I’ve Been ‘Glutened’ – Now What?

Life as a Celiac: Bringing your own lunch to work/school, bringing your own snacks if you go out to the bars with some friends (or even just to the movies), and on occasion bringing your own gluten free side to your family dinner because they’re not quite sure what this so called “gluten”thing is. When you go to a restaurant you’re sure to tell them you have an “allergy” just so they take you serious (since people seem to not understand Celiac Disease is indeed a real life thing some people have to live with and not just a trendy diet to lose weight). You do all of these things so naturally after awhile, you’re a so called “Celiac Expert”. And then BOOOM, you eat a bite of gluten on accident either due to cross-contamination, people not taking you seriously, or hey, maybe we’re not perfect and we were 100% positive that sushi roll was gluten free when in reality it wasn’t. So, what do you do now?


∴Just a little disclaimer that I am not an expert or a healthcare professional. This is all based off of my experiences and what happens and works for me. ∴

The tips that I mention here help make my recovery better, with that being said it doesn’t magically fix anything but it does help me a bit & also makes me more comfortable while my body is going through a rough time. I want to talk a bit about my symptoms and what I personally experience after eating gluten, that way it will be easier for you to understand which tips may be helpful or not so helpful depending on what you experience!

Symptom of being ‘glutened’: Everyone experiences different symptoms, which makes sense considering everyone’s bodies are different. For me, I usually experience severe stomach bloating and cramping about 2 hours after eating gluten (give or take). The next day(s) I feel extremely drowsy, (tmi but…) diarrhea, stomach cramping, occasional headaches, along with anxiety/depression. My symptoms also relate to how much gluten I have just consumed. Once I ate a whole bowl of cocktail sauce (not realizing it contained wheat) and puked later that night. Now, in normal cases, I usually eat about 2-3 bites and then realize what I have done. Even with 2-3 bites, my symptoms usually drag out to be about a week long before my stomach starts to go back to normal and I begin to regain energy. With that being said, lets move onto the juice tips.


Tips: I realize some of these tips won’t apply to everyone, so I am going to highlight the symptom corresponding with the tip so you can navigate through all this info a bit better.

  • Rest, Rest, Rest: (Everyone).

〉 Rest is crucial to anyone who is Celiac and just ate Gluten. Your body is going through a major ‘crisis’ I guess we can call it. You need to chill out and give your body the rest it needs right now. Don’t try to brush it off and “push through” it right now because your body NEEDS the rest – you’ll thank yourself later.

  • Hydrate: (Everyone, especially my vomiting and diarrhea peeps).

〉I know these first two tips seem pretty simple and almost common sense, but I needed to mention them because they’re both very important. Water will help flush your system out and move the evil along and out of your body. Not to mention, if you suffer from vomiting or diarrhea your body will definitely need the extra fluids going through you. Coconut water is also really good since it contains electrolytes that your body might be depleted of after (well, after you know what).

  • Digestive Enzymes: (Everyone)

〉Digestive enzymes help break down the actual gluten that you just ate, helping it get out of your system even faster. I personally use papaya enzymes. I keep them in my purse and will have a few after eating a meal – even if I didn’t just eat gluten. They help your body break down everything thats going on inside, not to mention the ones I take have a mint flavor so it gives you fresh breath after eating!

  • Stop Inflammation(!): (Everyone)

〉We, as Celiacs, are blessed (sarcasm) with naturally more inflammation in our bodies than the average human being. However, after eating gluten, this inflammation can spike causing pain (& damage). Some easy things you can do are add some of these foods into your diet. Omega-3’s (chia seeds, fish oil, flax seeds), however you want to add them! Ginger is also really good for anti-inflammatory and can also help with nausea and stomach cramping. Lastly, the lovely turmeric is also important. You can add turmeric into capsules if you don’t want to incorporate it into your food. I do recommend trying to slowly add some of these things to your diet before you get ‘glutened’ since incorporating new foods to your body after eating gluten can make the problem worse.

