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Get Your Records

These are all kid tested, mother approved at this house. Yummy gluten-free and casein free meats from Applegate Farms! Yum!

When we go to the doctor, they have a file on us… our records are kept safe and sound.

It used to be a nice colored folder, that the nurse would bring into the room she lead you to… maybe it was a big MEATY folder…

Technology as it is, one might assume you could find your records anywhere – at any time, from anywhere, since most are computerized.

Not so fast.

I believe the time span is 6 years, for a doctor to keep your records on hand… and then, they can legally dispose of them.

I never knew that!  This is important information to know.

When I moved from Iowa to Kansas in1998, I only had a few medical records that came with me.  I was able to get a few of my records sent from when I was born to age 5, but then we switched doctors…  and we switched a few more times, until all I have is from when I was 5, to just a few records from a specialist when I was 15, 17 and 19.  So, basically 10 years were missing.

I never got my records from the time I was at college either.  Another very important “missing gap”…

Your records are important to have for a few reasons.  Mainly for your own safe keeping, but in the event that your doctor unexpectantly moves, like ours did… it’s nice to have copies, and records.

Another important reason is so that you can double check, and see exactly what was said.

Case in point, my upper and lower GI procedure, and the lack of biopsies taken.

I also discovered that I had “prominent lymphoid aggregates” in my colon… and no one mentioned that.

That is a sign of chronic inflammation and the body attempting to repair itself.  Chronic inflammation – leads to colon cancer, and some people never feel a thing.

Surely, given my history and desire to be tested for celiac, this is an indicator that I had been having issues.

This was also the reason why the gastrologist suggested I start taking IBS medicine when I was having problems.

He mentioned this while I was still under the influence of whatever it was they gave me, and I shook my head several times – I was NOT going to go the medicine route – to try and mask what was going on.  All I heard was “medicine”… and my head started shaking.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not against medicine – I just don’t think it should be used to mask symptoms that can be treated nutritionally.

It seems to me, any doctor that specializes in the stomach and colon, or celiac – would clearly see and understand the issue of gluten sensitivity and celiac for our family…  we just happen to live in the mid-west, in a rural area… and that isn’t the case here.

Daily I see the battle that many have had for years – seeking answers, and giving up…  and I shake my head thinking – WHY do they wonder why only 1% of celiac patients have been diagnosed??  This shouldn’t be so hard?

This is why.

The diagnostic process can be a nightmare of sorts – and it’s easy to give up at a certain point.  If I didn’t have 8 children with a future – I’d be fine with dropping it.  I know what is going on, it’s gluten sensitivity for some, and celiac for others – that’s enough for me…  But I also realize how many other people I know – are out there suffering, who need help too.

They don’t know where to turn… and I’ve read enough to make my head explode.

Most people start reading how difficult this testing process can be, and give up… and then, there are those extra blessed people, who’s doctors totally get it right away…  and they get their answers quickly, and easily.

Apparently THOSE are the 1% that are “properly” diagnosed.

For the rest of us seeking answer – keep all of your records together.  You never know when you might need to connect the dots!

My husband is a filing guru.  He sets up files for files… I’m not kidding, he loves to file, and I’m grateful!  Thankfully he is great about keeping their records in order so when they move out on their own, they’ll have a copy of their records to take with them!

“Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.”

Psalm 119:105

WHY?? The Gluten-Sensitivity Explosion

I open up my mailbox this week, and what do I pull out? My new “Bottom Line Health” magazine. It includes wellness strategies from the world’s leading medical experts.

The front page article was …. “The Silent Cause of Stomach Trouble…” (As many as 20 million Americans are suffering unnecessarily) by Alessio Fasano, MD.

The article went on to explain that an international panel of experts are talking about non-celiac gluten sensitivity issues. Praise God! They shared how doctors, for years, have insisted that symptoms were imaginary… and how they pushed patients to get psychiatric help.

