Bye Bye Greek Yogurt ~ You will be Missed :(

Bye Bye Greek Yogurt

Well it’s official. I have a lactose intolerance and I’m not happy about it. After a few weeks of feeling great and being steady on a strict gf diet, I decided to buy 1 container of Greek yogurt and try it out tonight.

After my urgent run to the restroom a few minutes ago, I can confidently say I will no longer purchase any regular yogurt or greek yogurt. I’ve already been buying and using organic lactose free milk but I’m really bummed. Greek yogurt has always been my go to snack. Filled with protein it’s the perfect choice with berries!

Kefir

Interestingly enough, I’ve been drinking these Kefir probiotic smoothies with my vitamins throughout the day and it not only helps me get them down without gagging but tastes pretty good.

An RD once told me that the probiotics cancel out the lactose thus allowing our bodies to process the yogurt. I consume probably a 1/2-1 cup throughout the day and don’t have any problems. I actually really enjoy them – they are thick and help tremendously with supplements.

Part of the reason I love Greek Yogurt is the convenience and ability to grab one and eat it quickly – along with feeling satiated after that 1 container. If I ran into the grocery, I could grab one on the way out and eat it right then and there! Or if I needed something quick in between a personal training client – my dear friend Greek Yogurt was always there to fill me up and fuel me for my next client.

But that’s ok. I can still eat cheese with no problem! I will find other things to enjoy for sure. I’m going to wait a couple days and then try cottage cheese to see if I have to rule that out as well. What’s better than a fresh peach cut up in a cup of cottage cheese?

According to the Kefir website,

How can kefir help?
Kefir is the most favorable milk product for people suffering from lactose intolerance. A recent study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association examined people struggling with lactose intolerance and found that kefir can actually improve lactose digestion. The reasoning? Kefir’s live, active bacteria cultures help break down the sugars in milk.

Pretty Little Celiac 30-Day Gluten Free Fitness Challenge!!

30 Day Gluten Free Challenge

Since I started blogging on September 1st, I realized I wanted to share my experiences with the world. I wanted to build a community around the celiac/gluten free stigma and let people know they aren’t alone.

My experiences are no different than anyone else, I’m just okay with sharing them online for all to see!!

Fast forward to October 17th – my website has had over 13,000 hits and thousands of engaged people looking for answers and help to their gluten related problems and support for what was happening.

During this time, I’ve also allowed blogging get the best of me. Sure, I’ll eat that! Sure, I’ll try this! Why yes, I would love to try this dessert because I can blog about it.

I love you guys and this community, but I’ve gotta take this slower because I’m starting to really feel gross. I’m not eating whole foods or the things I preach to my personal training clients, but I am trying endless amounts of processed gluten free foods to share with you and let you know what’s worth the money and what isn’t.

I will still do these things but not quite to the extent I’ve allowed myself!! I’m out of control.

And, thus the 30-day challenge begins.

October 22 will be 30 days from Thanksgiving.

The day we all eat, eat, eat until our stomach hurts.

October 1st I wrote a blog post saying it would start and it did (ok a little).

October 22nd I will get back into healthy habits and make wonderful changes to my body. I’ve done it before and I’ve done it again.

If you read my bio, you already know I went through my own transformation in 2009 and ended up a fitness expert and entrepreneur.

When I asked my husband if he thought I looked fat, his response was “no, but your body composition is different.”

I used to be a lean, mean, strong machine.

Now I’m a mediocre, fluffy, weakling.

The funny thing about this is that I haven’t gained any weight but my body looks completely different.

Fitness Tip: If you aren’t doing measurements along with weight tracking – you will be extremely frustrated.

Many of you said on social media you were with me and I’m going to hold you to that – so here is what we are going to do!

What is the 30 Day Challenge?

You will get from me a gluten free menu for the next 30 days. There will be whole foods and very limited processed snacks. It is not designed to be a culinary dream menu, it is designed to fuel your body. That’s what we have to remember, food is fuel. We are basically going to do a whole food detox. No junk. No pop. No artificial sweeteners. No fast food. Just whole foods.

You will also get a 30 day workout plan that can be done anywhere. Outside. Inside. The Gym.

I am going to make a Facebook Group that we can all use to talk to each other, post comments and be supportive to one another. People can post recipes and things they learned along the way and I might even throw in some bonus workouts and video workouts too!

