Like so many of us, I have a lot to be thankful for since the gluten free diet! What a difference! I've been gluten free for 18 months. It really saved my life! It all started twenty years ago with sinus infections -4 x year, yearly bronchitis, depression, anxiety, insomnia, infertility and many kidney/bladder infections. I was starting to get immune to the antibiotics they were always giving me. I had to start buying the most expensive brands since the cheaper brands didn't work on me anymore. Then about five years after that I was diagnosed with hasimoto thyroid disease. I had so many biopsies done on my thyroid since then. Then I was diagnosed with anemia and then vitamin D deficiency so I started taking supplements. About a year later, the doctors found out I had enlarged lymph nodes in my stomach area after I was having night sweats, feeling weak and tried. They really thought I had lymphoma so I had biopsies of the lymph nodes also - that was so painful! Since the biopsies came back benign, I had to have CT scans done every 6 months. They wanted to keep an eye on them to see if they showing any changes. Then three years ago I found a lump on my collar bone -had to have it biopsied along with a thyroid nodule and eventually had to have my whole thyroid removed. It was cancer - a rare and an aggressive form of thyroid cancer that is resistant to radiation treatment (Hurth Cell Carcinoma). Lucky me... I was so scared. My husband was a huge help! After I had the surgery, we did have good news form the pathology report. It was Stage 1 cancer and the surrounding lymph nodes were clean. It was a huge relief! I did have go through radiation treatment afterward. I did really good through it all, but then a year after that I got so sick with bronchitis again & I completely lost my voice for two whole months! I went to eight different doctors & no one could figure out what was wrong with me. I was on three weeks of antibiotics and a month of predisone. I got two different diagnoses - one of them acid reflex and sometime they would just say "we don't know what's wrong with you. " It was crazy! I was given medicine for acid reflex but the medicine didn't help me. I started to get worse -losing weight, but eating all the time, so tried that even taking a shower was the only thing I could do all day. I started not being able to put anything in my stomach. It was the scariest feeling -not being able to eat & feel so hungry at the same time. I was 96 pounds at 5'2 and I really couldn't eat! I thought I was slowly dying. I finally went to my Oncology doctor. I really thought I had cancer again & the doctors just couldn't find it. I think I would have died if my Oncology doctor didn't order the upper endoscopy for me. She really saved my life! I thank her every time I see her! I was finally diagnosed with celiac disease - twenty years after having so many health problems.
Now, today I feel great! It took me so long to get better. When everyone told me I would feel better and a lot of my health problems would go away, I found it really hard to believe. For months I would wake up every morning feeling the same - weak, sore throat, stomach was always tender, I couldn't sleep, I had so much anxiety and I was still so under weight. I thought I was going crazy sometimes. I was reacting to all the foods I was eating. I thought I had other food intolerances. I couldn't drink milk, but I was okay with cheeses. I did finally figured out I was still getting a small amount of gluten from a prescription, supposedly "gluten-free" products and vitamins. Gluten is sneaky & cross contamination is something that is hard to figure out. Also, learning the gluten free diet is a challenge when you don't feel well. I learned the hard way that just because it says "gluten free" doesn't mean it's really gluten free. It took about eight months for my throat to heal. Finally found out that it is acid reflux. And it does come back if I get a little cross contamination. I think at six months gluten free I was about 80% better and I was able to function pretty well. I really think it took about a good year though to feel 100%.
I'm only 40 years old, but I feel like I had enough health problems to last me a lifetime. I wish I was diagnosed with celiac disease years ago. I think it would have saved me from so many heath problems. It's scary to know how little the medical community knows about this disease. I'm not sure if I could of got better if it wasn't for the helpful people on the forum. The people here are more knowledgeable about this disease than any of the doctors I have meet! Thank-you everyone!