If you are suffering from any sort of unexplained illness. If you have been diagnosed with any of the 80-some-odd autoimmune diseases. If you are overweight and can't get the extra pounds off no matter how hard you try. If you have chronic arthritis. If you have skin rashes that won't go away despite all the creams in the pharmacy. If you have ever even thought for a fraction of a second that you might feel better on a gluten free diet, then I urge you to read this book: The Gluten Connection: How Gluten Sensitivity May Be Sabotaging Your Health, and What You Can Do to Take Control NOW by Shari Lieberman
Yesterday I went into Borders with the intention of buying a book that I could read and enjoy. I mean a book with a storyline and characters and all that fun stuff. I walked out of the store with yet ANOTHER book about gluten intolerance. As if I haven't already figured out that I am in fact gluten intolerant, I keep reading more and more books just to confirm it. This book over all of the others is by far the most comprehensive book about the effects of gluten on our bodies. What really pushed me over the edge into buying it is that there's a whole section on autoimmune disease, IBD and talks about Crohn's. All I needed was a few success stories of people that had been diagnosed with Crohn's and when medication failed, gluten free worked, it made me feel so much better to know that I'm not the only one out there.
The book also goes into great detail about how a positive Celiac diagnosis in this country only comes at the point where your small intestines are totally damaged. The reason people can be gluten intolerant but not get a positive Celiac diagnosis is because the anti-bodies only show up on the blood work when your intestines are already ruined. Gluten will ravage your body for years before the damage is so bad that a blood test and biopsy will come back positive for Celiac. How frustrating is that??
From the moment I learned about Celiac, I knew that this was the root of my problem, not even a positive Crohn's diagnosis could change my mind. I've known in my gut (pardon the pun) for two years that this was my problem. The damage may not be bad enough yet for a positive diagnosis but I've been getting sicker sicker year after year, and I know for sure that eventually it will show, as long as I keep poisoning myself with gluten that is. I've been eating gluten for the past couple of weeks ever since I decided to go forth with more testing and today I thought I might die. I've all of a sudden developed arthritis in my hands, and today for the first time ever in my life, I'm pretty sure I had a migraine. The problem is this, I'm on a pretty high dose of immune suppressants, which seem to be working, since my stomach has been relatively good. But the rest of my body is screaming in protest. My back is on fire, my fingers ache, my head throbs....
So I did what any sane person would do and went to Stop & Shop and loaded up on healthy, gluten free foods. Fruits, veggies and meats. No more poison for me. The funny thing is, it's not even worth it. The foods I loved before don't taste nearly as good as they used to now that I know how horrible they will make me feel. Nothing tastes as good as gluten free feels. I hope by the end of the day tomorrow I'll be feeling a lot better.
But seriously, if you are suffering and can't find the answers, please read that book. It's extremely helpful. I believe now more than ever that gluten is the source of all evil! Ok that might be an extreme statement... I don't think I'm kidding though.