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Living Life with Celiac Disease

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Health & Wellness

Lessons learned… so far

As I write this, I am at the tail end of a fever and cold, that my loving grandson shared with me. My first mistake in noticing he was sick was not taking care of myself. Knowing we are huggers, hand holders, and snugglers, I should have loaded up on my immunity boosters. Instead, I ministered to him 100%. As if that wasn’t bad enough, exhaustion when his mom picked him up, sent me to bed for 14 hours. My other mistake, not taking any supplements, vitamins, or immunity protection/boosters before bed. I understandably woke with a 101.5* fever. Now it was time to play catch up, lesson learned.

The problem with being allergic to wheat and corn is the inability to safely take readily available medication. I rely mostly on local raw honey, Himalayan pink salt, minerals, herbs, roots, spices and essential oils. Even herbs have their challenges like hibiscus and rose hip. They are very good at supporting wellness and immunity. Roots like ginger and turmeric are high on my favorite list for when my immunity has been compromised. I should have started my regimen of honey, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, lemon oil, peppermint oil, and thieves oil tea the minute my grandson made his first sniffle, lesson learned.

Today, three days later, I am confident that by the end of the week I should be back to my  normal wellness. Meanwhile I am using my raw honey, herbs, roots and essential oils solely to bring myself back up to that wellness line. This is the first time I am hoping to do it without help of a gluten or corn laden intervention. Am I willing to acknowledge that I might have to change my mind, yes I am. My daughter and son in law were here for Easter dinner. He had forgotten to take his daily allergy protocol and in my house of three cats, a dog, and an almond orchard across the street, he began to have respiratory discomfort. Not having a lot of homeopathic experience in respiratory issues, I looked it up. I found several testimonials on a protocol, I confidently gave it to him to use, and watched. What I didn’t expect was for his symptoms to appear worse. I didn’t realize that was even a possibility! Why? Because I didn’t stick to my experience, I “looked it up” and blindly used my arsenal of goodness recklessly. I am not a doctor, nurse, medical assistant, or even a medical receptionist. I am an advocate for wellness (wellness for everyone). That is no different than wanting “world peace.” Lesson learned.

I don’t have any experience in managing respiratory issues without using protocols that involve gluten or corn. It is a double edged sword because I have had to take some corn laden syrups in order to get a moment’s rest. The problem with syrup is it is sweetened with corn. Sugar free contains corn related stabilizers so I again get sick. It wouldn’t be so bad if it were just hives and bloating, but corn affects my breathing. In the past I have taken a syrup for a couple days only to need an inhaler for a week. I honestly don’t know of any other alternative when my cough gets that bad. What choice do I have? I am going with my gut, my experience, and what my body tells me. There are many other herbs, roots and essential oils that help with cough. I will safely try each in moderation to see how my body reacts to each. In the event that I am able to manage my cough solely homeopathically, I will then be able to tell someone what worked for me in this situation. Will that help my son in law next time he visits? No, because I don’t experience what he experiences. He will need to be his own advocate for wellness. Difficult lesson learned.

Sometimes having a “helper’s heart” means letting other people learn their lessons on their own.

Note: As I mentioned, I use local raw honey, herbs, roots, and essential oils in my homeopathic arsenal. There are several things to remember:

  1. Homeopathy is a choice for me based on necessity (when possible). I have an allergen to corn and wheat that cause stomach issues, leaky gut symptoms, internal hives, respiratory issues and probably more I don’t even know about. Homeopathy may not be the right choice for you.
  2. Be your own advocate for wellness and admit when it is not working. That doesn’t mean it will never work, it means you haven’t found “what works for you.”
  3. Use only high quality, natural, products. I use local raw honey, organic spices, reputable companies that you feel confident about. There are companies that will add ingredients to their product so that they can sell more. The essential oil business is the worst, I only use Young Living Essential Oils because of this. Their Seed to Seal process sold me when I was living way below the wellness line.
    1. I began a YL membership so that I could purchase at wholesale cost. I did not begin my membership to “sell” or to “make money” by “spreading the word.” However, because of changes that friends and family have seen in my wellness, they have began memberships using my membership number as enroller/sponsor (10152010).
  4. Do not offer advise, recommendations, products on here-say or literature contained knowledge only. Investigate, try, use, feel. Just because it works for someone else, doesn’t mean it will work for you.
    1. For example, I might have success using a specific homeopathic remedy for a migraine or headache. Out of blue someone asks what the best remedy is for a headache or migraine. The minute you offer advise, you take ownership of their wellness. Don’t do that. You can certainly share “what works for me is…” and the follow up with, “but I know what the root cause of my headache is, yours might be something different.” It’s human nature to want to help, but what if their headache is the cause of something serious and urgent. Don’t learn that lesson the hard way.
  5. Never stop learning, investigating, finding a way. Be it because of food allergies or sensitivities or because of a natural, chemical free choice. Keep learning, keep seeking answers, keep looking for a solution. There are many good lessons to be learned.

