Gluten. It’s a word that’s heard more and more often. You’ll see packages at the grocery store with the label “gluten free” or “GF”. You don’t think much of it though- unless you have an allergy or intolerance to gluten. My best friend has celiac disease. Celiac disease “is a disorder resulting from an immune reaction to gluten”. When I first met her, I never paid much attention to her allergy. I knew she couldn’t consume gluten but I never paid attention to exactly which foods she couldn’t have since it never affected me. I didn’t have an issue with gluten. I couldn’t be more wrong.
I’m now a senior but since eighth grade, I remember having issues with bloating. After eating a meal my stomach would become huge. It looked like I was pregnant. I had a lot of digestive issues and when I brought up the issue to my mom, we glazed over it. My family and I laughed at my watermelon-like stomach.
But then the issue really started bothering me this year. My stomach didn’t just bloat, it would feel so uncomfortable. After eating food, it felt like the food was simply sitting in my stomach. It wasn’t being digested. I was so full that lying down was painful. On a school night, I would eat at 6pm and wouldn’t be able to sleep till midnight because my food would still be uncomfortably full. That affected my performance at school the next day. My digestive issues were getting worse and I was always tired. I went to the doctor and she wasn’t any help. She said I looked fine and all she could do is some blood work. So after listening to my friend’s advice and researching online, I decided to eliminate gluten in my diet and see how my body reacted to it. Bingo, that was the issue. I self-diagnosed myself with a gluten intolerance.
It’s still a struggle though. I’ve grown up with gluten. I love pizza, cakes, pasta, etc. So taking it out of my diet is really hard. I’ll be really good about not eating gluten for a couple days- I’ll feel great, have a flat stomach, have no digestive issues and then one slice of pizza will completely wreak havoc and I’ll feel bloated again. I know that consuming gluten is not good for me yet I do it over and over again. It’s a never ending cycle. I have such little self-control. I went out for dinner last night and I had the most delicious pasta. I was so full but I decided to eat two slices of my sister’s pizza (not gluten free) and I felt terrible. It’s frustrating because I know the consequence but I keep eating gluten for the temporary pleasure.
It’s only been about two months since I’ve made the deliberate effort to change my lifestyle so I know I shouldn’t be too hard on myself but it’s frustrating! I’ll update you guys on my gluten journey and I also plan on sharing my favorite gluten-free recipes.