SERIOUSLY?

Yes. Seriously.

But, I can see how things go down that path after experiencing a similar response first hand.

Even this “most recent” article seemed to be months/years behind in not having answers how people can get tested for gluten sensitivity issues.

How about GENE testing to ENSURE you don’t have a gluten sensitivity gene, or a celiac gene – to rule out the permanent damage and chronic inflammation factor?

The book, “Healthier Without Wheat”, shares the importance of being gluten-free for even non-celiac gluten intolerance. Stories are shared from parents who weren’t told that even if a test comes back negative to celiac initially, and yet the genes are THERE – continued exposure will increase the changes to triggering celiac and other major diseases, like cancer. Doesn’t it make sense to do gene testing right off the bat so a person can know if their geno-type?

The bottom line is, if the genetics are there – then you shouldn’t be eating gluten… otherwise, you’re just increasing your chances of activating the autoimmune disease, or allowing gluten to destroy your body in a whole host of other major ways. It’s not a matter of IF it will cause problems… it’s a matter of WHEN.

So, you might be wondering WHY is this all coming to a head for so many people right now? Why is a disease I’ve never heard about (Celiac) and things like gluten sensitivity – everywhere all of a sudden, and why are diets like Paleo and Vegetarian talked about SO much. Is it because everyone is on a health kick? Is it a fad, like some suggest, to just lose weight? Or are we putting the pieces together of the REASONS of rising health care nightmare in our country and we’re making lifestyle choices to avoid what a majority of people are experiencing?

Excess of chemically engineered food for convenience pushed through the FDA + lack of study on nutrition in the medical field + poor diet = a HUGE role in this health mess for all of us.

Many people interested in nutrition have seen the typical documentaries on our food sources… Hungry for Change, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, Fresh, Forks Over Knives, The Engine 2 Rescue, Supersize Me… the list goes on an on. (If you don’t have a Netflix subscription – you could be educated for hours on what is going on in our food industry, and it can be pretty shocking if you’re in the dark.) More importantly – you can begin to evaluate what those options are doing to our society as a whole, or within your own family… and decide what changes need to be made for the future of your health.

*A recent research study by Joseph Murray, M.D. professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and colleagues shows a shift of more celiac disease in Europe and the US than just a few generations ago. In fact, it’s 4x more likely than a half a century ago. Here is how he explained what is going on, “Of course human genetics will change in response to the environment, but that change is extremely slow. It’s far more probable that the increase is due to an environmental change, and the most likely factor is a change involving the grain in our diets,” Murray said. “Consumption of wheat has increased steadily over the past 50 years, but is still less than it was a century ago, so the issue is not simple consumption.”; Murray noted. “It more likely involves the wheat itself, which has undergone extensive hybridization as a crop and undergoes dramatic changes during processing that involves oxidizers, new methods of yeasting, and other chemical processes. We have no idea what effect these changes may have on the immune system.”

Fantastic. “No idea what effect….” Have you ever felt like a test rat?

The other environmental change has to do with hygiene changes. Murray’s theory on that talks about our immune systems being exposed to the right bacteria to develop properly, but because of such “clean” environments, children are more susceptible to immune disorders and allergic disease. “There are no doubt multiple environmental factors that interact to trigger the onset in people who are genetically predisposed,” Murray said. “The increasing prevalence makes it more important that health care providers and patients are alert to the possibility of celiac disease.”

** and gluten intolerance.

Fabulous. I’m a neat-nick… and a germo-phobe. One more strike against my kids for the environmental factor trigger! *sigh* But the issues regardng our chemically engineered food being such an issue makes COMPLETE sense for an increase in cases!

