I’ve been off gluten for about six months now. It isn’t hard because I get so freaking sick when I eat even a little. I used to eat pasta and bread all the time; I figure my body was just a mess from that so I never saw direct correlation between my symptoms and those foods. I mean, for the past ten years or so I’ve been in chronic pain of some sort – unexplained body ache, headaches, stomach pain, digestion issues, etc not to mention my mental health which has been less than stable.
I used to eat Mentos all the time. They are that chewy mint candy? I needed change the other day so bought a pack at a gas station even though I hadn’t had them in literally years. As soon as I swallowed the first one, my throat felt tight and then I started feeling my mind get really anxious. I know anxious and this just descended upon me.
I checked the ingredients: second on the list is some sort of wheat glucose thing!!! My stomach hurt like hell – the weird kind of stomach aches I’ve had for a long time but couldn’t figure out the cause of!
And a week ago a waiter forgot to check if there was wheat in the soup and there was (but very, very little – less than the Mentos, I think). I woke up the next morning and started sobbing. I felt so desparately sad and crazy and out of myself. These aren’t symptoms I’m unfamiliar with from other mental health experiences, but this came out of nowhere.
It’s pretty bizarre how quickly gluten it effects me. And it turns my stomach/digestion into a war zone for at least a week afterwards.
The cleaner I get my body, the more I see how gluten hurts it. I smell bread and donuts and the pain associated with those gluten-y foods makes me not even tempted – plus I’ve learned to enjoy smells without the promise of consumption.
I’m still learning a lot about this. I don’t know if I have celiac or just an intolerance or what all. I can get a test done but to do it I have to eat gluten and right now it’s just not worth it. Some weird things have gluten – like Mentos and apparently some kinds of vanilla extract. I’m still determining whether the gluten in oats bothers me – most people say it doesn’t affect them like wheat gluten but others say it does – and the same is true for distilled liquors.
Also? I am finally seeing cause and effect in my body. For so long – all of my teen years – what I ate and did never seemed to have a direct effect on how I felt. My body pain, sense of self, mental state and emotions were all so inconsistent. Even when things weren’t chaotic, they still didn’t seem to follow a pattern. Seeing a pattern, seeing improvement – it has made me excited about feeling better, whereas in the past it all seemed like an unreasonable doom to even attempt to feel good.