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Gluten: The Currently Necessary Devil

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I don’t know what you believe, but I have determined that the devil to my insides is gluten. I don’t know whether or not I am sensitive, intolerant or have Celiac, but it’s not good for me! Unfortunately I have to eat some every single day until January 5th.

Why would I do this to myself? Well I am having blood work, genetic testing, and an intestinal biopsy on the fifth and in order for all of that to be accurate I am on a gluten-full diet until then.

I have been back on gluten for a couple of weeks and it hasn’t been fun. I am in a LOT of pain each day and well I won’t bore you or gross you out with all of the details of the rest of the problems.

Basically, I have a dilemma. And I’m curious to get some opinions.

At my consultation yesterday the gastroenterologist (doctor who specializes in the digestive tract) basically told me to eat lots of bread, Christmas cookies, you know: gluten, gluten, gluten.

However, I have been working hard this past month and have lost the five pounds that I had gained over my indulgent summer. I am down to a weight I haven’t been at in over a year! So while I’d love to just eat all kinds of goodies, I really don’t feel like putting it all back on.

It’s sort of different, because people usually say “don’t eat as though it’s your last meal, you can always have another cookie tomorrow.” And things of that nature. But in reality, I have about two and a half weeks to eat things that I won’t ever get to eat again. I definitely have a problem with gluten, no matter what it is. So this really is my last chance to eat some commercial food items.

Why anyone would want to go on a gluten-free diet unless they have to is beyond me. Seriously, why was this a fad? There are definitely recipes that are good, and some gluten-free foods are alright. But they just can’t compare! I really miss super chewy, doughy breads, cookies, and the like.

So my options are:
1. Eat a little gluten every day in the form of crackers or something else I wouldn’t normally eat.
2. Use this time to indulge a little in foods I’m never going to get to eat again.

The only problem I see with #1 is that I would feel deprived. If I’m having to feel horrible and be in extreme pain, I might as well get to enjoy the food I’m having to eat, right?

The problem with #2 is that I know that one cookie usually leads to two or three. ESPECIALLY since I’ll have a voice in the back of my head saying “You know, this really IS the last time you’ll get to eat this.”

I think of all of the random goodies I love that I won’t be able to eat at all once I’m gluten-free. Commercial doughnuts, muffins, cinnamon rolls, cakes, pies, cookies…. There are so many options! I want to eat them all! You might have noticed that all of these things are sweet. I have always had a huge sweet tooth!

Every day this week I have had a vanilla cone from McDonald’s. The cone is definitely not gluten-free and my insides have reminded me of that every day. The problem is, as I am eating more gluten, I am CRAVING more gluten.

I went to bed last night with sweets dancing in my head. I had finally kicked my massive cravings by going gluten-free, and now they are back in full force.

What’s a girl to do?

I really am looking forward to all of the testing because I’d love to know what all is going on inside of me. I know gluten is one thing, but I didn’t feel 100% better from just cutting it out. So I also wonder if there are other things at play. The genetic testing will really be interesting. I definitely am willing to go through the pain to find some answers. I just wish it wasn’t all so confusing.


But, since I don’t want to leave you without some pictures, please enjoy these virtual treats.

Gluten-Free Cookies

They are from New Cascadia Traditional a gluten-free bakery here in Portland.

Taste was great, but they crumbled apart when I was trying to break pieces off to share with Aubrey. Ugh!

Non-Gluten-Free Fro-You

For those limbo times when you have to eat gluten for a test. Oh wait, that’s just me!

If it were you, what would you do? To indulge or not to indulge? How do I ignore the sugar fairy on my back?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thx for stopping by my page. I'm sorry you haven't been feeling well. :( I was like, "What biopsy?" so I came to your blog. I'm sure I have a blog notification in my e-mail somewhere but I am so behind with everyone's blogs!! Ugh... Anyway, I know this is a late comment and you may or may not still have this dilemma, but if it were me, I would eat the treats I like a LOT. I mean the ones that are truly WORTH IT and not go overboard on all sorts of sweets. Sometimes, what happens is that once you stop eating that kind of stuff, eventually the desire for it goes away and it actually might even seem gross to you. I know when I think about really heavy, greasy food and sweets, I'm like "ick" even though it used to taste good. That said, I totally understand the sweet tooth thing. One cookie leads to another and so on. So...all that is to say is ENJOY but be selective. KWIM?
    2666 days ago
    I just read your blog and it is so true to what I am saying. I have been gf for a little over a year. I just did a blog just now - gluten intolerant/celiac, if You have time. please read it and let me know your thoughts on it.

