We switched our whole family (my son, myself, and my husband) to eating the GFCF diet in November 2011. I was dedicated to doing this to help our son, who is on the Autism Spectrum, so that he could “heal his gut” and feel better. I didn’t expect that I, too, would benefit so dramatically from the diet. At first, I thought perhaps it was because I’ve always thought of myself as “lactose intolerant” and therefore I must be feeling better by not having any dairy. But, the changes were definitely significant – better energy, better “bowel regularity”, general feeling of good health, etc. I was finding that not only did I not mind eating GFCF, I really wanted to eat this way.
Flash forward a couple of months – I was at the park with my son and had to break up a scuffle between him and another child. In the melee, my son stepped (very hard) on my left foot near my big toe. I went to Urgent Care and was treated over the next month for a suspected stress fracture of the foot. (I’m a little more “fragile” than most because I have osteopenia, the precurser to osteoporosis.) Listening to some podcasts about osteoporosis, I heard one naturopathic doctor discussing the connection between osteopenia in young women (aka: premenopausal, like me) and celiac disease. A light bulb went off in my head! Could I have celiac disease? Is this why I felt so much better on the GFCF diet?
After reading more about celiac disease online, I noticed that I had many of the symptoms and also the family history associated with celiac disease. I decided to find out if I had celiac disease and requested that my doctor check me for it. One problem – I’d been off gluten for over three months! This meant the blood test probably would not be very accurate unless I “gluten-loaded” for at least 1-2 weeks. I begrudgingly agreed to this; I must say, the mere thought of having to eat breads and gluten-filled products again really grosses me out!
So, here I sit, on day two of my “gluten-loading” and I’m miserable again. I haven’t even really eaten that much gluten yet, but I feel like I’ve been on a 30-day fast food binge or something! I hope I can manage to do this for another 10 days or so. I think that the blood tests will be most likely be confirming what I already know….I’ve got celiac disease. I’ll post my results when I know them; in the meantime, I will still be cooking GFCF for my family, so stay tuned for more recipes!