  • Bone Broth: (Recovery, Cramping, Gut health)

〉Bone broth is super good for gut health and overall just nourishing our body. I understand not many people like the taste of bone broth. I personally buy powdered bone broth so I can easily add it to my smoothies everyday to support gut recovery. If I eat gluten, I can mix it with hot water and chug it down to help my insides. The brand I have also has many different flavors so there should be a type everyone will like. I can link the brand I use below incase you’re on the market for a powdered bone broth that is gluten free. If bone broth just seems too unappealing for you, try a ginger tea to help soothe your gut.

  • Food: (Upset Stomach, Diarrhea, Nausea)

〉 When I’ve been glutened, food is the last thing I want & probably the last thing my body wants. Food is crucial to keep our energy levels up and to nourishing our body. So, in order for me to be able to eat my normal healthy foods again, I’ll usually start off by just drinking some plain liquids like water, ginger ale, or some tea. Once my stomach seems like it can tolerate these things I move onto something very plain like my almond crackers or a piece of toast. Make sure to avoid dairy at this time since your stomach will be in no shape to digest that right now.

  • Prebiotic and Probiotics: (Recovery)

〉Prebiotics are essentially food for probiotics so it’s important to always eat or take some sort of prebiotic when wanting to use probiotics effectively. I almost didn’t want to include this tip because when starting a high strain (good & effective) probiotic you can naturally become more bloated until your body gets used to them. So, with that being said, pre and probiotics are very important to celiacs and can be really useful after eating gluten. However, I would definitely start taking these normally before just adding them into your system for the first time after being glutened. Maybe opt for some kombucha that will be a little more gentle on your gut (plus you can get a ginger kombucha and double up on the healing effects).

  • Epsom Salt Bath/Heating Pad/Pain Medication: (Discomfort, Headaches, Stomach Cramps)

 〉If your symptoms are anything like mine, it can feel like you’re being stabbed in the stomach after eating gluten. Baths are a great way to help with cramps and really soothe + relax your body! Unfortunately, I am extremely prone to UTI’s and kidney infections, so baths usually aren’t my go to. If you’re also like me in that sense, try a heading pad on your stomach to help the cramps. Advil or Tylenol are usually a must for me also when my headaches are bad.

  • Communicate/Exercise/Journaling: (Anxiety+Depression)

〉I often forget that being glutened will come with waves of anxiety and depression. It isn’t until I start an argument over nothing or randomly start crying that I remember this. It is important to communicate with loved ones in your life and let them know what is going on. They can help you insanely and it will prevent from unwanted conflict that you never wanted to start in the first place. After a few days of rest, light exercise is also a good option to help rid some of that unwanted anxiety. If you still feel too sick to exercise but are suffering from anxiety & depression, try journaling how you feel – this always helps me when I’m feeling a bit down.

This last little bit isn’t really a tip but I never addressed what I do for feeling fatigued so I’m going to say what helps me right here. I know this is bad and you should avoid caffeine since it is an irritant and will only make the problem worse. However, I haven’t mastered what to do for my energy levels when I feel extremely fatigued even after resting. So, I do drink about 1/4 of a cup of coffee, just enough to give me a little jump start but not entirely ruin my stomach. I am someone who is extremely sensitive to caffeine as it is. Again, I DON’T RECOMMEND CAFFEINE, however, I am being honest and thats just what I do.

I hope some of these little things i’ve learned help you! I’m going to put some links to some of the things I use and help me below.

xoxo ♥ Jess

Bone Broth

Heating Pad

Papaya Enzyme

 

 

 

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A “serious” topic:

b3f71b46c6eb5721c39818d62b484b80If you’ve read any of my earlier posts you might have caught on to the fact that i struggled with anxiety and depression in my early high school years that has pretty much stayed with me until now, 19. One thing that i have never done is give up on the hope that anxiety/depression can be cured without medication and the belief that there is an underlying cause to all of it. So, that is what i wanted to write about today.

