What Does Being Glutenated Mean?

What does it mean to be glutenated?  Well, the answer varies for all people and all situations…. and it’s not excluded to people with FULL BLOWN celiac disease, although I’d say the symptoms are strong and more noticeable the more your body is broken down from gluten intolerance.

That’s the thing with gluten intolerance.  It shows up as varying things inside your body – depending on the part it’s destroying, so it looks different on different people.  When one shares their symptoms and they look completely different from someone else, it doesn’t mean they aren’t caused by the same thing.

That is not to belittle the symptoms one has before it reaches the point of celiac disease…  believe me, I understand completely – since I have it.  However, for those who have major symptoms – {that aren’t GI noticeable or may seem unrelated}… the effects are STILL very much life threatening, and life altering.  When something like gluten can affect all systems of the body – the outcomes are endless.

I used to call myself the “one in a million” girl – because I had health issues that seemed… well, one in a million.  The only people who came close to such oddities, was my family.  Ironic huh?  But our health issues were ALL so different.  No way would I relate them as caused by the same thing… until this year.  Now you’d have a very hard time convincing me otherwise.

It was as if it finally clicked why my niece sounded so much like me, and now my daughter… and connecting the dots just continued on.  So the answer seemed easy.  Avoid eating gluten – and voila!

I wish it were “that simple”.

Add in cross contaminates, stressful social situations, and explaining your issues to others…. not to mention this is an auto immune disease – and your kids need their guts healed too…

God is good to fill us up and gives us strength during the times when it feels like everything is out of control.

The problem we have now is, trying to figure out when we’ve been glutenated… so we can try to avoid whatever it was!  On the good days, I feel SO great… so when I get sick again – it’s pretty frustrating… and as a mother, it’s tough to watch your kids struggle too.

Last weekend my husband and I enjoyed a “day date,” as we like to call them.  We went out to a steakhouse chain that we went to the last time we had a day date.  The first time was an awesome experience, complete with a waiter who saw our “GLUTEN-FREE” menu, and announced HE had celiac, as well as “his whole family”…  so I knew right away he “got” me.  Unfortunately – this time, the waiter we had got the gluten-free menu for my husband… then asked if we wanted bread.

*Come again?*

I wasn’t at the table at this time, but when I returned my husband shared his concern regarding the waiter’s knowledge on the matter.  The menu stated to review with your waiter that the meal needed to be made “separately” … salad in separate containers, etc. to avoid cross contamination… but clearly this guy didn’t have any knowledge of the seriousness of celiac, nor did he seem to know what gluten was.

When the waiter returned, I asked him if he understood my gluten-free needs for celiac disease, and he stated… “Yes, no gluten – right?”  I answered, that was correct – and followed up with the reminder that my food needed to be fixed separately as the menu stated.  {My face was flush – I HATED doing that.}  He nodded as if he got it, but I did NOT have confidence in the situation based on his body language.  My husband assured me he was just laid back.  (Where was that OTHER waiter who had celiac disease – I wanted HIM back!!!)

My husband asked if I wanted to cancel our order and leave… and my mind may have wanted to – but I decided to take a deep breath, pray over the situation and have a positive attitude about it.  Each meal out is a learning experience.

When the food came, and it looked good.  It tasted good.

We went off to Target and it wasn’t long before my stomach started not feeling good.  I shook it off that night and went right to bed.  The following day I felt like I had the flu… mentally, I felt like I was there, but I was just so tired… lethargic.

I could have slept all day starting at about 10am, as we rushed to get everyone to church. Late.  That isn’t a good sign.  Monday I wasn’t as tired, but my other issues started in.  When the inflammation kicks in – it doesn’t seem to matter what I eat… I bloat and feel ill.  I just try to eat less – drink lots of water, take Aleve, smile and workout.  Tuesday was more of the same, and by Wednesday I was feeling closer to normal.

We ate somewhere else Wednesday in celebration of the 4th… and again, the food was good and was gluten-free food – but Thursday I woke up with a sore in my mouth and felt really tired again.  I had decided it was probably still from Saturday and I needed to push on… then I had my breathing spell. (Which has a name: Costochondritis), and when I had that for 30 minutes, my oldest son told me HE woke up in the night with it too…. so I started realizing I possibly got RE-glutenated on Wednesday.

About that time my 5 year old was having stomach issues (during dinner)… and my 9-year-old confessed her stomach hurt a lot last night too and my 8-year-old showed me a new sore in his mouth (not realizing I had one too).

I digress…

So you see, being glutenated from cross contamination IS a problem.  You can have “gluten free” food – but when it’s not in a 100% gluten-free environment, it can be a real problem.

We obviously can’t live in a bubble… but it’s so very hard to want to eat away from home when the result can stick with you for days – sometimes a week, and obviously the inflammation can do more damage – longer, depending on the amount.  NO one wants to feel like that, or have their children feel ill much of the time… but that can be VERY hard to explain to people you love.

I think it’s time to order dining cards… so I can feel more empowered to either A) Speak with the manager before my meal is made and B) Help educate the wait-staff that this isn’t a diet fad, it’s essential for my health.

I’m not a quiet person – I wish this wasn’t so hard for me.

The gluten-free snack above was just bananas and apples cut up and topped with gluten-free/dairy-free chocolate sauce, and seeds/fruit from the ENJOY LIFE brand.  The kids thought this snack rocked the house.  Just a friendly reminder if you’re doing a pack with Scriptures to help keep you on track – SCHOOL supplies are out at stores… and it’s a great time to stock up on things like bound index cards and colorful notebooks!

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9

Posted on July 6, 2012, in Celiac/Gluten Sensitivity, Change, Diet, Food To Try, Our Struggles and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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