Hi everyone -- I'm new here, practicaly speaking. I joined here 2 years ago when my brother was diagnosed with celiac. I was trying to find out what sort of testing I needed. But I didn't have a doctor, money, or insurance, so I put the testing off. Last month when I was in for another bacterial infection my optometrist told me she wanted me to go off gluten because new studies have shown a link between chronic allergy-eyes and gluten. I knew I couldn't go off gluten until I was tested, so I picked a new naturopath who spcializes in this area and put all the tests on a credit card. So now now I'm back here, 2 years later, because I am feeling very sad and overwhelmed and isolated right now, with no one to talk to about my new diagnosis and challenges, and so thought I might look here for a little encouragement.
In addition to dairy and soy intolerances, I just found out 6 days ago that I also have very high pineapple, egg and gluten intolerances. I do not have my celiac results yet. Additionally, the test shows I have moderate intolerances to bananas, beef, shrimp, beets, garlic, kidney beans, green peas, string beans, cocoa, blueberries, and almonds, all of which I am to stay away from for the next year or so. My naturopath said all the test results show I have a very leaky gut as a result of the gluten, as well as adrenal exhaustion. She said after my gut heals (probably a year or longer), some of the intolerances might go away, but probably not the gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, or pineapple (the last two were off the chart!).
Knowing about the leaky gut and how serious the situation is has helped me to finally stand up to all of the food cravings. I'm crawling out of my skin though! I have had health issues since early childhood which have gotten progressively worse over the years. I am now 48 and haven't felt well or slept well for many years. I really want to get healthy and feel well, and am happy to finally know gluten is a problem (whether or not I have full celiac), but I am feeling really sad and depressed and overwhelmed trying to figure out what to eat, as well as mourning the loss of all I can never have again. Garlic is very hard right now but I know it's probably temporary. It eliminates hummus, salsa, pasta sauce, good-tasting soup, good-tasting salad dressing, and good-tasting lots of other things. I didn't realize how many things it's in or how many things I add it to for flavor or how many things I don't like without it. I always took it for granted.
The hardest things to let go of are my sprouted whole-grain bread, eggs (including spinach omelets), pizza, mac and cheese, oatmeal, whole-grain toast with flax seed oil and maple syrup, and especially my sandwiches in the summer of sprouted whole-grain bread with either hummus, fresh basil and tomatoes -- or hummus, spinach and fresh roasted red peppers. Unfortunately the gluten-dairy-soy-egg-free versions of these things are unedible and have pretty unhealthy ingredients, so I will have to learn to live without them. Gluten-free rock/cardboard so-called bread will never be able to replace my delicious (I thought healthy)organic sprouted seven-whole-grain bread!
In the past several years I have lost both of my parents, one of my doctors, and a number of relatives and friends to cancer, and my best friend in hospice right now. My dad is gone 6 years this month and my mom died 2 years ago. This feels like another death. What's wrong with me? Is it normal to feel so sad about this? Both times I went to Whole Foods this week I walked up and down the isles and cried, and wondered what to eat, what was contaminated and what wasn't? Sometimes I cry during the day because the more I read to try and figure out what I need to avoid to stay away from gluten the more overwhelmed I get. (I haven't even tackled egg or anything else yet in the fine details of ingredient lists.) It seems like everything either has gluten or is cross contaminated. I love oatmeal in the winter but can't find any that is both gluten-free and organic, just one or the other. With everything I have to give up it's not fair to lose something I love because of cross-contamination. Plus, knowing I have to investigate and call about all of my toiletry items, cleaning supplies, supplements, spices, and everything else I use and own is so completely overwhelming -- not to mention all of the work to clean the kitchen of gluten! How am I ever going to get well when it seems like everything has gluten and it is impossible to avoid? Battling the dairy intolerance over the years has been hard, but this is even harder. And now soy, dairy, gluten and eggs? How can I discover and avoid it all? Did anyone else feel this overwhelmed at first? Or this sad? It feels like I'm in an impossible situation -- is there really any way to be free of all gluten (or anything else)?
I'm supposed to visit my former employers cross-country in May to see the little girl I nannied until they moved a year and a half ago. They are going to fly me out once a year to see her. I took care of her from the time she was a new-born until she was 5 and I miss her desperately, but now I will be a very high-maintenance guest and they probably won't want me to come anymore. I'll be too much of a hassle, especially since they eat-out or tak-out almost every meal. There won't be any pans, cooking utensils, grill, etc. for me to cook for myself on. The whole kitchen will be highly contaminated with gluten everywhere and all of their cooking things are non-stick and plastic, which I've read you can't get gluten out of. If I go, and skip the diet changes to make life easier and more pleasant, how much longer will it take my gut to heal? Even if I want to stick to the diet, it won't really be possible there, between the house and all the resteraunts. I can't bear to not go see my little Caroline!
Socially in general is going to be hard. I already have to bring my own food to social gatherings because of the dairy. This will make me even more different, and people seem to understand and receive this even less. Work is also difficult because I nanny for two little boys -- lots of stickers and glue and play-do, a kitchen full of gluten, a taster-oven and oven full of gluten, a car full of gluten from their snacks which they are not very neat with -- agaian, overwhelming!
I desperately want to get better and be healthy, especially since I'm getting older, but at the same time I feel devastated. Where do I go from here? I've already spent so many hours searching for hidden sources of gluten and organic alternatives with little results so far and I'm exhausted. How do I find all the information I need to avoid gluten and find suitable, organic replacements for shampoos and supplements and everything else? (Never mind all of the other hidden intolerances I have to research yet.) I feel so lost and discouraged. Has anyone else felt this way and does it ever get better? I'm drowning!!!!