2017 has been a crazy year for me so far. I have grown up so much within the last couple of years and have really started to open my eyes. I have realized surrounding myself with people i can have fun and laugh with is more important than staying with people whom i was just with to feel “safe”. I have realized it is okay to argue with loved ones as long as you realize you’re doing it out of love and not hate. I have learned how important it is to take a leap of faith and pray to God that he is out there. I have realized that somehow all of this stuff related to my anxiety.

Not many people know that i was suicidal in high school. It is a topic I’m not really comfortable talking about because i never wanted to be judged or looked at as an attention seeker. However, i’ve come to realize how many people have felt this way and it is sad not many feel they can openly talk about it. Feeling like there is no out to how shitty you feel is a very real and painful thing to experience. Even worse, it’s often hard to get out of that mindset once you are there.

What I’m trying to get at is there is a way out. I know, because i have been there. I was too afraid to be myself; to leave certain things/people behind. I associated those things with the word “safe”, in reality those “safe” things were crushing me. Those “safe” things were keeping me in a never ending cycle of anxiety. I didn’t need anything or anyone to be there for me and i knew that. However, realizing that took me so long and having the courage to leave it all behind took even longer.

No matter what age you are, it is never too late to realize that life is supposed to be fun. Sitting in a room, clutching onto things you think will somehow “fix” you will do the exact opposite. Doing things that scare you to death are what make you grow and change as a person. You need to take leaps (sometimes what may feel huge) in order to change. Change is good, even though i tend to avoid it.

We all deserve that crazy fun laughing 24/7 kind of life. Now, i know that isn’t realistic, but it is something we should strive for. I still have my days where the thought of school, work, or even just seeing people makes me want to cry. Where bed seems like it is impossible to leave. I know that feeling–because i have been there and sometimes still go back there for a day. However, surrounding yourself with so much positivity and fun vibes makes everything different. Force yourself to do things, you won’t regret it. We shouldn’t have to hide our feelings of anxiety & depression because most people will experience it some way or another. It is how we deal with it that ultimately shapes our lives.

Just a random rant for everyone because i have been feeling so much better lately and just wanted to share that sometimes forcing yourself to do things can change your life for the better.

xoxo, Jess

Celiac Disease: Your road to recovery!

Sit tight because you’re in for a longer blog post today! I get very passionate about this topic and can get carried away so i apologize in advance for this more wordy post.

When i finally found out i had Celiac Disease i felt relief. I thought to myself “yes! I finally figured out that is wrong with me now the only thing left is to avoid gluten completely and i will be back to normal in no time!”. HAHA was i wrong about that! Celiac Disease is in fact a DISEASE. It is an autoimmunity and will take time, patience, and knowledge. However, there is light at the end of this tunnel and you can definitely feel better than you could ever imagine but it takes time and effort so don’t give up! Here are some of my tips for starting out or even just trying to figure out why you may not be feeling well yet.

1. KNOWLEDGE: Get informed about Celiac Disease. When i first was diagnosed i didn’t know that Celiacs was an Autoimmune Disease, i had no idea what gluten was, and i had no idea how serious it could be. A person with Celiac Disease will process, absorb, and react differently to everything and anything that goes into your body. Understanding your body and what makes you feel good and what doesn’t is pretty much key. You may need to avoid other foods besides just gluten. When people think of gluten they think of wheat when in fact gluten is just a protein found in wheat and many other things. It is also used as a preservative in many foods so always read the labels!! Gluten has several different names and labels can be tricky. Be on the lookout for any of these words because it is code word for gluten:

Atta, bad aha, bread flour, bulgar, cake flour, cereal extract, couscous, cracked wheat, durum flour, farina, gluten, graham flour, high-gluten flour, high-protein flour, gamut flour, laubina, leche slim, malted cereals – and that is only to name a few!

