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Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Good News, And the Bad News...

Well, I finally recieved the results from the testing I had done regarding food allergies. The good news is that I do not have yeast overgrowth in my body. The bad news (although not surprising to me) is that I have a severe gluten intolerance. The doctor wrote, "Your testing indicates that you have an active dietary gluten sensitivity. It is recommended that you follow a strict and permanent gluten free diet. As gluten is a genetic syndrome, you may want to have your relatives screened as well." There is that word again "syndrome". It is estimated that 85% of women with PCOS also have a gluten sensitivity. So I am not surprised and have suspected for the last 18 months that I have had gluten sensitivity. So my journey into the gluten free world begins!

No more bread, cereal, crackers, waffles, pancakes, french toast, muffins, donuts, pastries, pasta, or croutons. Oatmeal is off limits unless bought through a special facility that does not process grains through the same machinery. Cross-contamination is a huge issue. Gluten can hide just about anywhere too. It is used as a thickening agent for so many things. Most soups and processed foods contain hidden gluten. It is in most salad dressings, soy sauce, BBQ sauce, it is hidden in things under other names like modified food starch, dextrins, artificial and natural flavors. Any food label that says that the food contains wheat or is processed in a facility that contains wheat or wheat product is off limits. I am having to look up items to see if I can eat them. For example yesterday at our BBQ for the 4th, we were having smores. Well, I had no idea if marshmallows contained gluten or if the type of chocolate being used contained gluten. Well, the graham crackers were of course off limits because of the wheat flour, but it turned out Kraft marshmallows and the "plain" Hersey chocolate bar were both gluten free. Nothing is going to be easy anymore. Eating out is going to be a nightmare. There are three things at Taco bell, I can eat, 4 things at El Pollo Loco, 3 things at McDonald's. Thankfully the information is easy to look up on the Internet and most companies are beginning to understand the importance of labeling products.
I just want to say thank you to which ever parent passed this along to me :)

Which brings me to one other point that has been eating away at me lately. It is only in the last year that I have made the frighting discovery that unless you are in the drivers seat regarding your health nothing ever gets done. If I hadn't pushed my doctors to look into the PCOS I would still be undiagnosed. If I hadn't paid out of pocket for my food allergy testing, I still would not know that gluten is poisoning the inside of my body. Let me just encourage you to find the answers to health issues. Knowledge is Power!

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