10 Years Gluten Free!

Back in 2002, I'd just moved out of halls in Cheltenham and I was living in a shared house with some friends. It should have been one of the happiest and most carefree times of my life, but I was plagued with IBS. My symptoms seemed to start when I was around 12-13. Through my teens it got worse and worse. By 2002, I was spending evenings in bed with a hot water bottle, gripped with stomach spasms, wind and bloating. I'd put on the 'fresher 13' during my first year of uni and that along with the bloating made me feel dumpy and miserable. I'd always been a skinny kid and have a naturally high metabolism so the 6 month pregnant look was really affecting my self confidence.

I can't remember what I read or heard that made me try a food exclusion diet to see if anything I was eating was causing my problems.
One morning I got up and decided that today was the day to give it a go, I couldn't go on as I was any longer.
I decided to eat just one thing on the first day - that one thing was cereal as it was probably the only thing I had in to eat. The cereal happened to be Wheatabix!
Straight away, my stomach gurgled and churned and I spent the rest of the day bloated.
The next day, I ate other things, but tried the Wheatabix again at tea time. This time there was no doubting the effect on my body.

That summer, I altered my diet and cut out wheat completely. Within days I felt like a different person.
In two weeks, my bloating was gone and I was having bowel movements that I imagined 'normal people' must have, but to me felt amazing! It's embarrassing to discuss but it needs to be said! I realised for the first time in my life how abnormal my bowel movements were before. It was not uncommon for me to go 7-10 days between poos.

The change in my life was profound and I've tried ever since to spread the word and try to stop other people from suffering in silence. Above all, I want people to know that a 'free from' diet is not all that bad. I've lost count of the number of people who've told me they've got IBS and regularly get intense pain from certain foods, but go on to say 'I just couldn't give up bread. What's the point of living'!

My diet isn't simple to say the least. Because I have an intolerance, rather than an allergy or celiac disease, my intolerances come and go. I've recently discovered I can't tolerate eggs or milk. My husband just discovered an intolerance to chillis! Soon there'll be nothing we can eat (j/k!)
Amazingly, a celiac recently told me they felt lucky that they only had to worry about gluten! It's not often that you make a celiac feel lucky to be celiac!

Anyhoo, I'm going to do a little give-away soon to celebrate my 10 years without the wicked grain.



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