Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Celiac Disease - It's Not Just a Trend, It's a Way of Life

Copyright 2015 Christine Emmick
"I can't eat gluten," I say to a store clerk as I ask him where the gluten free section is in the store.

"Oh, that is becoming very popular," he retorts, with a roll of the eyes. He must see many of those willing to try the next new thing.

For me, this is far from a trendy new diet.

In 2005, a full 10 years before now, my second daughter was born. I started having strange "spells" that made me very uneasy. I noticed they generally happened after I ate.

Two years later daughter number 3 was born. During the pregnancy I felt really good, much better than I should have. When I took her home and started to nurse her, the "spells" returned.

By that Christmas I had had my first grand mal seizure.

I continued to have seizures, a total of 9 grand mal seizures from December 2007 to April 2008, and simple partial seizures nearly every day during that same time. Now that I knew what they were, I stopped driving, especially since I never knew when I may have another.

I lost weight rapidly, to the tune of 125 pounds from mid 2007 to early 2008. I'd forget people, events and appointments, and I slept too much. Even then I had dark circles and an ashen complexion. I ate because I knew I should, but I had no desire to do so. This was mostly because every time I did, it felt like someone kicked me in the stomach.

I read about Celiac disease at the prompting of my mother, who is a nurse. She was always one of those people who is super insightful when it comes to medical matters, even before she got her nursing licence. After having a nasty seizure after eating takeout pizza, I decided to try cutting the gluten.

The first weeks were hard. I was still having seizures and they seemed to be more frequent than before. I decided to cut out dairy, as that was one thing that was said might be necessary. I drastically cut back on the variety of foods I was eating. The menu consisted of meat, veggies, potatoes and rice.

Eating the rice made me feel horrible, but I was so starved for carbohydrates and weak, I felt like I needed to take that in to keep some balance. Eating meat and vegetables isn't exactly cheap either. We needed to make the food budget stretch somehow with a total of three kiddos, two of which were in diapers.

Flash forward to 2015 and we've now gone through one miscarriage, most likely due to the Celiac Disease, and had one more kiddo. I still don't eat gluten, and I still get the eyeroll. But it is worth it. I have not had a seizure for over 7 years. and I did it without medication.

Sayonara Gluten! I don't quite understand why or how you caused my seizures, but it is certain that you are not just a diet trend in my house.

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