The Pain of Being Gluten Free

Nothing can compare to the pain we were suffering up until our diagnosis, right? We had this huge wave of relief wash over us once we realize it can all be controlled by a simple diet change.

Oh, did I say simple?

Well, it can be if we don’t let ourselves get too overwhelmed. We have such a huge resource available to us now and that is the internet. Amazon is one amazing site that ships a ton of items free – I am going to cover that in more detail later.

The biggest challenge out there: FAMILY!

You think, oh sure they are going to be totally supportive and this will be easy. For those of you who fall into that category GREAT! Unfortunately, there are many of us who don’t. The biggest comment I get is, “Oh a little won’t hurt you.” They don’t realize how wrong they really are!

My reactions are different from my daughter. Just like hers is different from many other people. I get lethargic and sleepy. Sometimes I get a migraine or just plain achy. But like my daughter, I do get the severe stomach aches. Sometimes they end up making me so sick I don’t know if I should sit or kneel. Sorry for that image but it is a reality for most of us.  I have an amazing mother in law but she still does not understand the extent of this disease. She tried telling my daughter that, “Angel Food Cake does not have wheat in it. No, Only Flour!” That is what she said! Unfortunately, that is what a lot of people think. Where do they think flour comes from?

Ok, I may be getting a little snotty here…  sorry, I just get completely exhausted and annoyed when I realize how little people actually know about what goes into their mouths.

Even before I knew I had this disease, I knew what I was eating all of the time. If you are like me, then this adjustment won’t be so hard. There are so many whole foods we still can eat. After I talk about the cleaning house portion I will be covering some simple ideas you can make from your pantry. Kind of a get started guide. Then we will expand to the more complicated things such as baking GF. It really isn’t that bad!

Update: I wrote this so many years ago, I had forgotten about this post. Considering I wrote this over 7 9 years ago, family has gotten so much better. They keep GF items just for when my girls come over to visit. It is still incredibly frustrating when someone decides to tell my daughters(now 18 20) that they get sick because they are not used to the gluten and if they simply ate it more they would not get sick. That sent me into a blind rage! I have 3 daughters, 2 get sick from gluten, 1 does not but she has other side effects from it. My mother and father in law learned this lesson at my daughter’s expense last summer. They were traveling down south and stopped by a restaurant that we never eat at. Drea tried to eat some food. The next day, they could not figure out what was taking her so long to get ready. She spent hours in the bathroom because she was sick. What a damper on a trip! Grandma made sure all of the places they went to eat after that was somewhere we had eaten before or somewhere Drea knew she could get a burger or steak. We are gluten free because we have to be, not because of some sort of fad diet!

Should we just tell them it’s an Allergy?

If that gets the point across then so be it. It makes it a lot easier and people understand that it needs to be taken seriously. Some people do need to go to the ER if they can’t stop the vomiting or other side effects. Not to mention the long term effects that we suffer. I personally react within about 15 minutes and the effects last around 3 days with lethargy, fogginess and aches lingering even longer at times.

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