What They Don’t Tell You…

I’ve been doing this gluten free/ dairy thing free thing for about three weeks (with some hiccups) now and for the last five days have not had a drop of alcohol. I am not doing this because I am some sort of masochist (though I am beginning to wonder), but rather because my health is suffering and my doctor said it might offer some relief. She did not warn that it could get worse before getting better, but through simple google searches I found that what I am going through is fairly normal. So I would like to take a break from what I usually blog about to talk about gluten withdrawal and the not-so-magical parts of getting healthy.

I’ve personally been feeling unusually run-down. I’ve never had a ton of energy, but this takes it to a whole new level.  I could easily sleep 10-12 hours and lately have even been needing a nap at around 4 p.m. I’ve also been getting headaches, all sort of random aches really, anxiety and major irritability. Luckily, I am not suffering from  brain fog and my attention span has actually gotten a bit better. I’m not really sure how much of this is actually withdrawal or just psychological. I love wheat and dairy products and really enjoy drinking so it makes sense that one would be irritable when giving up things that gave you so much simple pleasure.  As much as I miss it I am going to continue with the changes because I am convinced that a few months of discomfort are worth improved health. I also know that if I am totally miserable after a few months I can go back to eating gluten and I have no intention of giving up alcohol forever.

That being said I have devised a plan because it i so easy to self- sabotage. Here are things I am willing to do while I ride the detox train and adjust to a completely different lifestyle:

Communicate needs:  Sometimes it is hard to ask for what you need especially when it seems everyone else is doing the opposite, but I’ve found people are usually pretty understanding if you communicate. I’m not saying I’m going to be a selfish jerk  just that I’m not going to be a push-over.

Keep a journal: To keep track of progress/set backs

Always carry a snack: It is really frustrating when you go somewhere and can’t eat anything especially when hungry. Carrying a snack insures I won’t give in.

Not start any new projects: I’ve done so many amazing things and have  met so many great people because I’ve never been afraid to jump into new and exciting projects, but I have a tendency to get too busy. I’m just going to keep up with what I already have going on for awhile.

Reduce stress: Stress kills

Get active: I got through spurts of this…I need to find something I really enjoy doing so it doesn’t seem like a chore.

I think that is a pretty good list. I can’t stress how helpful it is to be working with a doctor who understands my needs and is interested in an integrative approach to health. I’d be really interested to hear other’s experiences with food allergies and lifestyle changes. What was early “recovery” like for you? How did you get through it?

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2 thoughts on “What They Don’t Tell You…

  1. Thank you for the link! I am really excited to read your blog! This post is especially interesting to me because I remember being in your exact same shoes, so to speak. I suffer from celiac disease so I can can relate to the fatigue you feel. What I have found to help me is to take a B complex vitamin and a mulitvitamin as well. Be careful with all vitamins and supplements as some contain gluten. Another great energy booster is coconut water. I usually mix that in with my shakes. I suggest having your vitamin and mineral levels checked to see if you are deficient in anything, as well as a complete blood panel run to check for food allergies. I am anemic which is common for people with celiac disease, so taking an iron supplement really helped for awhile. There are general blood tests and then there are really intricate ones which are more costly but worth it. I had a basic blood test run and had no results. A few weeks later a different doc ran a larger one on me and found that I was allergic to gluten and eggs! All of this is just what worked for me. Obviously see a healthcare professional before taking any outsider advice but hopefully that can help steer you in the right direction about what to look out for when you are speaking with the doctor. One other thing to watch out for is sugar. Sugar can cause headaches, slugishness, and irritability… among other things. Sugar is just as terrible and addictive as gluten! Maybe try to slowly reduce the amount of sugar in your diet as well. I wish you luck with the new diet!! Let me know how it goes.

    XOXOX F

    • All the advice you gave is almost exactly what my doctor prescribed. I just took the blood tests a few days ago so I am still waiting for the results. I do not have much of a sweet tooth thank goodness and I am trying not to drink alcohol so hopefully I am ok on the sugar front. Thanks for reading and commenting. It is nice to know I am not alone (but sad to hear of your health struggles).Best of luck to you too!

      -A

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