What could medical doctors glean from this? Genetic testing needs to be an option when the “simple” antibody blood test doesn’t show anything and the sometimes irrelevant upper GI biopsy doesn’t show anything either and the symptoms are all there. As a patient, please don’t give up if you are struggling for answers. If you’re suffering digestively in any way, OR with neuropathy symptoms, thyroid issues, asthma or unexplained rashes and ailments… keep on your doctor or do the tests needed OR if that doesn’t work – get an at home test from Enterolab.com. You shouldn’t believe everything thing you see/hear on the internet… but I’m a HUGE believer in self-educating. Keep reading, and putting the pieces together so you and YOUR family can be HEALTHY FOR HIM.

** Quoted information from Murray’s studies were found in the downloadable book “21st Century Medical Sourcebook, Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerance – Clinical Data and Practical Information.” that was updated in March of 2012.

Here it is! My 20th loaf of bread, and perhaps my tallest one yet! 🙂 It needed a bit more Xanthum Gum – but the kids loved the taste!

“You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”

James 5:8

Inattention? What’s the Cure? Testing: Part One

What an “on the nose” letter to the editor this was in the Wall Street Journal a few weeks back. (See wording below)

When I was at my lowest point this last spring. I kept doing the exact thing you’re NOT supposed to do.

“Googling” the internet for answers.

It appeared all of the tests for my gall bladder and abdomen were coming up with a whole lot of, “nothing is wrong with you.” But I knew they were wrong.

Left side pain *click*

Upper left side pain *click*

Ribs feeling bruised *click*

Then I would read articles of people who had all of these troubles… for months, years… sometimes 10-20 years, and still no answers.

It left me feeling like I might die in the process of figuring out what was wrong.

When I Googled gall bladder symptoms, NONE of them fit my symptoms. I knew that wasn’t it… but as a patient, how could I figure out how to get things pointed in a different direction.

I found myself feeling similarly to how I felt when my mom’s cancer was carrying on with no “plan B” of a stem cell transplant.

Do I request to go to Mayo? Is this all just in my head? Do I just need to deal with this like I have all of these other symptoms for years?

It was draining.

I’m so thankful that God filled me up, and continued to put just the right person in my life, the right comment to be made, the right book for me to pick up… everything. According to His plan. When my friend suggested celiac disease, I actually went to the library, and got books on crohns, celiac disease, and other gut issues. It was that prodding that led me to REAL answers… and now I just want to help other people find THEIR answer too.

Similarly, The View’s co-host – Elizabeth Hasselbeck was on Dr. Oz yesterday. I don’t watch tv ironically… but my mom wanted to let me know it was on. I was thankful – #1 that more information was going to be nationally touted regarding gluten sensitivity and celiac disease, and #2 that my mom was wanting to see it…

So while I think it was too short of a segment, and could have been a lot deeper in information (as they still say 99% of people STILL aren’t diagnosed, and are struggling – That’s TOO many people with a solution that is AVAILABLE!) I was grateful she shared HER struggle publicly, and that they went over a handful of the 300 symptoms out there. Hopefully it helped some people. What she didn’t really touch on though, was her testing process… and I feel like that is one MAJOR flaw in this whole game, and the reason why SO many people are left suffering, undiagnosed. She just happens to have one of the BEST doctors in the nation helping her, which is awesome. I’d love to go to Houston and have him help my family.

Suspect gluten sensitivity/celiac? What do most doctors do? The “simple” blood test… which tests for antibodies that shows if your body is attacking gluten.

The problem? Only some 7% of patients with celiac are showing positive on this test.

The “gold standard” (biopsy) through an endoscopy – only helps 30% of people get diagnosed.

What about the other 70% of people?

What do you think happens when BOTH of those KEY tests fail?

They give up. They move on, and look elsewhere for answers… when the answer STILL might be gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.

I believe this is where gene/DNA testing is so vital. Not just to get some specific (hard-earned) label of “celiac disease” – but to let the patient know… YES, you indeed have a tendency for either A) gluten sensitivity, and here is the havoc it can cause in your body if you continue to eat gluten (mainly celiac, cancer, thyroid issues, asthma, endocrine problems, behavioral issues, migraines, anxiety, and depression to name a few…) OR B) You have a higher probability for celiac disease – so those symptoms you have, indicate an autoimmune disease as well, caused by that gluten sensitivity.

