Please hold the bread, and almost all processed food – {Iowa City Gluten Free Mom}

After 12 years dealing with stomach pains, nausea, and vomiting almost every night, I decided to go gluten-free. I first noticed pains in high school, and as I started to get a little older the nausea and constant vomiting started happening, I had enough, and decided to visit a doctor in May of 2005, they ran all sorts of tests and finally a ct scan, all showing everything was clear, and diagnosed me with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), sent me home with no meds, no diet restrictions, nothing. There was no thoughts of an allergy or sensitivity. They has no clue what was going on, and really didn’t seem to care.
About 4.5 years after my May appointment I started doing some research on some of my symptoms: extreme fatigue, irritability, head aches, and dizziness to name a few. Everything I read suggested I had a food sensitivity, so I worked up the courage to ask my doctor for a allergy testing referral, the doctor declined and instead had me come in for questions and some blood work. In March 2010 I visited the doctor for the second time, different doctor, same issues. He wanted to make sure that my thyroid medication was working, since all my symptoms could be due to my newly diagnosed hypothyroidism. The tests came back just fine for my thyroid. He also asked if we could do a serum anti- transglutaminase blood test, he explained what it was and did, I agreed. It was a test to see if there was any damage done from gluten, basically to see if I was allergic. It  came back negative, but he said that could happen they have false negatives all the time, I was not out of the woods. He refered me to a GI specialist, I went through the same round of questions and blood tests, the serum anti- transglutaminase came back negative again, so the GI wanted to do a biopsy, colonoscopy, and some other internal testing. At the tender age of 25, I was just not ready to go through that, so I declined. My general practitioner suggested I try an elimination diet since I wasn’t willing to go through the internal testing. I thought about it, read about it, half-assed it for a week, and continued to live my life like normal. I thought it was “too hard” He had also put me on Omeprozole to control the stomach pain and acid that I was experiencing. That worked for about 9 months, then it was like I had hit a brick wall with the medicine. It has stopped working, so with out my doctor’s advice, I started doubling doses, and quickly ran out. I needed a more permanent solution. I remembered the suggestion of an elimination diet, and everything I read about what the sensitivity can do to your intestines if you continue to ingest gluten. I began to wonder if this was why my problems were getting worse, not to mention, my previously mentioned symptoms never actually went away.
For one of my 2012 goals, I made a goal to live 100% gluten-free. It is now Jan 23, and I am still not 100% there, but I am closer than I have ever been. It is very hard, I have read more labels in the last 2 weeks than I think I have in my whole life time, but it is needed, wheat, barley, and rye are hiding in a lot of items, most you probably wouldn’t even expect.
With the support of my husband, and websites like simply gluten free, I can take my gluten-free living to the next level. It is not easy, and I will document my journey as I go, as well as good recipes that I come across.
Stay healthy and stay happy in 2012.
The (gluten-free) Wandering Mom

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