Symptoms I suffered prior to going gluten free (and what I suffer now when I have been glutened)

March 9, 2017Living Freely Gluten Free

I recently published an article titled My Story to really let you all in and know how I even got on this journey. I spent the majority of my life not feeling well and having severe stomach issues, anemia and lack of energy. I suffered headaches my entire life, even once in my early 20’s requesting a scan from my doctor because I thought I had a tumor or something causing my pain.

I am hearing and seeing so many people still suffering in silence and thinking this is normal. The amount of people suffering from gluten intolerance, sensitivity or an allergy is sky rocketing and until our food supply is regulated with love and not greed this will just continue to grow.

In addition to a gluten free diet it is important to limit processed foods and avoid preservatives. It is also important to try to always purchase the dirty 15 organic when possible. Health doesn’t stop at your diet, lifestyle changes are necessary as well. You can read up 10 Simple Ways to Jumpstart a Clean Lifestyle  here to help you on your health journey.

Maybe you know someone who has been suffering for too long? Maybe you have been having health issues and your not sure what the root cause is? Share this with anyone who might benefit so our bodies can begin to heal.

Symptoms I used to suffer on a regular basis:

Bloating
I lived in a constant state of bloat for so many years and had no clue. I was just used to it. Now, my belly is different because I have had two children, but when the bloat comes, I know.

Fatigue
As a teenager and young adult I was always tired. I was more tired before having kids then I am now. I would sleep almost 12 hours a night and wake up feeling exhausted. I would often try for a nap on my days off and I thought this was normal. I now average 7 hours a night and never nap. My kids and dogs wake me up a lot too and sometimes that makes me a little tired but overall my energy is high.

Brain Fog
I always had a very hard time concentrating and feeling focused. My head felt foggy and just wanted to rest. I was never able to commit myself to working really hard for something and got discouraged easily.

Very little drive
I quit junior college twice because it felt like too much. I also lived on my own right out of high school and had to work full time but I was unable to commit myself to anything else. I believe this lack of drive results from the little bit of energy I had and the brain fog. Concentrating in class and on homework was impossible and it was VERY difficult for me to retain information.

Chronic Headaches and Migraines
The headaches were never ending. I am positive I must have done some permanent damage to my body from all of the motrin I took in my early 20’s. I had horrific headaches several times a week and migraines at least once a month. I feel like I was always battling a headache and it was just a matter of how severe it was. Now, I very rarely get headaches and I am positive when I do it is because I have not drank enough water or its hormone related.

Upset Stomach
This one is just a given but the stomach aches were daily. Pretty much every time I ate I didn’t feel well afterwards. I always needed to be close to a bathroom and while I was pregnant with my son this problem took it to another level and made it unbearable. I believe my pregnancy upped the ante 200% and made my gluten intolerance mildly tolerable to completely intolerable. My stomach always ached and I suffered from chronic diarrhea. At around the age of 18 I realized pizza and pasta always would upset my stomach and sourdough bread was the only bread that did not. Cake was always something that I completely avoided eating altogether by the age of 18. If I ate cake I had about 45 minutes to an hour afterwards before I needed to get out and get to a bathroom.

Dermatitis and skin irritation
I suffered from skin rashes starting around age 21. I took an antihistamine daily per doctors orders to keep the rash under check. It was very strange. While pregnant with my son I broke out in red itchy bumps that hurt all over my arms and hands. At first I thought it was a lotion or soap that I was coming in contact with but even with topical steroids it was not going away completely. After going gluten free the rash was going within 3 weeks and outbreaks only occur when I have been glutened.

Anemia
The anemia might have played a part in the chronic fatigue. I did not know I was anemic until I was pregnant at age 26 and the blood results had shown low iron. The doctors put me on iron pills immediately and even with the supplement I still showed on the lower end. It was a red flag when I had to have a C-section because my son was breach. Blood loss was a concern and I did loose a lot of blood during the procedure. Because of that my milk took over a week to come in. Now that I am gluten free and I eat a healthy diet my iron levels are very healthy.

Immune Suppression
I used to be sick all of the time. Like, a lot. More so than anyone else I knew and when I caught a cold it was always more severe than who I caught it from. I can tell you since going gluten free I have still gotten cold but they are tolerable. They very rarely take me down and I get maybe 2-3 a year vs. 10-15 like before.

Allergies and Asthma
I was diagnosed with asthma at a very young age and always had horrible hay fever. I had inhalers and took lots of medicine for it.

Heartburn Acid Reflux
This would happen after a meal with a lot of carbs or pasta.

Insomnia
This was a less frequent symptom for me but it did exist. What was even worse was the multiple nights a week I did not sleep because I had frequent trips to the bathroom due to an upset stomach. I even had to miss work on occasion because I felt so horrible.

Symptoms after being glutened:

The Hangover
This feels exactly like the term. Every side effect of binge drinking all night except that never happened. At least if I had been drinking there would have been a fun story the next day. Nope, I’m hungover due to eating something I thought was safe but is not.

Diarrhea
Yes, on the hour every hour for at least 5 hours straight. This is the #1 thing that happens to me.

Vomiting
This is less frequent because I never eat it purposely. If I get glutened its typically a small amount because I can almost smell gluten and if I am questioning it I refuse to eat more until I know that it is ok. 3 weeks after going gluten free I did eat pizza to test out this gluten allergy theory and guess what happened? Mass amounts of vomit.

Dermatitis
If I get glutened a rash will most likely accompany it within a few days and can last up to two weeks. I use coconut oil and hydrocortisone for relief.

Hives (new)
This is a totally new symptom that I just experienced for the first time. I simply can’t order mixed drinks even if the ingredients look safe. Lesson learned. Something in an organic margarita made with blanco tequila made me feel light headed, bloated and I broke out in hives all over my chest, neck, shoulders and upper back. The rash left within a few hours but that night I was in the bathroom every hour on the hour for 5 hours.

Massive Bloating and Gas
This is the most common symptom I feel especially from cross contamination or eating dairy. It usually starts 2-4 hours after consumption and takes 2-3 days to stop.

What are the symptoms you experience? Please comment below.

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