**There are dairy and nut options on the plan, modify as you may**

On October 21st – I will send out the plan to everyone that follows the directions below!

If you want to enter the 30-day challenge, here is what needs to happen:

  1. You send me an email by Saturday October 2oth to Prettylittleceliac@gmail.com and include the following information
  • Pictures in fitness clothes with something dated – like a newspaper or magazine – front, back and side
  • Height and Weight
  • Measurements: Chest below your breasts, waist at your belly button, hips at the widest part

At the end of the 30 days, you are going to send me an email with the exact same information as the first one!!

The person that loses the most weight and inches will be the winner of the Pretty Little Celiac 30 day challenge!!

What will you win?

1 year subscription to 11Athletics Magazine

An entry to a Celiac Awareness Tour that will be in or around your area in 2013

The Essential Gluten Free Grocery Guide by Triumph Books

A Pretty Little Celiac T-Shirt

2 Bags of Udi’s granola

Gluten Free Food Labels by Sweet Ali’s Bakery

And a 1 on 1 Skype or Phone Call Session for 30 minutes with Me!!!

Celiac and Your Sex Life: Are they Related? I say Absolutely…

I’ve toyed with writing this post for weeks and I decided to finally do it! What everyone seems to love about Pretty Little Celiac is how refreshingly candid and personal I am about my own journey so it wouldn’t be fair for me to avoid this subject.

Celiac and your sex life – how are they connected?

I obviously am not going to go into detail about my sex life – but I think the subject does need to be discussed. Why is this such a taboo subject when we all know there are problems everywhere when it comes to sex!

I know this is true for many of you, but when I’m suffering from a horrible stomach ache the last thing I am interested in is someone pushing on my belly! Most women are worried about what their bodies look like – but I’m always worried about what it sounds like – I’m sure one toot would ruin the mood…

Over the years, Aaron has come to accept that our sex life revolves almost entirely around my bowel habits and celiac disease. Most of my symptoms directly affect it and it plays such a huge role in our life. From our wedding night to romantic dinners and vacations, all it takes is 1 meal to send me over the edge and ruin everything.

Complaining about a bathroom incident or talking about how bloated your belly is after your meal isn’t really the best aphrodisiac… But, I’m sure you already know that!

But I do believe all of the other things associated with the celiac disease: the depression, anxiety, exhaustion, fatigue, joint pain and all the other symptoms and signs run concurrent with sexual dysfunction. Not to mention when I was on anti-depressants and anxiety medication, I often felt like a zombie with no emotions or feelings of arousal.

Fortunately for me, I married an amazing man who has been my biggest cheerleader and support system for the past 8 years. He is understanding, patient and wants me to be healthy & happy no matter what. My health and happiness are his #1 concern – all of the other things come secondary. This must be a huge struggle for those of you without the support from your significant others.

I’ve yet to find a celiac or gluten intolerance study regarding sex drives, arousal and those things but there are countless studies on depression, anxiety and those symptoms in how they correlate but nothing on celiac. Maybe because most of the research on celiac is focused on they why’s and how’s and not necessarily the secondary problems associated with the disease.

Going gluten free has helped my mood significantly! But also, resolving all the other problems associated with the celiac disease contributes greatly. Finding out my blood levels and hormones were completely whacked out and being able to correct that problem with the thyroid and testosterone also helped me feel better!

I don’t expect anyone to write about their sex life in the comments section! This post is just to let people know it’s ok, you aren’t crazy and there are other people out there suffering from the same things. I find it hard to believe as I write this post that there aren’t many of you dealing with the same things. You can feel better just reading this post to know you aren’t alone.

Gluten Free Review: Red Robin – Yummy Yum Yum

Red Robin Gluten Free Bun

Today my husband and I ran the 2012 Hell Run at Buckeye Lake in Ohio to celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary. Our in-laws even came out to watch the event and they grabbed some great pictures. We were starved after the event and decided to head back towards our house. I saw on Find Me Gluten Free that Red Robin had gluten free menu and after some internet searching found that they even have a gluten free bun!

Hell Run 2012

This trip was not healthy by any means but I figured we just did this 5k right with obstacles so I decided to indulge in a gluten free cheeseburger. After all, I have to try it for all of you right?

