Anyone who’s known chronic illness knows it’s nothing easy to deal with. Life’s fine one day, maybe you even feel on top of the world, but then, “Bam!” You’re knocked down again with gusto, and you’re either forced to drag your butt out of bed and go to work, or lay down for the next who-knows-how-long.
I have never been officially diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I was recently told by a doctor that I would need to begin eating gluten regularly for them to get an accurate result. My thought: he must have no clue how bad my life becomes or he would never suggest such a course of action.
This time I’ve been fortunate: I have a wonderful boyfriend who goes to the grocery store for me and cooks us allergen-free meals (thank you for being awesome, Kevin); I also have some time off over the holidays to sleep and lay on the couch. Thank goodness!
To fill in this picture, I must explain that gluten is not my only allergy or health issue. Thanks to Leaky Gut Syndrome, I’ve also been diagnosed (by a blood test) with allergies to dairy, eggs, beans, ginger, coffee, quinoa, stevia, nitrates/nitrites, etc.
Anyone with intestinal issues is probably familiar with Leaky Gut, but if you’re not it’s helpful to know that it is characterized by tiny holes in your intestinal lining that allow small bits of food into your bloodstream which your body then attacks as foreign invaders – hence the additional food allergies that can come with Leaky Gut.
I’ve found that when I’m “glutened” (when I accidentally consume gluten), I not only have awful symptoms from eating gluten, such as severe fatigue, brain fog, abdominal pain, anxiety (yes, anxiety!), slurred speech, bloating, constipation, etc. On top of all that I often seem to develop Leaky Gut and Candida Overgrowth (an overabundance of yeast) at the same time. So not only am I sick from the gluten, but my immune system is on high alert with any food intake and I have to avoid as much sugar – even natural sugar – as possible to not feed the yeast that so quickly populate my gut due to the imbalance in my intestinal health. Furthermore, sometimes it takes me MONTHS to feel healthy again. Months! Ugh. I’m sure some of you know my pain. And if so, I am so sorry!
To heal as quickly as possible in times like these I have to eat an anti-inflammatory, allergen-free, low-sugar diet that typically consists of bone broth, cooked (and sometimes raw) veggies, NO grains, occasional low sugar fruit, fish and tea. OMG – this sucks!
HOWEVER, I am deeply grateful that after having been gluten free for 12 years that I am privileged to know what good health is and how to find it without prescription medication. I am so grateful that I’ve found natural ways of taking care of and healing my body: making good food choices, visiting affordable community acupuncture clinics, giving self massage and stretching, meditation, sleep, and being surrounded by positive people and things (my cat – LOL – is in fact a huge help).
That said, this is such a pain in the a**!!! I can’t believe I’m sick AGAIN. And I would love to feel better, like now. I keep sending my body love and light, thanking it for taking such good care of me, and imagining that the illness is lifting from my body easily, gently and quickly. I pray that it is so.
In the meantime, I’m posting this blog in case anyone out there deals with chronic disease and wants to chime in. It’s always so nice to know that I’m not alone and we’re not alone.
So, do you struggle with illness or disability? Perhaps it’s something that most people don’t even know you deal with… If so, I’d love to hear what you’re dealing with and how you keep your chin up when it can take so long to feel better. Please add your comments below.
Thanks for reading and sharing!
With love, Kimberly