I have struggled with my weight fluctuating due to celiac disease, so I know just how frustrating it can be. For a few months, I’ll feel great. I have energy, I’m eating right, I’m working out. Then, I suddenly seem to dip into the wrong direction. I’m fatigued, stressed, sad, a little chubbier, and upset with myself. It’s a cycle that I’ve become all too familiar with. So, what was I going to do about it?
First, I did some research. I’ve wasted enough time, energy, and money relying on someone else to tell me what to do, only to have my results not stick. Second, because deep down inside I knew that I wasn’t crazy. I knew something was wrong, or else… why wasn’t I sticking with my healthy routines? It felt like something inside my body was malfunctioning on me, making it very difficult to carry on a healthy, happy, normal lifestyle.
So, here’s what I have found. Gluten destroys the villi in our small intestines, which makes it impossible for our bodies to absorb nutrients. It’s obvious that a lack of nutrients effects our organs, mainly our brain! Your body is craving the nutrition that it isn’t actually getting even though you eat, so your brain is saying, “Feed me!!” Sometimes, your body won’t allow you to eat more, which is why people can be of average weight or even below. Other times, your body gives up and that’s when you find yourself sitting around eating more (and feeling gross because of it), which is why some people are over weight, depressed, and sick.
This information was wonderful to come across, because I was able to resonate with it. So then why am I craving food like a mad woman? Why am I craving the crud I’m not supposed to be eating? The search continued, and the answer, again, made so much sense. You have adopted some destructive eating habits that cause you to overeat, but not because you lack the discipline or know-how to eat right!
Gluten has such a powerful effect on your brain, that it actually releases a drug-like exorphin to your brain that urges you to want to pig out and crave exactly the foods that you are trying to avoid. I have that italicized because that scary little piece of information was the KEY to answering my questions.
“Ok, I get it… stay the heck away from gluten at all costs!” It may not be that easy. Diet pit-falls are extremely common among celiac disease patients. It’s tough because going gluten free means staying completely away from so many foods! Plus, add on the effect that the release of exorphins has on your brain, and that can leave you pretty helpless! The best piece of advice I can give you, is to follow my progress and see how I’m doing. What I have decided to do, is offer up my trial and challenges to the general public so that you too can learn and benefit from my findings and results.
What works for me won’t always work for you, however, because the first few months are so difficult, the more support and knowledge you have the better your chances are of surviving this painful switch. This is why I encourage you to write your stories and comments here as well. You may write anonymously if you choose, as your information is private and will not be solicited. The comment box automatically asks for you to enter an email address, however it will not be shown. The more information and support we have, the better chances someone has to heal.
Celiac disease is genetic, so I also advise speaking with your doctor, dietician, or trainer. They can work with you on your diet and fitness goals to make sure you are making healthy choices. If you do go to the doctor for a blood test, eat glutinous foods for a few weeks prior to being tested. I have had negative blood test results, as well as my family and friends who have it. What I have found to be the best way of finding out whether you have an allergy to gluten is to go on a gluten-free diet for at least four months. This will give your body a chance to heal, and you will then be able to assess whether it has made a difference. I do not advise an endoscopy to be done. It’s a very expensive and invasive procedure that can be avoided simply by changing your diet. See “Celiac Disease Symptoms and Diagnosis”
So often you see how widely accepted and easy it is for people to claim thy have depression, or they are just stressed, or they have a food addiction, etc. They can so easily brush off their feelings because now-a-days, it’s everywhere! Feeling blue?… Take this pill. Feeling overwhelmed?… Take this pill. But how much simpler would it be to just say… I have food allergies! Instead of being a victim to an incredibly addictive forming and expensive medicated lifestyle, you can cure yourself with food and exercise. This my not be the case for some, but for many people I do believe that much of what we have accepted to be common symptoms may just be self-induced by ones own diet.
I’ve realized that for many people it’s a lot easier to brush it off as a disease or symptom rather than take on a new lifestyle change and form healthier habits. You’ve heard the old saying, “it’s easier said than done.” Of course we all know to eat healthy and exercise, it’s what we don’t know that can be our nemesis. Which foods are we allergic too? By simply getting to know your body better, I truly believe that this can solve so many problems that we face today.
Unfortunately, for those of us who are allergic or sensitive to gluten, the effect that it has on our brain can make straying away from these glutinous foods harder, as well as many sugars. I have still yet to succeed, which is why I have created this blog. I am here for you, as I believe you are here for me. We can fight this together, I just know it! The more awareness we bring to the most embarrassing stuff, the easier it will be for everyone to openly talk about their experiences. It is such a great feeling to know that you aren’t alone out there!
Please leave a comment, and tell us your story. And of course, continue to follow me on my quest to health.
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