This was a GREAT cheeseburger. Not only did they give me the gluten free bun but they cooked the french fries completely separate so they wouldn’t be contaminated with the other fried gluteny stuff. This was so exciting! I don’t think I’ve had french fries in months. The bun was fluffy and big, the burger was juicy and it hit the spot perfect. My husband even got a gluten free bun and shared my fries, which he enjoyed as well!

Best part is not feeling sick or bloated after my meal. 2 meals in a row – out in public – without getting sick! WooHoo

Highly recommended! They were very sensitive to my celiac disease and gluten free needs.

*Although I do smell like a stinky, greasy, oniony burger – even after showing and playing in the mud*

Red Robin Gluten Free Burger

Eating Out Gluten Free on our Wedding Anniversary!

5 Year Anniversary Dinner

Happy 5 year anniversary to my loving, wonderful husband who is also my best friend. The past few years have been quite the journey and I don’t think I could have gotten through everything without his never ending support.

We had a $50 gift card to Cameron Mitchell and a $20 gift card from Open Table (which is an awesome reservation app) – so spending a bit more on dinner for our Anniversary didn’t seem that bad. Ocean Club is pricey. 2 drinks each and dinner for 2 was $120 plus tip.

Ocean Club at Easton Town Center is a celebration restaurant! Somewhere you go when you have something awesome to spend the money on like an anniversary, engagement or graduation. I just love this place. All of their menu’s can be found online. I think their gluten free menu is pretty extensive!

Ocean Club Gluten Free Menu

I don’t like that they took my absolute favorite meal off them menu – MahiMahi. It was the best I’ve found since Aruba on our Honeymoon. But they offer tons of other seafood, fish and steak items. Their regular menu is  3 pages or so – this picture is just of the gluten free options!

Filet and Bearnaise Sauce

I decided on the Filet. Cooked to perfection, it melted in my mouth. Delicious!

Blackened Snapper

Aaron went with the Blackened Snapper and said it was the best meal he’s had in a really long time.

We shared 2 sides – a loaded baked potato and corn – both were simply delightful.

This was not gluten free on a diet. This was a celebration dinner. We didn’t even finish that potato it was so big. I think 3 people could have shared it. The corn tasted so great. A little onion but still sweet. Interesting combo we both enjoyed.

It’s been 3 hours since we ate and I still don’t have a stomach ache or bloating. My joints feel good and I haven’t had to run to the restroom yet!

Total Success!!

Obviously I liked my dinner!

My Desert! 2 glasses of Moscato

We finished the night off with a trip to Barnes and Noble to check out the latest books and then a hop, skip and jump over to Swarovski – where I picked up this little gem. I LOVE it!!! Thank you Aaron – I love you.

May everyone have as wonderful of an anniversary as we did tonight :)

Rebecca & Aaron

Pretty Little Celiac of the Month September 2012 – Sarah Casebolt

Congratulations to Sarah Casebolt – She is the very first Pretty Little Celiac of the Month!!

When I read her story, I teared up and couldn’t believe her amazing strength during this journey.

Meet Sarah!

Sarah Casebolt

~My Celiac story is interesting, back track to 1983 or so and I was a young one-3 years old.  I had entered Kaiser Hospital in California because I was literally going to the bathroom 20-30 times a day, I looked well pregnant which is obviously odd for a 3 year old.  I lived in the hospital off and on for almost a year and was living in the children’s ICU.  It came up finally that I had Giardia which is a parasite, but that was odd as this is usually caught from streams, creeks, rivers, mountain areas, etc.  Regardless I was released and told to live on, yet the symptoms where always present.

Sara as a child

Fast forward nearly 30 years and here I am STILL dealing with issues, I am a working professional yet I cannot eat at work for fear of running to the restroom.  I was in the Air Force for nearly 13 years and had the same fears, issues, and I was a flight medic so I was always hungry to say the least on those long flights transporting injured from Iraq and Germany.

Yet I digress, in 2005 I was tested for Celiac disease via the ever awful Colonoscopy and the Dr stated “He was not sure!”

Hmmm, so I went from Dr to Dr trying to find SOMETHING that resembled a diagnosis, during this time I began having major thyroid issues, an overactive thyroid caused me to be very skinny to the point of looking like death.  Dr’s said the culprit was my thyroid, yet I did not really believe that, in fact I started doing research on my own because I felt I had no other way.  I finally moved to Colorado Springs, now married we wanted to have a baby yet after 8 miscarriages at around the 12-16 week mark we sought help from an infertility specialist and became parents to beautiful girl/boy twins in 2009, then another daughter in 2010-yet despite these babies I always had a “tender” stomach and if I ate something wrong I was in for it.