The list goes on and on. Another thing to be aware of is gluten free labels. Unless a product says Certified Gluten Free is doesn’t have to be gluten free! I was taking iron pills containing gluten for months since the label said gluten free but i read the ingredients one day and was shocked! The vitamins contained Gluten and Wheat. Unless a product is Certified – don’t trust it.

2. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF DOCTORS/NUTRITIONISTS: For many months after i discovered i had Celiac Disease i found myself resenting doctors. I was so frustrated at the fact of how ill i had been feeling and all the wasted blood tests i took when all the symptoms added up perfectly. This changed after i learned some more stuff about Celiacs. Doctors are trying to piece together the same puzzle you are. The difference between you and them is the first hand symptoms that only YOU know about. They don’t know how bad your stomach hurts, or how easily you bruise, or the fact that some days you didn’t eat at all because you feared becoming nauseas after anything you put into your body. You need to communicate these things to your doctor, be completely honest, and do your own research. 20,000 hours of reading later i found out all the things that are more common for people with Celiac Disease (such as hypothyroidism, vitamin D deficiency, and anemia) so what i did was ask my doctor to order these blood tests for me and TA-DA!! I came back positive for all 3 things, but since i put my health into my own hands and took action i was able to discover these things and work with my doctor to get them solved.

As for nutritionists – i have a love hate. I love all the information i learn from them every time i go in,  i love the outlook that diet and exercise can fix a lot of health problems before giving up and getting on medication for the rest of your life. However, i hate the trial and error it takes to find a good nutritionist that clicks with you. This can be a tedious task and can sometimes make you feel even worse but once you find the right one for you it will all be worth it! Be prepared for all the crazy and extreme diets they’ll put you on. Keep an open mind and try them anyway! At this point there is no harm in trying anything new. This road to recovery is about figuring out your body and what works best for you – everyone is different.

3. DIET/EXERCISE/& VITMINS: The last people think about with Celiac Disease is confidence but really this is a huge thing when you don’t feel good. When you don’t feel good you don’t think you look good which gives you zero self confidence and self-worth. I remember just laying in bed feeling so bad and frustrated with myself. All the bruises from being anemic made me not want to wear shorts, my thyroid wasn’t working so i felt fat but didn’t have any energy to work out. I was surrounded by people telling me to just run for 15 minutes and you’ll have so much energy but in reality those 15 minutes took every last drop of energy i had and made me feel worse after. I still struggle with exercise even though i feel 100x better than i did before i started my journey. I still deal with the tiredness that comes afterwards and i still don’t feel amazing after i do it (i won’t lie). What i can say though is exercise is a huuuuge part in feeling better. The benefits that come from it will be amazing for your body and it does get easier i can promise you that. So even if you can only walk around the block or run for 10 minutes – start there!! Anything is better than nothing at this point.

Vitamins!! One of my favorite things (i know I’m weird, okay). This is where nutritionists and doctors can really help. Taking a few simple blood tests to see where your body is at vitamin wise is a good place to start. Then take those results to a nutritionist and have them help set up a vitamin routine and diet plan. Remember, with Celiac Disease your body absorbs things differently so even thought you’re taking all these vitamins your body won’t totally be able to absorb it all yet. Certain diets and foods help to aid intestine recovery and also aid in vitamins being able to absorb more. Investing in some good vitamins will go a long way and your body will thank you!

I am in no way an expert on anything, i am still learning myself. I am just trying to share my experiences and what i wish someone would have told me in the beginning before having to try and figure everything out myself. You will get better i promise!! Effort and time will be your greatest tools in this whole thing. You’re not alone in this battle to health.

xoxo, Jess

 

Celiac Disease | My Story

Hello internet world! I have been long gone on this blog and that can be for 2 main reasons. 1/ being i am just a lazy college student (lol) and 2/ for a more serious reason i had no idea what i wanted to do with this blog. Like a lot of things in my life, it was a spur of the moment decision to get a blog and had no idea what i intended to put on it! With all that being said, i have decided where i would like this to go. For all of my Celiac buddies out there or just anyone interested in nutrition you’ll probably like this the most! I hope to share my Celiac Disease story and my journey as i learn new stuff about my disease and what works for me to hopefully help some of you!