Either way – that chronic inflammation response that gluten creates in someone who is either gluten sensitive, or also has celiac disease… isn’t good a good outcome.

Wouldn’t you avoid cancer and a host of other medical issues if you could?

The only answer is to be gluten-free for life!

Regarding the inattention of observation in the medical field, I want to say that this seems to be across the board, and I don’t blame my doctor for not putting all of the pieces together sooner, after all – he was really only my doctor for 1 year, and didn’t have many past records to go off of. However, I also know of several people who went to large, research hospitals – who were unable to find out the root cause of their “mystery illness” – was also gluten sensitivity, or celiac disease. It seems the technology that was invented to advance our world, has also deteriorated that face-to-face discussion we once had. That is why being your own advocate is SO important. If you don’t feel right – speak up, until you get the answers YOU need.

{from article above}

“It’s a sad day for the medical profession when instruction in observation, the most basic skill, is assigned to a museum curator. Any doubts I had about the demise of classical medical education have been removed.

Apparently medical-school professors have been so caught up in clawing their way up the academic ladder and applying for grant money that they have forgotten to teach medical students this primary method of diagnosis.

I had a traditional professor who told all of the students: “Look at the patient. The patient will tell you the diagnosis.” I’m no professor, but that advice has proved valuable over a 30-year career.” Leo A. Gordon, M.D. – Los Angeles

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:32

What’s the Difference?

What is the difference between gluten intolerance, gluten sensitivity and celiac disease?  I was curious myself, as to how some people could have a gluten sensitivity, but not have the auto immune disease.  I was also wondering how a blood test could show a negative result for having celiac disease… but the symptoms tell otherwise.

I’ve read story after story of people who have had years of testing, and even up to 10 biopsies in 20 years before getting a positive reading on an endoscopy test for celiac disease.  No wonder several doctors have said it’s NOT the golden standard, and in fact – this is why it’s OFTEN missed.

One doctor I talked to said that many medical doctors are missing the boat on following all of the clues that are pointing to gluten sensitivity…  and at this point, it seems a bit insane to me.  It seems it should be one of those first things doctors look at when symptoms point that way because of how simple the solution is, and how serious the complications can be – if you continue eating gluten.

But the truth is, if a pharmaceutical company can’t patent nutrition, or vitamins – {which is the main “cure” to the above listed conditions/disease….}  then you can see why money isn’t being spent on learning more about what all types of gluten does to our bodies, and most specifically = people who are genetically predisposed to celiac disease.

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If a patient is told their blood test is negative, or a biopsy is negative… based on the elimination method of testing, they will continue looking and testing for answers.  When the testing is FLAWED, but the symptoms STILL point to gluten sensitivity or celiac disease – THEN what is a patient to do?

What if the patient doesn’t know to keep pushing the issue?  What if they continue struggling (consuming gluten) and causing irreversible effects to their body?  THEN WHAT?

This video was one of the best I’ve seen, and it has helped me explain to others – what a few doctors, and several expert celiac books have concluded about the disease.  It solidified our decision to rest in our knowledge of our bodies, and NOT REST…  when we weren’t getting answers.

You are your own advocate in this crazy world.

I am the type of mother who doesn’t take my kids in until it’s a must.

We skipped physicals for a few years because I didn’t think my kids were sick.

Had I taken them in – perhaps I would have had a better record that some of them weren’t really growing.  Perhaps some other red flags of celiac disease would have been raised.

I feel like I’ve been to the doctor more in the past 5 months, than probably my whole life…  and I’ve never been so frustrated by lack of answers, and lack of urgency.  But it’s good to keep in mind that  doctors and nurses are people too, and they’re practicing medicine… they’re not able to know everything.

