April 13, 2013

food polenta chips

A few years ago, I was tired. Really really tired. Several months, blood tests and a ‘top and tail’ later, I am not coeliac. But I am anaemic as well as having pernicious anemia and Graves’ disease. Two of these three are autoimmune. None can be cured.

But, stubborn little thing that I am, I googled. And googled, and researched. Sound familiar? Apparently, soy can trigger thyroid issues, so I switched back to cows milk. There is also a school of thought that gluten impairs the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Such as vitamin b12 and iron.

So despite coeliac tests being negative, I gave up gluten just before Christmas in 2005.

There were tears. Ceremonial saying goodbye to favourite cookbooks and recipes. But I did it anyway.

A funny thing happened. The chronic abdominal pain went away. The constant bloating went away. Immediately. I was one sausage sizzle away from the bloating and pain. I know, I did tests. Then another thing happened. My Graves went into remission. Doctors say you can’t be cured, but I have been normal for 7 years. And I have gone from monthly b12 injections to once a year. Iron is still a problem.

Oh, and I had a relapse 12 months before I gave up gluten. It took another 8 years for my next.

I don’t know whether gluten was a factor. But I have learned to live without it. All the diet advice for MS suggests healthy living, low sat fat, more fish and minimal to nil processed foods. So, any time I want hot chips, I figure I can have all I want when I am in a wheelchair. But not today. Same with chocolate, cream sauces and cakes. We have all read about the strict diets. I can’t give up meat. Given my inability to absorb iron, that would be dumb. But I am replacing 1-2 meals a week with fish.

I am a living experiment, but aren’t we all.