My Story – Gluten and Lactose Intolerance
It was only at the beginning of 2013 that I finally figured out what was wrong with me and when I look back I had certainly had some of the symptoms for years, though they were getting worse.
Symptoms included bloating, gas, indigestion, lack of energy, break-outs on face (sometimes itchy), tingling in fingers, diarrhea (almost instantly after eating the wrong thing).
I went to have a facial to see if that would help my break-outs and the beautician thought I had an allergy to something. A light bulb went off in my head – bread. I cut out all bread and anything with flour in it and I began to feel better (at this time I did not suspect lactose intolerance).
I was long overdue for a colonoscopy and that could also tell me whether I had celiac disease. The results showed no evidence of coeliac disease but my intestine was inflamed – a sign of intolerance.
I stumbled, fortuitously, across a book called ‘Wheat Belly by William Davis, M.D.’ displayed at the cash register of a local store. It had my name on it. I couldn’t put it down. It was a game-changer.
Having given up all bread, I also gave up pasta and rice. I now replace those with quinoa. The reasoning for this is that apparently the gluten intolerance can spread to these foods over time. So, while I can eat them on occasion if needs be, they are not part of my overall diet.
Equally, I have not used any gluten-free products to replace the foods I have cut out. This is because often the ingredients in them are not particularly healthy – more sugar, more fat.
Having got the gluten under control, I was relieved to think that I could still eat dairy (I had already cut out some dairy because there is gluten in them as a thickener – low fat yoghurt). Think again! I had a bad reaction to a Greek yoghurt and to a friend’s parsnip and potato puree with cream in it (3 trips to the bathroom over dinner!). So out went dairy products.
What do I eat? Well, it’s no use crying over spilt milk so I took a new approach to cooking adapting well-loved recipes, creating my own recipes and trying new ones that fit with my regime. The benefits of mainly only being able to eat fish, chicken, veggies and fruit (I only eat red meat occasionally) are plenty – a really healthy diet, clear skin, effortless weight loss, energy and compliments from friends.
Given that there are so many people in the US who are gluten intolerant – 1 in 113 people – and 40 million in the US are lactose intolerant (not sure how many are both, like me) I thought I should start a blog giving really delicious gluten and lactose free recipes and tips. These recipes are by no means just for us ‘intolerants’, anyone will enjoy them.