I am kind of chucking a bit of a “tanty” here…at myself!
In 2006, my husband and I went with a group of people over to Fiji on a mission trip. We visited some very remote islands and like all foreign places, told to be careful with the drinking water…basically don’t consume it at all! So we didn’t drink the water, but I HAD to brush my teeth in it one night after a massive evening of ministry at the local church. In my tiredness I had forgotten the golden rule and paid for it by spending the night and early hours of the morning in the most agony I have experienced up to that point in my life. Incredible stomach cramps that were like many tiny knives striking my lower abdomen, vomiting, diarrhoea….it was so so painful! I spent the entire night outside in the pitch black stillness under the stars trying to stop myself from crying out from the pain in my gut. The next day our mission team was flying off the island to head back to the main land. As soon as we landed at Nadi airport my sickness had basically gone……but I was forever after that to experience chronic tummy problems.
That Fiji moment is the pin-point in time of when I began my struggle with tummy pains, headaches, fuzziness and extreme tiredness. I didn’t realise this until last year when I had my first miscarriage and blamed myself thinking my body was just retarded and couldn’t hack building a baby. So, all down on myself I headed to a naturopath thinking I needed something to sort myself out. I knew I had issues with my tummy and I was significantly more tired than usual, but I had been tested for various things through the doctor I was seeing at the time and nothing had come up except that I had chronic hypoglycaemia..later linked to my gut problem. My naturopath did many more tests that were more thorough and it was discovered that I was gluten intolerant, and he even threw in the word ‘coeliac’ although I never ended getting fully tested for that. He said there was a time that I had picked up a bug and it was playing havoc with my system. Gluten was feeding it and had caused me to become intolerant to the stuff. The original tests I had through my old doctor couldn’t detect the bug as it was too small. My naturopath instructed me on how to eat so that I eliminated all gluten and temporarily dairy as well (dairy is very hard for an already weak digestive system to absorb and break down). Within a few days, I felt incredible!! My tummy pains went, I woke up in the morning full of life and with a clear head. Energy was just pouring out of me! I lost so much swelling from my body that weight was just dropping off me. Basically, I had previously been unable to absorb any nutrients from my food as my digestive system was very damaged from the gluten I had been eating and the water I was drinking was not being absorbed either. My body just wasn’t functioning properly. Chronic Hypoglycemia was caused by a lack of sugars and nutrients also, so it was all linked. One thing we were to discover later was that my miscarriage had nothing to do with this – a bit of a relief back then.
After a couple of months, things got a little fuzzy for me. I discovered the world of gluten-free products such as bread, pasta, biccies, etc and even though they were gluten-free, they began to give me slight tummy issues anyway. I was finding it hard to eat out, travel, and entertain people…or be entertained at people’s homes. I know now that this was due to my lack of knowledge in how to live a gluten-free life, and this is where my “tanty” comes into play. I am so mad at myself for letting something so debilitating beat me cause I felt it was too hard. I now feel back to the gross way I did before and this whole time I knew I shouldn’t be eating gluten. I have been ignoring it and putting up with the consequences with gritted teeth and clutching my tummy. How could someone be so destructive to their own body when they know what needs to be done….and has experienced the positives before!
An interesting article has been written by the Sydney Morning Herald about how people can be intolerant to gluten and have a negative coeliac test result . I am also educating myself through other people’s blogs. I love reading real people’s perspectives on their trials and errors in finding what works for them rather than from a company or scientist pushing their product.
So, I have come to the crossroads and I am choosing to get educated and serious and live life fully and properly again. The excuse of it being too hard is crap and doesn’t fly with me any more. It is time to grown up and take control.
Wish me luck.