As i have previously mentioned i am a college student. I am currently 18 years old and was diagnosed with Celiac Disease about 7 months ago and have been on a gluten free diet since then. To make this blog post a little bit shorter i am just going to say some of the symptoms i had prior and all the false diagnosis i was given (it’s crazy how doctors can be so wrong sometimes! so trust and listen to what your body is telling you!!).

From a very early age i was always sick. Sinus infections, bronchitis, whooping cough, swine flu, pneumonia, mono (3x!!), the list just goes on and on! I was a pretty healthy kid for the most part. I was on several different sports teams and doing what every other kid did. In 4th grade i got eczema and doctors gave me some creams to for it and my parents harassed me to “just drink more water” and we never thought about an underlying cause for any of it. Skin can be a major telling sign for Celiac Disease! Then 8th grade and freshmen year rolled around and i started getting severe stomach pains (and i mean severe!). I would lay in bed crying unable to do anything. My friends would ask to hang out and i would always have to say no whenever my stomach pain was acting up – which was quite often. On top of stomach pain i would get flooded with anxiety and panic attacks. I remember sitting in class and suddenly feeling so trapped, sweating like no other, and feeling the need to just bolt out of there. I told my parents all of these things, so a doctors trip is what ended up happening. They diagnosed me with depression at the age of 13 and recommended either counseling or antidepressants.

Mental illness is a real thing and i am in no way hating on antidepressants or the fact that it is a real disease! However, i did not have depression because of a chemical imbalance in my brain-i had it because of all these other people not realizing my big red warning signs and then just writing me off with being depressed. I quickly became frustrated with doctors. To be fair to them however, we (as our own beings) need to take control of out own health. Do research yourself. Use doctors as a tool and ask for your own blood work-don’t just rely on someone else to figure your problem out! That is what i learned.

As for the vitamin deficiencies and other warning signs: I have hypothyroidism, i was anemic for about 4 or 5 years (prior to this diet), as well as other vitamins depleted such as Vitamin D.

My dad thought that i might have Celiacs, so i went and talked to a nutritionist and got tested and turns out he was right! However, another thing that makes me angry is they tell you that you have Celiac Disease and their advice is to stop eating gluten. Only 8% of people with Celiac Disease can be cured with just going gluten free! There is so much more that goes into it, and that is why i’m here!

Celiac Disease is not just a food allergy. It is an autoimmune disease. Yes, going gluten free is definitely necessary but other factors play a role in the healing process. When someone with Celiac Disease ingests Gluten (a protein that can be found in wheat, rye, barley, and also used as a preservative in some cases) the body begins to attack its small intestine, where the gluten can actually stick to your intestine. After this continual attack on itself, your small intestine is left damaged and inflamed. They say all disease starts in the gut, and in this case it’s true! With the small intestine being damaged, your body can’t absorb all of the nutrients that it needs to absorb. Leaving your body depleted of all the good stuff it needs to function!! So yes, going gluten free is one step in the right direction! But take advantage of the food you put into your body to help heal the damage that is there-because most likely it won’t just go away on its own. Finding a good dietician and taking the right supplements will further you on your journey to a healthy life.

I have struggled with so much from Celiac Disease and know how frustrating it can be. Good days are ahead of you and bad days are also ahead of you. Support definitely helps! It can be scaring not knowing so much about a disease that you have. Feeling like you’ll never have energy and be “normal” can get to you. But trust me-you can get better! I will be posting more frequently and sharing all the tips and supplements i take, along with food that i find to work for my stomach but also takes better than cardboard! Embrace your body and your Celiac. It will get better and you will feel better than ever!

The long journey is ahead of us, xoxo-jess