Gluten-Free Diet Story by Ashley

by Allergy Guy

A gluten free diet can be very beneficial to many people. You may experience more energy. Cutting out gluten may turn your whole life around.

Ashley left this comment on another article (gluten allergy symptoms). It is such a good and useful comment that I’ve turned it into an article.

Ashley talks about the problems she had and how cutting out gluten helped.

She also explains the battle she had with doctors who did not understand that she has a gluten allergy.

Ashley writes:

Hey all, many people seem to have troubles figuring out if they have a gluten allergy. I do have an allergy to gluten, and maybe my story can help some others figure their allergies out. As well as bring up some difficulties there are…

When I was little, I used to eat soup, bread, and Cheez-its religiously. Now if I even smell bread I can feel a brain fog coming on.

My allergies started getting bothersome when I was 13-ish, I noticed that after I ate mac & cheese my ears felt achy and itchy with lots of pressure build-up. Later, in high school I got really tired after lunch & had developed some messed up menstruation cycles. I was on my period for 2 months straight & had iron deficiency because of that–needless to say I’ve been put on birth control to regulate (later on I figured out this could be due to allergies).

Other weird symptoms I noticed was that it became difficult to swallow after eating sandwiches & stuff, so I would force it down with water. I figured I was just taking too big of bites. That was, until summer at camp when my throat swelled up & I couldn’t breathe after eating a chicken pot pie. I forced down water to open my throat up…which pretty much saved my ass. Nobody had seen it happen and I was terrified to eat anything. I finally went to an Allergy Specialist a year later, and my results came back with low allergies to yeast and molds. They wouldn’t give me an EpiPen, but put me on a diet.

Over the last few years I’ve been on a wheat, gluten, mold, and yeast-free diet. My throat hasn’t swelled in a while. But I have new symptoms. Every time I eat “bad foods”, like pizza I get horrid cramps, diarrhea, bloating, and so tired that I’ve woke up on the floor two hours later. The scariest is the feelings of depression. I’ve literally ran out of the bread aisle in the market crying (before that I was having an excellent day). The stomach stuff I can handle, but I’m in college & the fatigue and depression is death when I have classes and all these new stresses. I don’t like eating in the dining hall since they ALWAYS cook processed foods (aka: yeasty paradise) and the smell puts me in a fog.

I havn’t used even half of my meal plan because I can’t eat there, and I’m trying to get out of getting a new plan for the semester (its a requirement of living in the moldy dorms). Plus the plan costs A LOT of money, so why waste money when I’ve got other bills to pay my school? To get the meal plan petitioned I need a note from the Allergy Specialist, but they aren’t being much help since “your second test results came up negative for any allergies–except for environmental molds”. How hard is it for them to pull up my first test results? They put me on the diet, and I feel better when I’m eating that way. But now I’m getting no help when I want to keep myself healthy.

I’ve heard that allergies don’t always show up on allergy tests. My Aunt has a serious allergy to nuts, but she’s never had an allergy test come back positive (She has an EpiPen). I guess this happens often.

What bothers me the most is that my school is wiling to forgo the meal plan, but my doctor (the Allergy Specialist) isn’t listening to me. He signed my petition form, but all his letter says is that I came to him complaining of “severe fatigue” and gave an attached copy of my negative test results. It says nothing about the diet, my original test results, or the fact that my symptoms stopped when I began the diet.

Maybe I’m just venting, but why is it so hard for those of us with allergies to figure it out? I know that gluten symptoms vary a lot, but it just seems like a doctor should want to help out their patients. Just to prevent issues like mine, aone with allergies should hold onto a copy of ANY positive allergy test results they get from a doctor. Because it sucks feeling like you’re defending you’re health alone.

Well, as I’ve been writing this, I’ve finally gotten someone in the Specialists office to give me a copy of my first test results…I’m going to pick them up today. Good Luck to everyone, researching on you’re own is often the only relief. I was lucky to be diagnosed early on, but just trying the diet can be a life-changing experience.

Peace Out!

Thanks for that, Ashley.

(Visited 16,563 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Comment

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tara September 3, 2011 at 13:12

I have been curious lately about this gluten free thing. I have been tested for allergis in the past and have environmental allergies, which include an allergy to mold. I would say for the past 15 years of my life I have been suffering from being extremely tired all the time, mood swings (which also go in perfect line with my menstrual cycle) and not being able to focus. Sometimes I feel like I am in a fog. I have a day here and there where I feel pretty good, but most of the time I am sooooo blasted tired.

I have even felt depressed and been treated for depression. After all my children, postpartom was an issue. I thought the being tired and the depression were from my lack of happiness in my last relationship and where my life was headed. Now, I have everything I could ever want and I still feel so depressed sometimes. Ashley describes it perfect in her article…one minute I am fine and the next, something triggers me to be sad, or angry or irritated. The brain fog is irritating too.

I have looked into several causes of my symptoms. I had an irregular pap and thought maybe it was cancer. Sadly, by the time I had to go back to get the follow up, I had moved and my insurance would no longer cover it, or it would but I would have to travel 2.5 hours to get tested again. I have wondered if it is my thyroid and I have been tested numerous times for that. I had anemia after I was pregnant but have tested fine since. I have wondered if I am just plain crazy! The week before my cycle starts is the worst on all of these symptoms, it is like they become magnified…I hate it!

