Why I Am Gluten Free

It all started when I was trying to determine the cause of the rash The Patriarch has suffered with for about 6+ years now.  I stumbled upon some photos of Dermatitis Herpetiformis.  It looked just like The Patriarch’s rash!  Then I saw the underlying cause… gluten.  As I continued to research celiac I found this list of 300  symptoms.  In reading through the list I realized I had many of them.  I marked all the ones I suffer with…

The one overriding item for me was the vitamin A deficiency.  Many years ago, when Peter Rabbit and Cottontail were small I read a book about raising healthy children despite your doctor.  It said if your child suffered with boils, giving vitamin A would help.  I used to have a terrible time with periodic boils with many scars as evidence of my problem.   I would take Beta Carotene when I felt one coming on.  Sure enough they cleared up very quickly.  A few times I was even able to prevent an eruption if I caught it early enough.  I was not good about taking them daily, but always kept beta-carotene on hand.  I didn’t want to over do the dosage, so used the precursor to the vitamin.  And a deficiency in vitamin A leads to eye problems.  I am the only one in my immediate family who had to wear glasses – starting at 10.

So I decided that I would try eating gluten free to see how I did.  Within two weeks I had a tremendous lessening of all joint pains!  Even the sacroiliac joint injury from the early 90’s.  Joint pains were not worth that piece of bread of bite of cake.  So I made my entire kitchen gluten free and started looking into leaning to bake gluten free foods my family would love.

After thinking about all those symptoms I then realized that my maternal aunt was diagnosed as celiac back about 30 or more years ago when she was in the hospital and almost died.  I also remembered that she ate gluten free.   They didn’t call it celiac then, but have since applied that label.

Then there was “the photo”. 

A little background for clarity…  My maternal grandfather’s first wife committed suicide.  There were three children from their marriage, 2 boys and a girl.  My grandfather later married my grandmother and they proceeded to have five more children, all girls.  My mother is the baby of the family.  I saw a recent photos of some of my cousins, a grouping with some female cousins from both of my grandfather’s wives.  It was very striking to see a great difference in the overweight factor between the two sets of progeny.  None of the ladies from the first wife, though old and a little heavy, are obese (the ones wearing black).  All of the ladies from the second wife are quite large (the one in the white and the one in the red).  All of them including the daughters!  All except the aunt who was diagnosed celiac so long ago.  She’s the only trim one of the lot of us.

Then there are the medical problems: diabetes, diverticulitis,  arthritis, kidney stones, cavities, eye problems, menstrual problems, fertility problems, emotional problems… and the list goes on and on.  All in one family!  Hmm, and celiac is hereditary… hmmm.  It just seemed to me to be the wisest course for me to eliminate gluten from our regular diet.

That is my celiac/gluten free story in a nutshell.  I didn’t have “obvious” celiac symptoms.  I don’t get immediately sick if I eat gluten.  But I have not had a boil in over a year and I have not had to take extra beta-carotene.  I have had a significant reduction in my join pain.  Those two alone are enough to convince me that gluten is not ‘my’ friend!

Please do not misconstrue this post to be medical advice for you.  It is not.  Check out the complete list of celiac symptoms, do your own research, and check into the blood tests that are available and consult with your medical practitioner.  This is my story.   If it helps someone else, so much the better.  But it is still only my gluten free story.

Blessings,  ~Mrs. R

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