In December 2011, they removed my Thyroid and said all my problems would disappear, how dumb I was to believe them!  I took my thyroid replacement medication from there on out, once daily and during this time my husband who is still in the Air Force went to Korea and it would be a year long time away from his family, so I became a single mommy not near family and still sick, still could hardly eat.  In late February of 2012 my wonderful neighbor who is a retired nurse came over, at this point I weighed maybe 100 pounds, she said “Sarah either you head to the ER or I take you.”  I did not see what others saw until I allowed myself to see how much weight I lost, I was literally shutting down, she took me to the ER the next morning, demanding admission for me, my thyroid levels were 195 when “normal” is 4-9.

My organs began shutting down, I had oxygen on, the nurses and technicians were contemplating ICU, made me sign over rights to Kathy my neighbor until my husband or parents could get there.  WOW! I was put in ICU, on pain medications because of the horrible stomach pains I live with daily, and was seen by a GI Dr who would be my savior at the end of this story.  I was prepped for an EGD/Colonoscopy the next morning, sadly due to malabsorption due to lack of thyroid and GI issues so severe I was not able to absorb the conscious sedation so yes you guessed it, I was awake and mean WIDE AWAKE the entire procedure, talk about painful and awful.  The next morning it was revealed I had Colangelous Colitis in my lower intestine, Gastro-paresthis in my upper intestine and severe malnutrition, not to mention my horrendous thyroid levels that could kill me if not taken care of.

I began a lengthy hospital stay, filled with TONS of steroids, and tests, you name it and I had it.  At this point thank God my parents flew in to watch my children all under 3, and the Red Cross was working on getting my husband home to help.  I went home several weeks later very gaunt, sick still, but thankfully the Air Force gave me my husband for 3 weeks.  I was off work for nearly 2 months, returned in the end of May.

We have had a great summer with my kids and I, single parent duty still until 3 weeks ago symptoms returned, I had another EGD/Colonoscopy just this past Friday so we will see but even living a VERY STRICT Gluten free lifestyle I am sick again some how, I am literally at a loss.  I am back to eating 2 meals a day if I can even keep that in and simply doing my best to be a single parent since my husband is still in Korea.  My Dr on Friday was at a loss but said he will find the cause and help me, this GI group has been amazing and I am so blessed yet I still am having a tough time.

I am now at 150 pounds and for my 5’2 frame it is heavy, I am on steroids for inflammation and other types of steroidal medications to help me day to day until we know what is wrong.  I do know this I have a VERY SEVERE case of Celiac disease, my children now eat what I eat, we all love organic fruits and veggies, and Gluten free products.  This is my story, I am still living it but I find peace in your blog and others in knowing I am not alone in this journey that at times feels like a nightmare.  I am so glad I could share my story with you.

Kind regards,

Sarah

My wife is the Pretty Little Celiac and this is our Celiac Journey…

The Trophy Husband

Diaries of the Pretty Little Celiac’s Husband


“Watch the cart” This is the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Rebecca and her relationship with food. There are too many times to count when we would be speeding home from a night of eating out, screaming at me to go faster or she was going to “bleep her pants”. One time in particular, I had marks on my shoulder when she was grinding her nails into my shoulder as I was turning the corner, coming into our sub-division. We were forced to stop behind a car of an elderly couple who seem to be lost and to my dismay going under 10 miles per hour. I can’t even count how many times this happened. For a while, we would go to the grocery store immediately after eating out. Within 5 minutes of arrival, somewhere between the produce and bakery (rather ironically), she would eventually tell me to “watch the cart’, and she quickly walked to the restroom to ‘check out the facilities’. What was tough for me to understand was the relationship between what she was eating and her sometimes explosive reaction to the food. She would have what we thought was a very healthy dinner, chicken, veggies, whole wheat bread… explosion.. Then we would eat something that would be considered bad or greasy, like cheese fries or nachos loaded with cheese, and nothing. It was like trying to dodge land mines, but they were invisible or at least mis-labeled.

