Peterson said...

I've been suspicious that I've got a gluten allergy, too. I refuse to be tested yet because I'm not ready to face the truth.

Crystal Pistol said...

Man! Sucks for you! I feel so badly I think I may need to indulge in a vat of Ben and Jerry's to sooth my troubled mind...

hehehe. I'm wicked.

i hope start feeling better after all this.

Jessica said...

Thanks for your comment on my photo. I came to see if you had an entry as well, and noticed this post. I am gluten intolerant also, and I have had to eat mostly dairy-free for the past 4 years because my nursing children were all sensitive to dairy. I started a recipe blog if you're interested... it's still somewhat new, and I haven't gotten around to posting in the last month, but there are already several recipes up there that I use all the time! http://glutenfreecheapskate.blogspot.com/

Good luck! I know it's hard at first, but feeling better is SO worth it!

Jessica said...

Oops... I guess it wasn't you that left the comment on my photo, but oh well! Fortune apparently led me here, so my comment stands. ;-)

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