Have a blessed day and may you be living above the wellness line!

Kate

 

 

 

 

 

Gluten Medication Sickness

The website Gluten Free Drugs is a valuable tool to know if you are able to take brand name, generic, or over the counter and medications. It’s important to know what you can or cannot take before you need it, if possible.

Because the three of us girls have additional problems with the consumption of corn, we are often forced to harm our digestive system to heal our immune system. Since our digestive system controls our immune system, we end up compromising our health and throwing our system into imbalance. Most all prescriptions and over the counter medications contain corn syrup, corn starch, or other corn derived ingredient(s). During the last 7 months, an upper respiratory infection has put me on three different antibiotics, several cough medicines, codeine, and prednisone to get rid of it for good.

Of course this has left my belly so bloated that my new fashion staple has been pajama pants and leggings since attempting to wear my jeans has been uncomfortably unsuccessful.

Tomorrow begins the important job of healing my gut and restoring the gut-flora to all it’s bacteria goodness. Not doing so can cause a Candida overgrowth (Candida Albicans) yeast to attach to and eat through the intestinal walls. This causes a condition called “leaky gut syndrome.” Facto-fermented dairy, yogurt, kefir, and some fermented vegetables, meats from pasture raised animals and bone broths (if you are not vegetarian), ghee, avocados, animal based fats and non-hydrogenated coconut oil are helpful in speeding the healing. Diet, along with a daily regimen of probiotics for the next several weeks or months, until you feel “normal” again.

When healing your gut be sure to limit grains, avoid caffeine, coffee, fermented soy products, sugars, alcohol, and eating out,  unless you trust your health to a stranger.

What are your go-to foods when you need to heal a damaged gut? Share your favorites in the comments below.

~ Kate ~

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Blood Screening

In a recent email from the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, they are offering  Free Blood Screening for Celiac Disease “To be screened, you must consume gluten daily for 12 weeks prior to the test.”

Is it any wonder there are so many false negative tests? I do not have 12 weeks (and more for recovery) of my life to intentionally make myself sick. Many people learn about Celiac Disease from other people by listening to symptoms, cures, and struggles. If you think you might have Celiac Disease and have or have not had blood tests, your body will tell you if you should cut foods out of your diet (all changes in your nutrition should be discussed with a doctor).

The symptoms can be found on our blog at Symptoms of Celiac Disease. We also discuss Foods to Avoid in another post. Only you know what is best for your body, don’t let the results of a negative blood test decide if you are able to eat gluten or not. If you want to put 12 weeks to the test, remove all sources of wheat, rye, barley and corn (some celiacs are sensitive to corn) from your diet. I would rather have 12 healthy weeks to find out if I am gluten sensitive than 12-16 unhealthy and sick weeks (4 for recovery) to take a blood test.

We are not doctors, but we do know the difference of being bedridden and being physically active, you will too.

 

Namaste

~Kate~

 

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Shopping Shenanigans

Challenges for someone with gluten intolerance or Celiac Disease don’t stop at the grocery store. It’s true that shopping for everyday groceries is a time consuming chore, unless you stick to the produce section. Labels for ingredients, labels for gluten free certification, labels processed on equipment and/or in a facility that produces products containing wheat. It is enough to make your head spin and requires a good hour set aside for weekly grocery shopping.

This week I took the dive into gluten free hair care, skin care, body care, and make up. No, I do not plan on eating my make-up, but I do plan on sweating this summer (you know you are too). With those beads of perspiration will come everything it passes through, my hair product, my eye shadow, foundation, and lip balm. Undoubtedly some of the perspiration will make its way into my eyes, nose or throat and with that, the gluten it passed through.

Our skin is also our largest organ. Science says that what we put on our skin can make its way into our bloodstream. The more you rid your diet of gluten, the more sensitive you will become to it. When your gut is already damaged and bleeding from gluten, eating more gluten prolongs the healing and amplifies the symptoms. That same gluten put into a healing or healed gut acts like a foreign body and creates an autoimmune response which in turn makes you feel horribly ill inside and out.