If you feel like something isn’t right, and someone isn’t listening….  it’s OK to SEEK for answers until you get the help you need.  You don’t need to feel like a head case, or an inconvenience to anyone.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.  Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!  So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

Matthew 7:7-12

Gluten Free, Trendy?

Almost all of my fitness/health food magazines have recipes or articles about gluten.  There is definitely a trend of awareness going on, and lots of people I talk to seem to have celiac disease, or effects from a gluten intolerance.

Ironic, since celiac disease is so rare, right?

Runners are actually eliminating gluten, and feeling faster, and lighter… many people report health issues they had, disappearing as well.  So, why is that?

I don’t believe celiac disease is AT ALL quite as rare as they once thought, and I believe people are showing up in droves with gluten intolerance or celiac disease, due to awareness of the symptoms they’ve had for YEARS.   Often times, people who have tried a vegan or paleo diet also become more sensitive to the reintroduction of those grains they once eliminated – so the symptoms can come on fast and furious the next time they glutenate, all pointing to the auto-immune disease.

One of the great books I read, called Dangerous Grains, talked about how gluten, and other grains affect our bodies, and often worsen our health, as well as other auto immune diseases – like MS, Fibromyalgia and RA, to name a few.  Since celiac disease was originally thought to be a wasting disease, that showed up in babies (who were failure to thrive), and because it’s not a disease healed simply by MEDICINE, but rather proper diet, it seems the medical field has done a disservice to so many people struggling with thyroid issue, obesity, or depression by not looking at the big picture.

I read that something of only 6 hrs of nutrition is required for a Dr. to get his/her degree.  Out of all of the classes they’re required to take – it seems like healing the body inside out should have some emphasis?  I smell a solution to our growing healthcare “problems”…

Sure, we hear a lot about things to stay away from to lower your BMI, like trans fats, and high fructose corn syrup…. but I don’t know how many restaurants looked at me like I have a horn growing out of my head when I mention the word GLUTEN.

“What is that again?”

“What exactly IS that?”  They ask.

Employees attempted to understand – for which I am grateful, but often times – they’ve never even heard of celiac disease.  {That concerns me, because there is a lot of unexplained “IBS” in the world around us.  I thought IBS was a condition – it’s actually the name of symptoms of uncontrollable “D” with no explanation found… yet.  Meaning, it’s NOT normal – BUT there is a cause. }  Shouldn’t we KNOW what that cause is?

Most people are exactly like me a few months ago – partial to NO understanding either.

It’s important to continue speaking out for healthy eating.  I think the experts are going to find a lot more to this whole “gluten” business than people realize – VERY soon.  With all of the processed foods consumed, and all of the CANCER we have running rampant in our world, specifically in our country … it’s not a coincidence.  We are actually poisoning ourselves… not just with food and gluten – but all of these chemically altered substances that mimic gluten as well as preservatives in foods.

It would be handy if all products listed wheat, barley, rye in a nice – easy to read label.  But the facts are, they don’t – so people continue to cross contaminate – and search for more answers… and they continue to make themselves sick… day after day after day.  Honestly, it’s pretty frustrating.

Call me an extremist – but I’ve lived it, and now I’m a believer.  I totally get it – because I felt the effects of it… for years.  I see and talk to people who are similar to me, or worse… and I see the variety of symptoms in my kids – all different, yet having the SAME cause.  It’s remarkable.

So, while many articles claim you shouldn’t eat gluten-free unless you have celiac disease, because it’s expensive and often times more caloric – I’m NOT so sure.  At the very least – we’re consuming WAY too many grains and processed foods.  I simply don’t think people realize HOW much they’re consuming of first of all, nor do they realize what it’s doing to our bodies for the long run.