    2676 days ago
  • AINE40
    I was in the same situation. All of my blood tests came back negative. I have had scopes up and down and blood drawn like you wouldn't believe. Still, no one can explain why I had so much inflamation in my intestines. I have hypothyroidism and and gall stones. It was difficult for me to even function at work. I changed doctors and she made me do the elimination diet. I ate salmon and white rice for 2 weeks. Afterwards, I added one food item that I thouht bothered me.Gluten was the first. It was instant nausea and stomach pain. I have been gluten free for 2 1/2 months now. My head is cleared and I now have no more canker sores, lethargy, joint pain, and stomach pain. It is all gone! My doctor diagnosed me with Celiac based on that. She stated that I had too much damage in my body for it not to be, plus I'm improving on a gluten free diet. She has been studying with one of the best doctors in Ohio. Gluten free is the way to be!
    2677 days ago
    I dont know what to tell you. I know that you were excited about losing the weight but I don't want you to regret not eating more things now. I will support you what ever you decide. I love you!
    2678 days ago
    If it were me, I would eat as many holiday goodies, and fancy breads that I could within my calorie range for that day. If you go beyond your calorie range, you'll definitely gain weight, so if you don't want to, you'd better not. But on the other hand, it will help the test turn out better if you do eat plenty of these things.

    I read that if you have Celiac, it takes months and months to heal from all the damage gluten does to your insides. So maybe that's why you haven't felt better from just switching to gluten-free.

    Myself, I have problems with leavening in baked goods, they make the dough rise--and they make me really bloated. Some things really bother me, like pizza, cake, and cookies. Brownies seem to be okay, and having 1 or 2 slices of bread a day.

    I wish you could enjoy the holiday season more this year, sounds like you're going to be sick though. If your doctor wants you to eat a lot of cookies and bread, then get or buy your favorite kinds, and go for it! You could try to work out a little more to compensate for the extra food. If you're too sick to workout--then just think with the new diagnosis you'll know what's going on, and be able to do something. You'll feel a lot better, and then you can take care of any weight gain after that.

    Anyway, I would NOT eat only crackers until the test. I would eat yummy tasting food, and eat enough for this test to work.
    2678 days ago
    Eat what you really want to eat, but in moderation. One really good cookie is better than 3 or 4 mediocre crackers.

    I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance about 15 years ago. I just don't crave things like cookies and donuts any more at all. I always missed pizza, but I've found a frozen pizza that's gluten free, and it's really pretty good. Fortunately there is no gluten in chocolate, so I can still indulge in that if I have to have something sweet.

    Good luck with your tests. You'll definitely feel better without gluten if you're gluten intolerant.
    2678 days ago
  • PAG2809
    Oh, this is tough! I'm the same way - have major problems with moderation - so I can certainly understand your worry that allowing yourself to indulge will lead to overindulgence and weight gain. It makes sense to me that just eating some gluten may not be enough for the tests to show the real extent of your problems with it. So, I'd say, see what you can stand and try not to keep too many cookies around... I wonder if its the sweet that you're craving, as that is usually how it works for me.
    2678 days ago
  • MCK0582
    I think moderation is key. Enjoy the foods you love and may never eat again, but do so without overindulging. The 5th is about 20 days away so if you did a little indulging every day or most days, that should keep you in check if you balance the rest of your diet.

    And now, with more and more people being diagnosed with various forms of gluten-intolerance, better tasting gluten-free goodies are coming out on the market all the time. You may have to give up some of your very favorites but I'm sure you'll find substitutions eventually.

    Good luck
    2678 days ago
  • ANNE1123
    Wow, this is a hard choice, Amber, and is it really a choice? You're feeling awful when you eat gluten, so I'd say don't eat it. But you have to for the test, then eat what makes you happy in your head because your tummy isn't going to be happy. If you can, try NOT to think of it as the very last time you will eat gluten full foods. Because, maybe 6 months or two years from now you will nibble on a cookie that your bestest friend wants you to try, just a thought. Forget about the crackers, they'd make me happy, but if they don't make you happy, why bother? Eat the best quality gluten foods you can, this might help your tummy. I don't know. And, since you know how to track your food and you've got wonderful SP support, you won't gain back the weight, don't worry. For now, concentrate on your health and have a good holiday! emoticon
    2678 days ago
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