The first vacation with Celiac

I Have Allergies too!
To give this some perspective,I have always had an allergy to nuts, more specifically, tree nuts. I have been to the emergency room about a dozen times in 30 years. If I have something with nuts in it, I have an immediate reaction. My reaction is much more severe than what Rebecca has with gluten. Certain nuts, if I ingest enough of them, will swell me up to the point where I will not be able to breathe, and die within minutes. Other nuts will give me hives so bad that I become almost unrecognizable. That being said, I find my allergy much more manageable than having celiac. Why? I pretty much know what food has nuts and what doesn’t. Nut allergies are well established in the manufacturing industry the labels on food are done in a way where there is no ambiguity, which I think has to do with the severity of the allergy. If someone eats a product that has nuts but it was not on the label, and dies, the lawyers come in. In the case of Gluten, if gluten is in a product and it says it is ‘Gluten Free’ and it irritates my stomach, it is pretty hard to sue for that. How could you prove it? I can’t even picture how that would play out in court!

In restaurants, it is very easy to find out what has nuts and what doesn’t, most of the time you can see them and there are well established foods that I know to stay away from.. IE Chinese (cooking in nut oils), desserts with walnuts, pecans , cashews…. For gluten, it’s not that straight forward, even to the most veteran celiac. We typically get looks of confusion if Rebecca asks if an item has gluten or not. Sometimes the quick response of “no’. That is even more concerning, since it is hard to determine if the waiter \ waitress is truly understanding the question. Lastly, the reaction to the gluten is not as automatic as the nut allergy. I am so sensitive to the nuts, I can of just smell them in the food and know. One bite (not even swallowing) and I immediately know. With gluten, sometimes it happens hours later or at times…days…so there is no immediate feedback. The gluten reaction can also be days in length, and can be one of many things for Rebecca. Mostly notably multiple trips to the bathroom. I know way more about her poop then I would ever care to admit.

More than that, it negatively affects her mood, her joints and at times our relationship. Damn you gluten!

The Experiments
Now that she has found out, initially there was a sense of relief. However, quickly a hard realization. Things that she loved to eat were slowly poisoning her. It has been tough. It is tough for me to find the correct way to support her in these struggles. I am a problem solver at work, however, in my experience with Rebecca, it is best to give her unconditional support and someone to listen to ,as opposed to offering any solutions. I don’t have to live with this condition, and I am learning along with her. I don’t have to live with the mistakes or mis-steps that happen along the way. The first few months she stuck to the four of five things she liked and could eat…but those would quickly come and go… Chipotle for a month, then Noodles and Company… then Annie’s Gluten free Mac and Cheese. Trips to gluten-free bakeries, gluten-free bagels, pizza.. some of it will disintegrate in your month… some of it was actually better than the gluten-free product, but you always pay 2x as much for it. We continue to find things we like, and don’t. Rebecca is very vocal either way.. no ambiguity.

How it affected me and my own weight struggles…
One unintended side effect of the discovery that Rebecca had gluten, was that it had positive effects on my health. To be supportive, and also because  I didn’t want to make two different meals (yes, I am the cook in the house), I began eating mostly gluten-free. I have struggled with keeping my weight down, and in the past I combated that with working out more and eating less of the foods I really enjoy! I was smack dab in the middle of one of my most ambitious cycles to get in shape. I was working out, sometime 2x a day, and I was actually gaining weight. The I had started to eat the gluten-free diet, again, the reason of convenience and sanity. I first noticed more energy in the afternoon while I was at work.

Before this, caffeine was the only way I could get through the afternoon. But after eliminating the majority of the gluten in my diet, I was feeling more energetic and didn’t feel I needed caffeine in the afternoons. I began to feel as if there was something to this. I have now embraced eating this way, as well as more small improvements, and have lost 27 pounds in 12 weeks. I am working out less than once a week and not counting calories! My body seems to respond better to not having gluten, and I have never felt better and more energetic.

How I am trying to help…
I listen, I empathize and I learn. As mentioned before, I was not familiar with Celiac disease and gluten. In fact, my knowledge of truly good nutrition was greatly out of date. I have spent the past 5 months researching nutrition and in particular how it affects us on a daily basis. There are great resources on the internet. I particularly like some podcasts I have found on iTunes (search the ‘Health’ category). I listen to these on my to work or when I have the time. Rebecca and I have listened to them on the way to and from some our trips and we have found information that is consistent with what she is experiencing. Cooking for Rebecca continues to be a learning experience. We are constantly trying to find ways to cook the foods we like in a gluten-free manner. Sometimes is works, sometime it doesn’t, and we have to eat the failures. I know immediately if Rebecca doesn’t like it, and we now have at least a few things we can eat consistently. For the most part, we don’t eat out, and when we do there are specific restaurants we target.