As the movie FRESH said, our dollar is our vote, when it comes to food value in our country.  A majority often want the CHEAPEST food available, vs. the best quality fuel for our bodies.  They don’t want to study, and know what they’re putting in.  We want convenience, and short-term satisfaction.  Sure, whole foods and organic foods are going to cost MORE – but we must demand more for them to continue supplying it, eventually at a lower price.  Otherwise, plan on the cancer and illness trend only worsening in our country and you might as well jump aboard because it will be affecting you or some one you love, if it hasn’t already.

I am passionate right now for my children, and for their future – but also for other people struggling with no diagnosis, like I was.  I know what it’s like to feel like a head case, and feel frustrated that no one is listening.  To have chronic pain, and wondering when a next spell is going to hit.

Since I’m in the group of sufferers with a negative blood test, and a negative endoscopy – who was eating gluten-free, to gluten light before the disease spun out of control.  I know there are others like me… who have every marker of celiac disease, and who have suffered for years – who are told, “that isn’t it… let’s test for other things”  and YET, like myself, and my children – eliminating gluten, got rid of the itchy celiac rash they’ve had for YEARS, the neuropathy symptoms, the stomach pains, the sluggishness, heightened anxiety and personality alterations and I can only hope the handfuls of other vitamin deficiency, asthma symptoms and malabsorption issues (in time!).

Please don’t just take your Dr’s word for it – if you suspect celiac disease and they tell you NO, it’s too rare or NO, you’re not wasting away, or NO, it can’t be that.  Keep reading, learning and being your own advocate.  Doctors are practicing medicine.  They’re human, and there is no “one size fits all” answer for this disease and the effects of your diet on your health.  They can’t have all of the answers…  and YOU know yourself and your children best!

If it’s possible, find a specialist or a nutritonist to help get you on the path to health… and then STICK with it – this is your life we’re talking about!!  Who wants to be in the 27% of people who always tested negative when symptomatic, but showed up with intestinal cancer and a POSITIVE blood test years later?

NOT me.  I don’t want that for YOU either.  Stick to the diet – it’s SO worth it.

God Bless! 🙂

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,”

1 Timothy 2:1  

Meeting Myself Face-to-Face [PART FOUR]

The bookstore was a disappointment.  While I found some great cookbooks on gluten-free/vegan, I found nothing on celiac disease.

Up and down the aisles I went.  I really started to feel discouraged.  Maybe celiac disease was SO rare, that there was NO WAY I had it.

I bought a few cookbooks, and a book on food allergies, and off I went to the library.

The library proved to be much more helpful.  I got plenty of great books and I returned home to bury myself in reading during any free moment I had.

Hands down, this book was the most helpful in realizing this described everything I was feeling.

The more I read, the more I KNEW this is what I had.  But I also realized, I probably wasn’t going to be testing positive… because I was simply not eating enough gluten.

After a follow-up appointment to my Dr for one of my children, he inquired about my health and I told him what was going on.  I asked again about the celiac panel, and he then agreed we could try that.

If only I would have known to start here BEFORE making any changes.

It was negative.

Although I wasn’t surprised, as only 15% of people diagnosed, get a positive with a blood test.  It was still a few weeks to my GI appointment at this point.  I figured I could keep a bit of gluten in my diet until my test and perhaps they could do a biopsy and it would show up.

The Dr. then ordered a CT scan.   After previously denying that test out of frustration of “tests” with no answers…  I consented to the test.  Another fairly simple test.  Fast, drink some citrus/glue-tasting stuff, [actually a whole LOT of that disgusting stuff] and with some contrast dye from an IV, they took pictures to see what was going on.  Fifteen minutes and done.  Easy.

After that test, I was reading about something called a “gluten challenge” – where a patient who has gone off of gluten must eat 4-6 pieces of bread a day for 6 weeks, to ensure there is enough to cause a reaction.  That night, I took 2 bites of a multigrain bread for dinner, and the reactions almost took me to the ER.  I bloated within 15 minutes, the pain, cramping, head issues went on for about 5 hours.  The next day I felt like I had been run over by a semi.

