Sunday, June 3, 2007

Living with Celiac Disease & Fructose Intolerance

"Faery Dance" (c)2003
Acrylic on Panel, 12"x16"

(c) All Rights Reserved
I decided to write down a bit of my life story because I get a lot of questions from people going through similar experiences wondering what I eat, how I was diagnosed, etc. In 2003 I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease (No gluten- wheat, barley, rye & oats) after living a life of digestive distress. Then in 2006 I was diagnosed with fructose intolerance (no fruit across the board, and very limited veggies in my diet). Even though my diet is very restricted, I am the healthiest I have ever been and feel good for the first time in many, many years. My life back. It is wonderful!

My story in a nutshell: (Well, it is longer than I thought.. You might want to sit back with a cup of tea)
I have always had problems with my digestion; starting as an infant where part of my intestines were removed. Problems remained throughout time. (I can tell you where most bathrooms are in any place I have been- true story!) I always knew it was caused from food, even when doctors told me that there was no such thing as food allergies or problems (this is when I was a child). But to feel well, I kept trying to figure it out by eliminating foods that I “thought” made me sick. For the longest time I blamed everything on meat- so I thought being a vegetarian (14 years) would answer all my problems. It didn’t. I kept getting worse and remained a medical mystery. Because I was misdiagnosed for most of my life, Gluten & Fructose took a toll on my system and caused other health problems. Finally, in my mid-30’s a medical abstract came across my desk on Celiac Disease. I thought someone wrote a book on me. Thankfully, I found a good doctor who tested me for it, and sure enough, this is the problem. Within weeks, I began seeing improvement. But I didn’t fully get better. Then after another Mayo Clinic quest, I was tested & diagnosed with fructose intolerance. I am feeling so much better following these diets- better than I have ever felt. With diet, Spring Forest Qigong, Psych-K, traditional & complementary medicine, etc. I have found much improvement. So now I am basically a meat & potatoes girl, which is kind of funny after being a vegetarian for so many years. Family & friends still take a double look at me when I am eating meat. So even though my life has been a rollercoaster; I can thank prayer & insight/intuition, great doctors & healers, determination & persistence, etc. as helping me live each day creating wellness for myself & helping others. I am a testimony that life can improve and can become full again.

So, in future Blog entries, I’ll share more tips, food ideas & recipes, & things that helped in my healing process. I want to share this information so that no one else has to suffer for decades with a disease that is very treatable with diet. It might not be fun, but it is so worth it to feel good again! One of my doctors said “You can do this” as I stared back at her with wide eyes. And she was right. It can be done.


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