I have watch for things in articles on TV and in the news that could answer my questions to my nagging symptoms. I have looked into PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder), PID (Pelvic Inflamatory DIsiease), I have looked at Fibromyalgia and when I was in the hospital a year ago with Pneumonia they mentioned that they had tested me for RA cause of the sudden onset of my pneumonia and the levels were slightly elevated but not enough to cause the onset. The bottom line, I have to figure it out on my own because I do not have the insurance to see a doctor and inquire about my issues and the doctors I have seen seem to lack patience and compassion for my concerns. Nothing worse than feeling like a whiner and the doctors looking at me like I am not only a whiner but like I am crazy.

It seems I have also gotten new symptoms of whatever, I have had bouts of my palms itching, burning and swelling. Feels like they have been stung by a dozen bees. I get these litte bumps that give clear liquid when popped or scratched off. I also get this pain in my arms that is so bad I feel like I am having a heart attack, fortuantely my fiancee is an EMT and he has ruled that out in the bouts of pain. Seems I get this pain not long after the bouts of itchy palms or after I exert myself.

So, lately I have seen this gluten intolerance. For some reason, I would like to think that this makes sense to me or I think it may be a solution because of some of the symptoms associated with it. I have noticed that sometimes after I eat I get even more tired. I have never woken up on the floor two hours later, but I have been to the point where I just can’t stay awake any longer. I have been wanting to change my diet for a while now, I have put on way too much weight in the last year (which I seem to chalk that up to my Fiance being the best cook ever!)., the itchy palms, the tiredness, the depression like symptoms…I can’t help but feel like maybe it is an allergic reaction.

I just want to understand why I am tired and moody all the time. These are the most annoying and consistent parts of all the things that seem to come up as I get older. The fatigue has about got me to the point of giving up and crawling in a hole and just giving into the tiredness and sleeping forever.

Thanks for ‘listening’

Tara

Reply

2 Allergy Guy September 3, 2011 at 15:18

Hi Tara,

Your story is unfortunately not all that rare. There are thousands of comments attached to various comments on this website, and quite a few of them are similar to your story in many ways.

Yes, it could be a gluten intolerance you are suffering from, and/or some other food intolerance, in other words if avoiding gluten doesn’t do the trick, keep looking! If removing gluten works, keep looking anyhow, you may find other foods that are problematic. Milk is a common problem for example.

Of course the problem is not that you are crazy, the problem is that no doctor knows everything that is known (and there is still much more to discover in the field of human health), yet many have too big an ego. My theory is that they can’t seem to admit, even to themselves, that they don’t know everything. So they invent a reason to suit them: that the patient is crazy!

It sounds like you’re on the right track for sure. I know how you feel. At this stage it takes a lot of effort to discover the source of the problem, and the effort is magnified by feeling tired from your allergies. Make the effort to keep looking, and get as much help as you can from anyone who is welling to help you.

Good luck!

Reply

3 John Weathers March 7, 2012 at 21:39

I wanted to add some of my experiences in hopes of helping anybody that might be suffering as I have for the past thirty years. I am currently a forty-eight year old male in great health. What has made my life so miserable for so long started when I was nineteen. I woke up one day and my lips were swollen 3-4 times their normal size. I went to the doctor and got the first of many epinepherine injections. From that point forward I have had urticaria and angiodema all over my body daily until very recently. I was chronically constipated. I had learned to live with it and cope but like so many others, I was extremely frustrated with the doctors and allergists I had seen over the years. I was actually told by one doctor that the hot itchy swollen welts all over my back was caused by sensitive skin! I was incenced! All they ever did is charge me a fortune and made a feeble attempt to treat the syptoms with anti-histamines and steroids which yielded very little relief. The allergists stuck me with a thousand needles as did the accupuncurist, and the chiropractor all to no avail. I have tried rotation diets, food combining, self-help books, vitamins, cleanses, colonics, everything I could think of but I still suffered daily. I could not count the number of days I have missed form work, social functions, etc. because of my mystery illness. I had been resigned to the diagnosis of Auto-immune disease for the last ten years or so getting by with loading up on anti-histimines when it flared bad once a week or so. Now for the great part of my story! Thirty years later I have been freed finally from what felt like a curse. It was gluten! The whole time it was gluten! The rotation diets did not eliminate all forms of gluten and I did drink beer regularly. I have been on a gluten-free diet, including beer, for about six weeks and I have no symptoms at all and I feel wonderfull! I am the happiest I have been about my health since I was young. The best part? My adult health-concious daughter helped me figure it out with the help of sites such as this. Thank you for bringing awareness to those needing information. I only hope that my story can help somebody before they have to suffer as long as I have.

John W.

Reply

4 Allergy Guy March 8, 2012 at 09:04

Thanks for sharing your story John, I’m sure it will be very inspiring to others.

It sounds like you ran across a lot of incompetent doctors. The rotational diet you were on obviously was not robust and missed one of the top food sensitivities out there: gluten (surpassed possibly by milk).

Reply

Previous post:

Next post: