i've been lurking these boards for about a month now so i thought i'd join up and participate. i really feel the need for some kind of "support group" right now, so it's great that this is here.
i'll tell you all about my gluten related illness(s):
i am lactose & gluten intolerant and, i think, very likely celiac, though i have not been tested for celiac. the reason for this is because i dont want to eat gluten in order to have the tests done.
i haven't felt completely well since i started developing lactose intolerance 3 years ago. it began with not being able to drink milk or cream, which was not a big deal because i dont really like the taste of milk and usually always drank soymilk anyways. i simply came to like the taste of black coffee. very quickly, i was able to eat fewer and fewer dairy products without becoming ill, and was only able to eat certain brands of yogurt and types of cheeses. now i am strickly non-dairy.
im september i moved to a very very small community to go to a very very small arts college for four months. my only transportation was by bike, and everything was very far apart. incidentally, this changed my food choices - i was often very hungry from all the exercise, but could only grocery shop via backpack & bike. so i often ate meals of rice, vegetable, and cheeses that i could still eat at that time. i cut bread out of my diet because it got smooshed in my backpack. and i wasnt really eating any other sources of gluten - i dont like processed food and have never been able to digest it well, so quite by accident i was on a gluten free diet. it was the closest i had felt in three years to being fully well.
when i returned to "the city" and was in civilization again, and easy access to gluteny foods, my diet changed drastically. i drank beer 3x a week, ate oatmeal all the time, bread, etc etc etc. and i got horribly horribly ill. i got a terribly bloated belly, "demon gut", as i call it (your typical 6 month pregger belly), lost 20 pounds in 2-3 weeks, alternated between extreme d and extreme constipation - it literally looked like i had chewed food and spat it into the toilet, or i would sit on the toilet and just cry for hours. i was incredibly hungry but felt like i couldnt eat enough, in part because i was so bloated and sometimes constipated, i simply couldnt put anything in my belly without extreme pain. i had extremely bad joint pain and was incredibley fatigued.
i cut gluten out of my diet because a friend suggested the possibility of celiac disease, and my doc encouraged that move and gave me an order for blood tests. i never got the blood tests (not sure why - fatigue? it was hard to do ANYTHING) and now it is too late. but i feel 100% amazing when i eat a very low-processed, gluten/dairy free diet. if i eat gluten, i dont always get bloated and d/c, but i always get super fatigued, joint paint, depressed / cry easily, and become (for some reason?) socially awkward and anxious.
i will end this post now because it is getting VERY long. my apologies. it is very nice to vent about all my dietary troubles to an (assumably) receptive audience. i like eating gluten free because it is very healthy and makes me feel great. but socially, it is very difficult, sometimes i feel like a huge pain in the ass to my friends. sometimes i feel like i talk too much about my gluten intolerance and related woes, so maybe posting in this forum will help me regain control of that aspect of my life - i want to be able to talk tk my friends about things other than gluten.
thanks to anyone who made it through all that.