What’s next?
We continue to try to find ways to have a lifestyle that we both enjoy. We have had many ups and downs.. mentally, emotionally, physically.. those won’t stop, at least not in the short-term. We are doing it together, but we stumble. She has to live with her body and it’s crankiness, but I see it getting better, although some days there are setbacks. We now celebrate eating out and not getting sick, we celebrate finding a pizza crust that is close to what she used to experience. We celebrate normal bowl movements… yes I said it.

Rebecca started her blog to help people find those little celebrations, to dodge the pitfalls she has found, and to inspire those who have this disease. She is also are looking to collaborate and learn from those who are fighting to maintain a normal and happy life. One day at a time, one meal at a time, we will get there.

Aaron

5 Years ago this month!

Gluten Poisoning Symptoms and Recovery

It’s 2 am on September 3rd, 2012 and I am wide awake with a horrific stomach ache. It started after my lunch out today at a local restaurant known for having a “gluten free” menu. My review is coming up this week but if you have celiac or severe gluten intolerance I would avoid it at all costs.

Gluten poisoning. What to say about gluten poisoning? It is awful. Just dreadful. Miserable.

Imagine having a stomach virus that gives you diarrhea along with a brick like feeling in your belly without being able to think or sleep. Eating gluten frequently causes a “brain fog” which is similar to having lack of focus. Primarily for me its because I just keep thinking about the horrible pain in my belly. It’s crippling.

The longer I go without gluten in my system, the worse the symptoms are when I do consume the little jerk. I can feel it in my joints. As I type this email, my fingers are throbbing. I can feel my heart beating in my stomach. My head pulsed all day from a low level headache and now I’m wide awake with insomnia from my stormy gut. My stomach is so bloated I look like I’m 4-5 months pregnant.

Gluten Poisoning. The bloated aftermath.

This is an allergy. My husband is allergic to tree nuts and swells up with hives and could die. My allergy is a slow painful death. Celiac causes tons of other problems for people including hypertension, hypothyroidism, heart complications, behavioral problems, sleeplessness and even cancer. For years I’ve lived with numerous under lying symptoms of celiac but because I ate it every day, my body was in a constant state of turmoil which apparently I just came to adjust to and go on with my life.

Gluten poisoning is different. Instead of a little stomach ache all the time, this is one big, giant, crippling stomach ache that lasts for 2-3 days.

Several weeks ago we went to a Cincinnati Bengals game and kept walking by the concessions with the fresh, hot soft pretzels. My total weakness. My favorite food. I could eat them every single day.

My favorite food. The soft pretzel.

I rationalized eating one that we usually go to 2-3 games per year and if I just let myself eat 1 pretzel at the games, I would satisfy my craving of foods I’ve been forced to deprive myself of for months now.

I ate the pretzel. It seemed like the most delicious pretzel I’ve ever consumed. I ate it in the most miniscule bites to make it last what seemed like forever. It was so good.

An hour later, I was fine.

2 hours later, I was fine.

This was exciting. I beat the system! I could enjoy a pretzel every once in a while and be fine.

Boy was I wrong…..

3 hours later we were about 10 minutes from home and I could feel it. My stomach started to gurgle. My head started to sweat and my heart started pounding. I know that feeling and we had to get home quick. I ran in the house from the driveway to use the restroom. Just like old times I thought to myself. Oh well, I can handle it. I lived with it for 15 years.

Little did I know what was going to happen that week. Friday night was the game. Saturday I felt like a freight train hit me. My fingers were totally swollen and my joints ached. I was exhausted and had a horrible stomach ache. Sunday was just as bad. Monday, Tuesday Wednesday – by FRIDAY I started to feel better. It took me a full week to feel back to normal. I ate fruit bars for almost the whole week. No appetite. Frequent restroom trips. It was just awful.

This was the first time I purposefully ate gluten since February. I’d gone 6 months without consuming a large amount of gluten. I’m sure I’ve had some in the mean time with cross contamination but nothing like this.