It was VERY difficult to eat gluten after going gluten-free.  After that day, I knew I couldn’t do the gluten challenge.  I started realizing all of the hidden places gluten liked to hang out, and WHY it wasn’t obvious to me sooner as to what was making me sick.  Not only that,  apparently, after you continue cutting more gluten out, your body reacts stronger when you try to add it back in.  I ate some salsa a day later, and on day 2 realized it was the salsa making me sick – yes, after I had ingested it TWICE.  Diarrhea plagued me after that, all Easter weekend.

That Monday, the Dr’s office told me that the CT scan was normal.  Apparently I just needed to take some laxative.  I let the nurse know my body already took care of that.  I’m pretty sure they thought I was a hypochondriac.  Ironic, since I did feel so irritable on gluten I thought I might be going crazy!

The more I read however, everything said …. the BIGGEST MISTAKE people with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance can do, is to go OFF gluten before being tested.  Personally, I don’t see how that’s possible (to stay on gluten while awaiting months of testing) – if you were like me, and realized what was going on.  The first thing you want to do – is to feel well so you STOP eating those things that make you sick, or stop eating period.  The LAST THING you want to do is to continue poisoning your body… and withering away.  I know in my heart that God blessed me with enough information to protect me from things reaching that level.  I don’t know WHY, but it’s part of the reason I feel led to share my story.

I tried to keep some gluten in my system the week before my GI test, but I knew in my heart it probably wouldn’t help.  I just wanted to try – anything to get some solid answers.

I went into the GI appointment [yes, I skipped the prep part of the story to spare you – it’s horrid, but it’s essential] relieved {literally}, to be at the end of my journey, and I awaited the answers with hope.

This is me, right before we left for my test. I actually felt really good this day. Amazing – all toxic gluten – GONE from my system!

Following my appointment, and feeling well, I tried again to tolerate some comfort foods – but after two days of severe gluten reactions, God gave me the peace I needed, to know in my heart the answer – before I had the results to the test.  I knew it would be a long shot for the results to show enough damage.  I was basically eating gluten light before February with cheese being my number one source of gluten.  Then I ate gluten-free to gluten lite after the Dr. directed me to get rid of lactose…  and I couldn’t eat the amount needed to show the test otherwise.  Not only I couldn’t, I wouldn’t.  I was sick of being sick – and looking forward to feeling healthy.

So Thursday, April 19th, I went back to gluten-free – for GOOD.  I will be meeting with my family Dr. to seek genetic testing – for the sake of our children, and I meet with the GI Dr also at the end of next month.  I have no regrets, or doubts of my diagnosis.  The past years, as I’ve been trying my hardest to eat well, exercise and feel good – my body has been slowly trying to tell me that it’s not getting the vitamins it needs, because it hasn’t been able to absorb them!  Mostly I’m thankful to know now, vs. when I have intestinal cancer.  Sadly, 27% of people who have symptoms and test negative, continue searching for what is making them sick – never retest, and they wind up being positive for celiacs disease when it’s too late.

I always had indented “spoon-like” nails when not pregnant. I just thought I had bad nails. Another sign of a vitamin deficiency that celiacs have.

I’m on day 3, and feeling great.  My swelling has gone down,  no belly aches, bloating or cramping and NO REGRETS. 🙂  I’m more clear-headed than I’ve felt in months – no more forgetting how to speak, as if I were having a stroke.  It’s only going to get better from here!

Here’s to being healthier for HIM!  (and for His peace in times of confusion!)  It’s a strange feeling, but I truly feel like God is allowing me to understanding just how He created me and I’m so thankful.  When I look in the mirror, I finally understand just how this body works!  Thank you God for helping me meet myself face-to-face and for allowing my body to be healthy enough to carry 8 healthy children. [Amazing how we are designed in such a way that would be possible – yes?]

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  1 Cor. 10:31

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