Sunday, October 30, 2011

Celiac Sprue

I have celiac disease. I have wanted to post on this for while but I don't want it to come off as lists of don't. Let me tell you what celiac means:
I don't eat white flour, wheat flour, barley, rye or oats. All of these (except oats) have a protein called gluten. Gluten is in just about everything. Besides pasta, breads, crackers and cakes it is found in random things like some soy and BBQ sauces, dips, salad dressings and seasonings. Some people with celiac disease cheat. They will eat something like a donut or fried chicken if they can't resist it, but I would move heaven and earth not to eat it ever. I feed gluten to my family, that is how I get sabotaged.

 These are things that have sabotaged me in the past. My strawberry has picked up bread crumbs off the counter when I put it down and picked it up again, kisses from gluten crumbed little mouths, sharing drinks with gluten crumbed little mouths, glutinous crumbs in the peanut butter or mayo (now I have my own jars, they say Moms GF). Often oats are grown next to wheat and harvested in tandem. Gluten can be transferred to the oats. I sometimes eat oats, but I am always scared and never truly enjoy it due to worry. However, a celiac does struggle to get enough fiber in their diet so I do use oats for variety.

Gluten has secret names, sometimes it's an ingredient in modified food starch, malt, caramel coloring and a few others. Sometimes, flour is used in the process of dry roasting nuts and it's not listed on the label. I just knew 'cuz I felt crummy all week. I think the gluten protein was in the blood transfusions that saved my life after I had the babies.
French fries used to be a major vice for me, but since they are fried in the same fryers as breaded onion rings and nuggets, no thanks.

What I can eat, I do! Lots and lots of Mexican and Thai food. (Corn tortillas and rice noodles). My breads or cookies consist of exciting flours like millet flour, coconut flour, rice flour, amaranth flour, tapioca or potato starches and my personal favorite sorghum. Some of them are really nutritious, some are super light or too heavy, some have lots of fiber, most don't and some don't taste so good. I usually use a variety of flours maybe 3 or 4 mixed together to make something I find tasty, the right texture and nutritious. I also have to add Xantham Gum, this ingredient allows the flours to stick together like gluten does.

Here is what happens when I eat gluten. My stomach starts to rumble and I have a tummy ache for a few days. I would probably cheat if that was all that happened. When I eat gluten, and it wipes out the villi in my intestines, I can't adsorb any nutrients til they grow back (no matter how healthy I eat). That is crummy because it puts me at heavy risk for osteoporosis and colon cancer. Regrowing them can take from a few weeks to a few months depending on the damage. During that time, I also can't eat any dairy. Villi take part in digesting dairy so while I am sick, dairy is out. Here is the reason I never cheat. After the tummy aches, I have anxiety and depression for about 2-4 weeks. I think that the mental, emotional challenges that come after eating gluten are so much more difficult than my tummy sickness. There is static inside my head, I don't think clearly, everyone is standing too close, everyone is talking too loud, I hurt like a 90 year old lady, real smiles are hard to come by, things that should be nothing, are a big deal. Right before I think this is never going to end- I am going to check myself in, the clouds part and I am laughing all day, thrilled to be me and ready for the world.
I would like to tell you about some of the helps I am learning in dealing with anxiety and depression. I have started writing the post but it hasn't all come together yet. Stand by...

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful thing it can be to KNOW what the problem is, even though you hate the problem.