The only thing that seems to make my stomach feel better is the natural sierra mist. There is no amount of medicine, vitamins or foods that make your stomach feel better after being poisoned. You just have to stop eating gluten again and wait for your body to heal. Just take it one day at a time. If you have to rest, you have to rest. It’s very similar to having the flu. Your body will tell you when it is time to get back to the normal routine.

I’ve been reading all these things on the internet in blog posts and random other websites. They don’t work. Waiting it out and resting works. Drinking soothing tea might ease your stomach ache but it won’t heal your belly or the damage done to your intestines. Have you ever tried to sleep with a horrible stomach ache? It’s nearly impossible. When I eventually get to bed tonight, I will inevitably lay there tossing and turning until I have to get up in the morning.

Things will get better. I will get smarter about food choices and be more careful about going out to eat. It’s very difficult to trust that restaurants can fully protect you and understand the severity of gluten poisoning. It’s ultimately my responsibility to protect myself and in the future I’ll do a little more research before heading out to eat just because they have a gluten free menu. You live and you learn. The most mistakes I make, the more educated I become on this topic!

xo

The Pretty Little Celiac

My Celiac Diagnosis and Blood Work

After my appointment with Dr. Aukerman in January 2012, I went and had my blood drawn at OSU. The most awesome thing about this process at OSU is they email you test results as soon as they come in and it took only 24 hours for some of my test results to come back. Here is the whole list of test I had completed:

Calcium – My levels were great
Magnesium – My levels were significantly low and out of the normal range
Vitamin D- Levels extremely low
PTH Intact – normal
CBC, EDIF, Platelet – HIGH
C Reactive Protein – Normal
Hemoglobin – Normal
Glucose – Normal
Lipid Panel – Normal
TSH – High
Anti-Microsomal Antibody – High
Gliadin Antibodies – Normal
Hepatic Function Panel – Normal
CHEM 6 – Normal
Iron – Normal
Uric Acid – Normal
Insulin- Normal
C-Peptide- Normal
Celiac HLA-DQ Typing – I have both the DQ Alpha 1 and DQ Beta 2 **CELIAC GENE MARKERS
Thyroglobulin – normal
Testosterone – LOW
DHEA-Sulfate – Normal
Estradiol – Normal
Progesterone – NOrmal
FSH – Low
LH – Normal
ACTH – Normal
Cortisol – High
ANA Screen IFA – Negative
Rheumatoid Factor – Normal
IGA – Normal
Immunoglobulin IGE – Low
Based on all of this it was determined that I have Celiac disease and that I am lacking some serious nutrients in my body from it not processing the nutrients in my food.

Dr. Aukerman has me taking vitamin’s 4x’s per day to ensure I am getting everything I need. I currently take 2 Omega 3′s, 4 Pre-Natal Vitamins, 4 Vitamin D, 4 Calcium, 4 Magnesium, 3 Vitamin B and I must eat a gluten free diet. I should be able to get rid of my Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism completely by eliminating gluten from my diet. The latex allergy obviously will go away with not eating fruit and veggies with latex and the testosterone I can manage with a very small dose of the supplement DHEA – .12.5mg (I split a pill to get this dose).

By eating gluten free and taking the vitamins, my body will repair itself and finally get what it needs to make me a well oiled machine. I am excited because I think this is exactly what I need to take my fitness to a new level. I never really could achieve the look I was going for and now I have an abundance of energy and am so excited about moving forward!

I can absolutely tell when I forget to take my vitamins. I get cranky and tired. It is very difficult to try and remember to take them 4 times a day. That seems to be the hardest part for me!

I’m going to keep blogging about my gluten allergy and all the escapades that go along with this. I’m already tired of asking if places have a gluten free menu and explaining what it is.

The only real way to know what is going on with your body is to have tests done. Have your doctor run tests to see where your deficiencies are and get what you need for your individual self. A multivitamin doesn’t cut it for most people.

The doctor’s office that changed my life….

Before making an appointment with Dr. Glen Aukerman, MD at OSU Integrative Family Medicine I had to attend one of his nutrition seminar’s on Nutrition Principals. There he spoke a lot about different things and how all of our food changed starting in the 1950′s. We were there for about an hour and a half and I don’t remember all the details of his seminar but I do remember him showing some very significant statistics about his research, methods and how many people he helped simply by looking at the deficiencies in their blood and helping correct them with food and vitamins.

