Thursday, August 23, 2012

{It's the end of the world as (I) know it...}

And I feel fine...

Last month, I went to see a naturopath.  I was referred to this doctor by my awesome chiropractor, Dr. Molly Hall at Active Chiropractic.  First things first though - they are both fabulous.  If you are looking for a great chiropractor or naturopathic doctor in the Raleigh area, check them out!  

So...where was I?  Last month, I had an appointment with the naturopathic doctor.  During my 1-hour appointment, she reviewed some labs I had submitted from my primary care physician and the implications of some of the functional levels being "off".  We discussed how issues with intestinal flora, food sensitivities, etc. all played into the bigger picture of my health.  During my entire appointment, she was great about answering my questions and providing insight into the "hows" and "whats" (critical for us Type-A folks).  

We came up with a game-plan - I would go have additional labs done to determine intestinal permeability, wheat/gluten reactivity and autoimmunity, and gluten-associated cross-reactive foods and sensitivities.  I would also complete an adrenal panel to assess my adrenal function.  Confused yet?  Yeah, so was I...

So what did I learn today?  Do I have Celiac disease?  No, thank goodness.  However, I do have non-Celiac gluten sensitivity.  (Scratch that kids - as of September 11, I have Celiacs disease.) Eating gluten causes a reaction in my body - stomach pain, bloating, fatique, anemia, and the list goes one.  Even though it is a lot less severe than the reaction of someone with Celiac, it needs to be treated.  How?  Pretty simple, yet not so simple - no gluten/wheat.  

During my appointment, I also got the rest of "the list".  I knew all along that I was probably going to receive a list of foods that I couldn't have, but I wasn't quite prepared for this list.  I cannot have:

  • Wheat/gluten (including: barley, matzo, rye, semolina, etc.) 
  • Coffee 
  • Egg
  • Rice
  • (White) Potato 
  • Sesame 
  • Corn
This list contains the items from gluten-associated cross-reactive foods and food sensitivities tests.  Of the full list of 25 items, only 6 came back as cross-reactive/food sensitivities.   

I stared at the list for a moment and listened as she explained the "hows" and "whats" of the foods, etc.  While listening, I kept thinking "...Well, hell, what in the world can I have?..."  Seriously, coffee? egg? potato?  Think about it for a minute - NO pizza, beer, cake/cookies, bread, etc.

I immediately realized that while all of this was very overwhelming, I am not alone.  I also thought about the positives associated with this...  When I remove these items from my diet, I will have fewer/no issues.  All the "yuckies" I have been experiencing for years will slowly fade and eventually disappear, so long as I stick to foods that are not on the "no no" list.  At that moment, I decided to re-frame my thoughts.

I am going to focus on what I can have.  
  • Dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt)
  • Oats (so long as they don't have gluten; happens in processing)
  • Quinoa
  • Tea
  • Fruits
  • Veggies
  • Meats
  • Wine
  • Cider (since beer has wheat and barley)
This is going to be an interesting change, but I am looking forward to ridding my body of all the "yuckies" that have been caused by these foods.  No, it isn't gonna be easy....But, where there's a will, there is always a way.  

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