Sunday, September 25, 2011

Am I Gluten and Dairy Intolerant?

I think so.

Since my wisdom tooth surgery, I have been being nicer to my body and getting more protein. Part of that involved paying more attention to my metabolism - which right now is kind of crazy slow. Lame. But I digress. In paying more attention to that, I noticed that certain things make me feel horrible - not just sick to my stomach horrible, but I noticed that my RA starts to flare up more after certain foods. I thought maybe it was junk food. So then I cut back on that again and felt a little better. But the healthier I eat, the more I notice other issues.

When I eat things with a lot of wheat, or really any bread, my asthma picks up. And then about 20-45 minutes later, I feel crazy sick to my stomach. So I stopped eating bread. And then I noticed eating cereal did the same thing. I love cheese, and noticed the same thing while eating some.

And it occurred to me that what I've heard from people for years about dairy and wheat agitating RA could be right. So I stopped eating those things as much and have noticed that my arthritis is calming down.

Gluten intolerance symptoms are here. I'm amazed at how many I experience, and even more amazed that listed on there is juvenile idiopathic arthritis. It's just crazy. Lactose intolerance symptoms are here. I've always had rumbly tummy noises (to quote Pooh Bear), but never really knew why. Now it makes sense.

Supposedly, along with gluten intolerance comes an intolerance to fructose and sorbitol. Sorbitol I don't really encounter, because it is mostly in gums and diet foods and such that I can't have because of my allergy to phenylalanine. But frutctose I encounter a lot... because my worst vice is soda. I've always used caffeine to help control my pain, and I know that I shouldn't for many reasons, but I do. Oops. I also noticed recently that soda tends to increase the pain that I feel in my hands. So that's fun. I'm down to one soda a day (mostly) but have also noticed that I'm drinking alcohol more... which supposedly also helps RA be less intense. And I'm not an alcoholic looking for an excuse - there are studies! I promise!

So in the past few weeks, the boyfriend and I have begun eating at home more, incorporating more healthy grains and vegetables into our diet. We still eat out one or two days a week, but we save it for the weekends (or special occasions) and it's only one meal a day. We are spending more money at the grocery store, but less money elsewhere, and that is also helpful. It's not always easy to find foods without dairy or gluten, but I'm finding out the best places to look, and that's a start. Whole Foods has a lot, but so does Woodmans, a local grocery store.

It's fun to eat healthier, and I feel so much better lately. The only thing that will make it better is my upcoming job change. Standing on my feet for 8+ hours, the stress, and all the things I end up doing extra are not worth the pain that I then experience... especially since it seems as though my current employers could really care less about the accommodations that I need... which is really sad, but oh well I guess. I could be mean, and take it further, but since I'm leaving I won't. I'll just get excited about this being my last real week, save two more shifts the weekend after next.

4 comments:

  1. Great post. It's such a pain trying to work out what aggravates arthritis but worth it when you do (although I'm so with you on pumpkin - if that ever caused me probs, I'd cry!). There is quite a bit of research linking crohns and colitis to some types of arthritis too (like my PA) so I think tummy probs are almost an added occupational hazard for us lot! Be really interested to hear how you get on without the gluten and if it makes a difference (if you are at all interested I'm a nutritionist and have a blog on cooking with arthritis - links on my name - might be helpful as there are quite a few gluten free recipes there as my OH can't eat wheat)

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's hard doing a completely new diet change, but obviously you're seeing great results so that's definitely a motivator! I'm glad to hear that eliminating these foods has helped. When it comes to my diet, I try to be as strict as possible, but I just try to be more aware of what I eat - if I eat something with dairy or grains, I just know to be prepared for extra pain. Giving yourself some slack every now and then is important ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've tried many different diets and work out programs over the years. This past year I finally found some answers to my own struggles. It turns out I'm lactose (dairy) intolerant and sensative to gluten. When I read most high protien diet plans they include whole grains and dairy. I'm hesitant to buy p90x knowing that there are meal plans I cannot follow. How do I effectively use the plans? Is there a vegan version of the diet plans?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As far as I know, there are not allergen friendly versions of these plans. Protein isn't really in whole grains. Most high protein diets actually consist mostly of meats. Probably one of the best things for you to look into would be the paleo diet, which I'm set up to try pretty soon here. You eliminate processed foods and grains and just eat, essentially, what the cavemen had around - fruits, veggies, and meat. Drinking soy milk instead of just lactose free will also help, as soy milk has on average about twice as much protein as cow milk.

      Delete