Friday, September 27, 2013

My 6 Symptoms of Celiac Disease

Unlocking the Mysteries of Gluten and the Artistic Mind; my journey as a creative soul; writer, artist and woman

© by Peggy Gabrielson

Digital Painting
 #29faces Challenge
Let me share with you a little bit of my journey of discovery not too long ago, after being bed ridden for several days with a pain in my stomach. My symptoms were nausea, dry heaves and constipation, tired and not being able to eat or drink for three days.

I felt horrible not to say the least. My husband Dave was scared ready to take me to the hospital, but before he did he researched online all my symptoms. After doing so for several hours he came in to tell me his discovery.

“Honey your ailments all these years of thinking you had irritable bowels,” (a doctor’s diagnoses after tests were taken of my colon determining diverticulitis), “shows the possibility of you suffering from celiac disease.” 

While in bed he brought me his laptop to read what WebMD and the Mayo Clinic wrote about the topic. Shock came over me as I read the words describing my complaints of all these years. It is genetic, yes I think about others in my family suffering with skin irritations and mood swings. Who knows what else they haven’t shared with me?  

My first 6 symptoms I found were:
1. Bloating of the gut.
2. Both diarrhea and constipation.
3. Heartburn and acid reflux.
4. Brain fog causing me to be tired all the time, anxiety attacks and mood swings.
5. Skin irritations and allergies.
6. Joint pains and difficulty getting out of bed in the mornings.

Our first course of action was to take breads out of my diet. The thought seemed difficult to me, surprisingly not the action. I loved bread; I would even brag to others that it was my favorite food, that and pasta. 

I found that I really didn't miss it when it was replaced with gluten free breads. In fact I was satisfied, felt full without feeling stuffed after eating meals. Then gluten free pastas were introduced in my diet, these were made from corn and rice flour instead of wheat. 

That was when I noticed my cravings and hunger pangs completely left me. I had a bad habit of being hungry wanting late night snacks; my cravings were for energy. Celiac disease caused me to be tired not being able to focus on tasks.  

There have been slips when we ate foods from local restaurants, or something that slipped by not knowing what the hidden ingredients meant and disguised itself as really being wheat gluten. These slips caused awful physical and mental times. So bad that I have vowed to stay away from all gluten products and never be tempted to eat out without careful scrutiny of menus and possible cross contamination of gluten and non gluten foods in preparation. It takes days sometimes a week or two to completely pass it through my system. 

The challenge of finding gluten free foods in the grocery stores where not easy at first, but now is found readily on the shelves where the natural organic foods are sold. Over time I've found ways to cook by seasoning differently for added taste. Look for my next post on our adventures of baking and cooking gluten free to stay healthy! 

I continue to educate myself by reading and attending workshops held by medical physicians on topics of gluten intolerance and celiac disease. The more I learned the more I became aware. At first I was angry thinking that my problems were created by the greed of the food and agricultural industry, providing us with foods that were genetically modified. 

This is my journey to becoming the most creative person I can be; I can complete tasks creating my art without experiencing the "brain fog". Have you experienced any of these symptoms? If so what are they, and how are you accepting your challenge?

Inspiring Creative Minds!