Autoimmune, Blog, Celiac, Gluten, Gluten Free

Frustrated; The Journey for Answers Continues!

I need to be transparent. No, I’m not pregnant in this picture…I’m frustrated and emotional and want to give up researching. I am falling apart. Maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, but I have to be as transparent as I can be with you all.

I have been sick for about a week and a half now. Not a head cold or flu kind of sick. I thought it was gluten related but after evaluating my food diary, there was very little possibility of the items I had been eating, to have any cross contact of gluten, at least that is what I think.

Before I started to feel sick, I had started changing things up in my diet. I wanted to add more veggies to my diet, and I also wanted to add more plant-based foods. I have been having a recent adversity to chicken. I do believe it is mental, but over the last few weeks I physically cannot swallow a piece of chicken. It’s probably from all the documentaries we have been watching haha! That’s actually not funny. It really is sad what goes on in the meat industry, but that’s a discussion for another time.

I started making quinoa and rice bowls that I meal prepped on Sunday to have for lunches during the week. I roasted veggies (Brussel sprouts and cauliflower and sweet potatoes), made rice and quinoa ahead of time and stored them all in the fridge. I did all of this on Sunday, February 16th.

Day 1:

February 16th, that afternoon I had a quinoa bowl for lunch. I used the quinoa, Brussel sprouts and cauliflower that I had made that day to add to this bowl for lunch.

That evening I had such a terrible painful bloat.

I slept it off.

Day 2:

I had another quinoa bowl for lunch. Same combo, quinoa, Brussel sprouts and cauliflower. About an hour later, another painful, bloated belly. This time it was accompanied by a massive headache and gas.

Now I’m wondering what the hell is going on and I’m evaluating what I’ve eaten over the previous 5 or so days.

My husband and I thought maybe it could have been the cupcake I had on Valentine’s Day (FYI the cupcake was from a 100% gluten free bakery…the owner has Celiac, so she knows how careful to be with gluten!). I almost never have that much sugar. I don’t avoid sugar completely, but it’s only in tiny dosages in a granola bar or protein bites. I had that cupcake 4 days ago so it couldn’t possibly be the cupcake at this point.

Day 3:

For lunch, I had the same combo (quinoa, Brussel sprouts and cauliflower). Same reaction; painful bloating, headache now with added terrible dizziness. So, then we thought could it be the quinoa? It was not certified gluten free so maybe it was the quinoa.

Day 4:

Since we had suspicions that it could be the quinoa that was “gluten free” but wasn’t certified gluten free, I decided to have rice with the roasted veggies. Everything else in my diet stayed the same. An hour after lunch with a rice bowl now instead of quinoa, it happened again. And now 4 days in, the symptoms are getting worse and worse with constant painful bloating, gas, massive headaches on and off all day and dizziness so bad I felt drunk. I was now confused, frustrated and at a lost for what the hell was going on with my body.

At this point I’m getting anxiety-ridden, frustrated, upset and more. What is going on? So, I had to evaluate my diet again. Maybe it wasn’t the rice or the quinoa. Maybe veggies. I know broccoli and cauliflower can cause bloating in some. It never did for me, but maybe my body doesn’t want 2 of my favorite veggies anymore, sad tears. So, I did a little research and sure enough Brussel sprouts and cauliflower can cause bloating and gas. So, I thought the next day I would take that out of my lunch.

Day 5:

For lunch this day, I had eggs on gluten free toast with tomatoes and basil. An hour later, bloating was back and in full force. THEN! My husband and I realized I had also started eating more oatmeal. I have been having oatmeal every morning for breakfast for the past week. Now, the oats are from a certified gluten free facility, so seemingly, safe I suppose. Thanks to another Google search, come to find out A LOT of those with Celiac and with Gluten sensitivities have reactions to oats.

So now, I thought it was over. I thought I had cracked it. It was the oats. Maybe my body was reacting because I was having it every day. Maybe I could still have them every once in a while. So, I thought I would take a break from oats for the weekend since I thought that was what was giving me issues.

Day 6 & 7 & 8:

I had eggs for breakfast. No oats. There was still bloating that came and went. Not as painful though but still there.

Day 9:

Monday morning, February 24th, my husband made everyone breakfast while I was getting lunches ready and clothes picked out for school. He made oatmeal for everyone. We both thought, well it’s been a few days without oats so I’m sure my body is good now. For lunch I had a salad, sweet potatoes and a chicken sausage. About an hour after lunch, the painful bloating was back, and it was angry. I was in so much pain. It was accompanied by a headache and dizziness and now brain fog.

I shook my head. It HAD to be the oats I had for breakfast this morning. I must cut them out permanently.

Day 10:

Today, February 25th, for breakfast I had eggs and a cup of coffee. Lunch I had roasted sweet potatoes and a protein shake. An hour after lunch the painful bloating was back, headache was back, dizziness was back and now, I’m in tears.

Have I said yet how frustrated I am?!

Then this afternoon, I took my boys to karate and mentioned to a sweet friend of mine my issues this past week. I showed her that awful picture of my bloat above.

Her and I share a gluten free lifestyle. She is unsure if she has Celiac as she was never tested for it, but she suspects that she might have Celiac, so she lives gluten free as a result. She was actually the very first person I reached out to after my diagnosis to ask for recipes and help navigating this strange world of living gluten free. Her and I were pregnant at the same time with our youngest kiddos and had a special bond then with prenatal yoga and mommy group playdates, and now our bond includes gluten free living!

Anyway, when I mentioned to her my bad week of not knowing what I’m reacting to, when I mentioned the oats, she said that she reacts to them too. She thought I must be either reacting to the oats or something else. She suggested a muscle test to test for food sensitivities. I have a giant alert on my calendar to make that phone call first thing in the morning to make that appointment! So, stayed tuned for details on how that goes!

Talking to that sweet friend gave me a bit of hope that there are answers out there and that I CANNOT give up. I may be frustrated and in pain. I may be struggling to find the energy to do normal everyday things and struggling to have the energy to volunteer at my son’s school, PTA responsibilities, my regular workout routine and keeping our house running efficiently. But I must keep on my journey of health and wellness!

If you have been following me on this blogging journey or have known me for even a short period of time, you know I am stubborn, and I DO NOT give up! I’m going to figure this out. I’m going to feel better soon. I’m going to heal. I’m going to have answers. I’m going to be transparent and I’m going to need lots of good vibes and prayers from you all, so I can follow my own advice ha!!

“Never allow anyone to take away your sparkle. Be kind and laugh and love often.”

Cheers, Tracy

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