Friday, June 26, 2009
And Now For Something Completely Different!
I'm going to deviate a bit (well, totally) from interior decor and design topics to post about something that is personal to me. I was diagnosed with celiac disease earlier this year, which basically affects your small intestine and you must refrain from eating wheat, rye, barley - no bread, no beer - you get the idea. You must read EVERY label in the supermarket.
After 9 years of stomach pains and "episodes", two doctors, two prescription medications and several tests, I was diagnosed first with GERD (gastroesophaegeal reflux disease) and then IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) They were all wrong!
In November I happened to be reading something when I came across the medical term "celiac sprue". I wanted to know what it was and looked it up on Web M.D. Oddly enough, celiac disease came up and the symptoms were exactly what I was going through. I could not even enjoy a meal out with my husband because I never knew if an "episode" would hit.
In reading this article it said that celiac disease can take up to 9 years to diagnose - 9 YEARS! It is usually diagnosed as Colitis, IBS, Crohns Disease and a couple of other diseases. It also said that a simple way to find out if you have celiac disease is 1. a blood test and 2. change your diet - if you felt better after 2 weeks, chances are you had some kind of gluten intolerance.
I had tried everything else, including prescription medication which wasn't helping. I still had "episodes". I was coming up on 9 years since the symptoms first started. I changed my diet to gluten free on a weekend and by Monday I FELT FANTASTIC! It even affected my mood.
While it was difficult to find stuff to eat that had no wheat, barley or rye in it (did you know licorice has wheat in it - wheat in licorice!) I felt so much better. I continued eating this way until I visited my doctor in March. I told her what I had done, that I felt so much better, and the information I read. To her credit, she considered this and sent me for a blood test.
The blood test came back POSITIVE FOR CELIAC DISEASE! I felt so happy to finally have the correct diagnosis; I hated the fact that I have this disease but at least I now knew what was causing my issues. Pretty sad that I had to diagnose myself - but I do believe that we know our own bodies best.
While I've been able to find substitutes for most of the food I like, bread has always been a trial and error process. After finding Sisters Three Gluten Free and following on Twitter, I was given the opportunity to test one of their breads. The mix was easy for even me to handle and this bread tasted really good!
Most gluten free bread is small - it's like having a tea sandwich. This bread I tried from Sisters Three rose to the size of a regular loaf of bread. I sliced a couple of pieces for a sandwich this week and it was so nice to actually eat a real sandwich again. This weekend I am going to try it as french toast, and I can't wait!
Please visit their website at http://www.sistersthreeglutenfree.com/ to see the other items they carry. It is a great feeling to know that I can eat a good bread again!