2010 - Three years ago I was diagnosed as hypothyroid, autoimmune type. Someone told me at that time that people with autoimmune thyroid disease sometimes have good results from going gluten free. I thought that was way too much trouble so didn't want to try. A year or so later I realized that when I ate wheat bread I didn't feel good, got bloated and had a headache, fuzzy headed thinking, and had cravings for sugar and fat. So I went gluten free. Within days I felt better. I still went on and off the wagon, it was a real big problem for me to try to stay gluten free because the rest of the family wasn't and I was a bread baker so handled and breathed wheat flour all the time.
At the start of summer 2010 we took our son for a physical and to have his headaches evaluated. He was having a headache at least once a week and sometimes every day. After pretty much being brushed off by the doctor, I decided that it might help him to be gluten free so we decided to take the plunge as a family. My husband has frequent migraines and we are going to see if being gluten free helps him. I cleaned my kitchen and scrubbed my big stand mixer, scraped down my wood cutting board and re- oiled it. Put the toaster in the basement for the other boy to use in the kitchenette down there. Then got another doctor for my son with the headaches. That doctor did testing for food sensitivities and thyroid problems. It turns out that the poor kid has elevated thyroid antibodies and quite a few food sensitivities, including gluten.
I know I feel very bad when I eat wheat. I haven't had any in months. I think that my son's nystagmus that he's had since two weeks of age has improved. His vision has changed. His chronic cough is gone and he doesn't keep clearing his throat all the time. His frequent headaches have stopped.
I remembered just the other day that when I was 17 years old and worked at a family owned bakery, I would break out in hives on different parts of my body for no reason. We never figured out why. Sometimes my face would even swell up, leaving bruises after the swelling went down. After I left that job and went to college the hives stopped. I wonder now if it was exposure to wheat flour in the air and on my skin. It was not long after that time, when I was in my early to mid 20's that my symptoms of hypothyroidism began but were diagnosed as acute deficiencies of birth control pills, Provera tablets, and antibiotics.
Of course I grew up eating white bread, donuts, cakes, and all kinds of other bakery goods, plus meat and dairy products. Now I follow the McDougall program for the most part, and am eating mostly foods that don't need labels.
I'm on a quest to find just the right recipes for bread and an occasional baked treat. I thought I had found a good all purpose flour mix (King Arthur blend) but had to abandon that because my son is sensitive to rice. So the search goes on. Bread is the biggest deal. My guys love bread and I used to be a bread baker.
It's been just over a month that we have been gluten free. I've done a lot of reading about gluten sensitivity and celiac disease and am more confused than ever. I don't know the difference between celiac and gluten sensitivity, maybe it's the same thing only celiac is gluten sensitivity gone wild. Maybe it's caused by my having leaky gut from all the medicines I was on when I was younger, treating different symptoms of what I now know was hypothyroidism. Maybe my son has it because he was given Motrin as an infant because I was told to give it to him. Maybe it was helped along by the hepatitis B vaccine he got before we even left the hospital with him.
My new favorite flour is teff, the brown kind. It goes very well in chocolate cake.