A Gluten Free Life

October 25th 2019

By: April Pohlman

Whatcha going to do with Celiac Sprue...

There are many people living with Celiac Disease. The approximate number is 1 out of 135 people have Celiac Sprue. These numbers are increasing today. Celiac Disease is often misdiagnosed for other medical problems. There are about 300 different symptoms for Celiac Disease that vary among people. The type and the severity is related to the damage of the small intestine and the length of time the malabsorption had occurred. It took my doctors two years to finally figure out what was wrong with me.

One day at work I noticed I was getting lethargic and could barely function. This started to continue for a good period. Before I knew it, I was in and out of the emergency room many times that year. All I knew is I never felt so sick. I was an athlete and I was not a sick person. My general practitioner doctor thought I had depression. I told her I am a happy person and I was not depressed that something is happening with my body.

The first time was for heavy periods and diagnosed with fibroids the nurses scheduled me for surgery and a myomectomy to remove the uterine fibroids. After that, I noticed I was still very lethargic. It continued for two years and symptoms became worse. Heavy periods, gastrointestinal problems, vision problems, and arrhythmias that affected my heart. I felt awful and felt like I could barely function.

After the two years, the fibroids came back even bigger and due to fibroids, I was very anemic. The doctors said I needed to have a complete hysterectomy. I just met my now husband and had to have difficult conversation about having children. Both of us were in our mid-thirties during this period. He said, I want you healthy and at this point in life I am not sure about having kids. I think you should have the surgery and get healthy that is my main concern. We decided that I would have the hysterectomy.

Four days after the hysterectomy, I could not stand up straight I kept falling over. I thought I had a stroke. This led me back and forth to the emergency room. This had been an ongoing process for a couple years. I finally had a positive CAT scan showing narrowing in the small intestine. The doctor sent me in for a colonoscopy. During the colonoscopy the doctor forgot to take biopsies. The doctor proceeded to tell me to chew my food well and I was fine.

The next appointment was to the cardiologist because during the hysterectomy the doctor noticed I had an arrhythmia; I was sent for an echocardiogram. After the echo the report showed my atria and ventricles were dilated.

Meanwhile, I mentioned this information to my new nurse practitioner. The nurse practitioner told me she was going to test me for a gluten problem. Low and behold the blood test she ordered came back positive for autoimmune disease to gluten. Then I was sent back to the GI doctor to have an endoscopy done. This time he took biopsies. He apologized to me for not taking biopsies with the colonoscopy. The endoscopy biopsies came back positive for Celiac Sprue. This was a two-year process and I could not believe I made it through work every day.

Since, I found out I had Celiac Sprue it has been a huge learning curve for me. I thought I would start this Blog to help others find their way to A Gluten Free Life. The foods to avoid is Wheat, Rye, Barely, and their derivatives, and to a lesser extent oats. Some people will still react to gluten free oats. So be careful. Also, Gluten free foods are loaded with sugar and simple carbohydrates. Look for more nutrient dense foods. I try to eat lean grass-fed protein and more vegetables. I will be posting more articles and recipes.

Grocery store products that are gluten free

Products in your local grocery store that are gluten free These foods helped me in the beginning dealing with Celiac Disease.

Fresh Fruit, Juices, Fresh Vegetables ,Eggs, Most Dairy, Minimally Processed Meat, Almost All Types of Rice watch food label with seasoned rice, Brown Rice Flour, Sugar, Agave, Honey, Tapioca Flour, Quinoa, buckwheat look on some labels because some will buckwheat baking items contain flour, buckwheat hot cereal is awesome, certified gluten free Oats, Mission Corn Tortillas, Guerrero Corn Tortillas, Beans, Nuts lightly salted, watch seasoned nuts like Cajun mixes, Corn syrup, Cheese, Some Yogurt, Gluten Free Baking mixes by Bobs Red Mill, Betty Crocker Potato Buds, Some frozen Dinner by Amy’s, Vans Gluten Free Waffles, and many more. Watch the food labels some products claim they are Gluten Free and may be processed on the same equipment that may contain wheat or may contain a low Gluten content. Now there are many great resources now on the internet to learn about Gluten free and Gluten Free products, also watch vitamins and medications that contain Gluten. MY DISCLAIMER PLEASE READ YOUR LABELS make sure that your products do not contain Gluten :)