A wonderful resource has been the Gluten Free Makeup Gal http://www.glutenfreemakeupgal.com I urge you to sign up for her gluten free make up list. It has everything from soaps, body lotions, deodorants, facial care, bath care, to baby and pet care. You will most likely find yourself browsing through websites for hours. What else is new for a Celiac, right?

Hope you have a healthy and blessed day!

~Kate~

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Removing the Poison

What one little crumb of bread can do to a gluten sensitive/Celiac body is outrageous. Fatigue is the one symptom that to most people does the least harm to our bodies.
However, fatigue can prevent one from getting up and getting moving. The best way to get that poison out of the body is by exercise. I know, that is the last thing you want to do with all of the other gluten causing issues.

Exercise helps get that poison out faster than being sedentary or just going through daily tasks. Cardio is the best form of exercise to push the gluten poison out fast.

Once you get to working out… It will be hard, you will feel a smaller lung capacity and you will feel as though your heart is going to burst through your chest cavity. But the results after a 30min-60min work out is a miracle. Usually I have to rush to the bathroom within 30 minutes but the next day I feel almost human.

I remind my close friends and family to encourage me to do cardio when I know I got glutened… Because exercising is really the last thing I want to do when I have that poison in my body.

Try it next time, let me know if it works for you too!

~JoJo

 

 

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5 Reasons to Eat Gluten (Funny)

Another Great Post by http://www.MindBodyGreen.com!!!

Improved Self Image

Back in the 70’s/ early 80’s I started the self hate of my body, actually my stomach. I felt distorted and misshapen. My body was thin and sucked in around my waist and then ballooned 8 inches around my stomach. I had friends who all looked slim or slender from their waist to their hips with no bump in between. This started my eating disorders. I would starve myself throughout the week at work and school. On weekends It was harder to hide the eating disorder so I ate sometimes to excess. My diet mostly consisted of pasta, cereals, bread, and fried foods, all of which contained wheat. My hatred for my body grew and grew as the years passed.

As recent as three years ago I was down to a 22 inch waist and 32 inch stomach. I had migraines, fatigue, anemia, depression, brain fog, joint pain, and irritability. My life changed in many ways after Samantha linked our health problems first to gluten intolerance and later to Celiac Disease. As my diet changed to a wheat/barley/rye free diet, my body began to change drastically. My waist is thicker, my stomach thicker and my self image remarkably increased. I felt no remorse for the bags of clothing (now too small) that I donated to charity.

Something about seeing yourself through “healthy” eyes makes all the rest insignificant. I am days away from my 47th birthday and weeks away from my third anniversary of diagnosis. I may not have the body of a teenager, but I have a healthy, powerful, energetic, happy body and soul.

May you find the Healthy and Happy person living in you!

~Kate~

Finally Getting Back to “Normal”

Since my “Series of Unfortunate Events” last month, recovery was less than speedy. I am happy to report that although still emotionally up and down, I finally got back on the treadmill yesterday. I felt “alive” and happy. It didn’t matter that my endurance was affected and my pace slower, it mattered that I got on it and moved.

Celebrate small accomplishments when recovering from a “glutening.” As long as we keep trying to get out of bed and move, we are doing better than we were pre-diagnosis. May each of your days be better than the one before it. Happy Friday!

~Kate~

Slow Recovery

It is amazing the damage a piece of grain can do. Since my last post, “A Series of Unfortunate Events” my recovery is slow going. It’s been 6 days since my cross contamination at Red Robin and today is my first adventure out of the house. If not for Robert driving and accompanying me through the grocery store, for last minute Thanksgiving needs, I might be writing this from the floor of a shopping aisle.

The migraine is gone but the shortness of breath, brain fog, fatigue, joint pain, and exhaustion remain (I’m still waiting for the onslaught of hives).

The worst part of it all is knowing it may happen again. How many times do we play Russian Roulette with our body? When this episode is long forgotten, and I am caught up in the joyous whirlwind of love and family, I will let my guard down. I don’t know if it’s the black hole each episode leaves in my memory or wishful thinking it won’t happen again. Short of tattooing, “Do not feed the Celiac” on my forehead, I am doomed to repeat this mistake. Hopefully it won’t be days before a holiday again.

~Kate~

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