Dr. Auckerman’s Book

I made an appointment with his office the very next day. It took about 2 weeks to get an appointment which I felt was very reasonable based on the number of people in the seminar. It’s my opinion he uses the seminar as a way to weed out the people who don’t believe his methods or want him to just prescribe meds for the symptoms.

This appointment day couldn’t come soon enough. It was like going to pick up a prize or something. I was finally going to get some answers. When Dr. Aukerman walked in the room, I explained to him my symptoms. Now, let me explain something to you – this man sees MANY patients a day and what I really liked about his office was the fact they ran on time and were very efficient. Make sure you go to your appointments prepared with a list of questions and don’t dilly dally around. Some of the complaints I read about him online was that he didn’t take enough time with the patients and they felt rushed. BE PREPARED! I thought 30 minutes was a perfect amount of time for a first appointment.

Diagnosis #1 – The very first thing Dr. Aukerman noticed was my swollen glands on my neck. This is a key symptom of a thyroid problem. Hashimoto’s autoimmune Hypothyroidism causes more than 80% of all hypothyroidism in the United States according to Dr. Auckerman’s book. There is continuing research showing that Hashimoto’s can be caused by a gluten reaction of the immune system when people continue to eat gluten despite being intolerant or allergic. Signs or symptoms of Hashimoto’s can be Intolerance to cold, Difficulty concentrating or thinking, Weight gain, mild Fatigue, Constipation, Joint Stiffness, Dry Skin, Hair loss, Heavy and irregular menses, facial swelling and enlarged neck, small or large thyroid glad with presence of a Goiter. I had many of these symptoms plus I started to get gray hair at a very young age, dry brittle nails and hair and my hair was falling out incessantly.

Diagnosis #2 – Celiac Disease  damages your small intestines by destroying your villi (tiny-hair like projections that help process food). The Villi absorb vitamins and minerals but without them your body is unable to process and use them for strength and growth. The disease is often inherited. If you read my previous post on poop, you will see a trend here with the signs and symptoms of Celiac. People with Celiac often have intermittent diarrhea, abdominal pain and bloating. It can also present as irritability, depression, upset stomach, joint pain, muscle cramps, gas, bloating, weakness, foul-smelling or gray stools that are fatty or oily, stools that float, osteoporosis and stunted growth. Complication of undiagnosed Celiac disease are malnutrition in spite of adequate diet vital nutrients, loss of calcium and bone density, kidney stones, lactose intolerance, cancer (especially intestinal lymphoma and bowel cancer), seizures and nerve damage.

Diagnosis #3 – Latex Allergy from Fruit – Apparently, our bodies cannot tell the difference between latex from rubber and latex from fruits/vegetables. I never knew I had a latex sensitivity but this is another thing Dr. Aukerman noticed in looking at my face and chest. He noticed I had white lines on my neck and chest which is a sign of latex building up and and an allergy. So what fruits and vegetables have latex you ask? Oh only my favorite ones – Avocados, Bananas, Celery, Figs, Kiwi, Melon, Nectarines, Papaya, Cherry, Passion fruit, Plum, Chestnuts and Tomato. I hate tomato’s so they are the only one I really don’t care about. For more information about Latex in Food Allergies from the National Institute of Health CLICK HERE.

After Dr. Aukerman gave me these preliminary diagnoses – he sent me over to OSU’s lab to have my blood drawn. He ran a ton of tests of me! I made a follow up appointment a week later. You will have to come back later this week to read about my test results and what is really wrong with me!!!!

I’d encourage everyone to buy Dr. Aukerman’s book online and read about his fascinating research and how you can improve your own health. You can only order his book online here – http://betterhealthin120days.eugeneleekettering.com/

Here is a break down of all the tests that were run on me through blood samples:

Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin D, PTH Intact, CBC, EDIF, Platelet, C reactive protein, Hemoglobin A1C, Lipid panel w/calculated LDL, TSH, Anti Microsomal Antibody, Gliadin Antibodies, Hepatic Function Panel, Chem 6, Iron/Iron Binding/Transferr, Uric Acid, Insulin, C-Peptide, Celiac Associated HLS-DQ Typing, Thyroglobulin & Thyroglobulin AB, Testosterone total free, DHEA-Sulfate, Estradiol, Progesterone, FSH, LH, ACTH, Cortisol, Sedimentation Rate, ANA Screen IFA, Rheumatoid Factor, IGA, Immunoglobulin IGE.

Check back later this week to see what was going on inside my body!!