If you suffer from any type of chronic gut troubles, you can probably relate to my story that I’m about to share with you. Heartburn, gnawing upper stomach pain, severe acid indigestion and bloating, and hours upon hours that have been spent making sure I’m within reach of a bathroom.
This digestive nightmare started right after I had my gallbladder removed 9 years ago. Since then I’ve had “flare ups” or “episodes” as described above time after time, never knowing what was causing me to feel so sick. What confused me the most was whatever this “condition” was, it never really seemed to have a pattern. Sometimes I was in pain once in a while, then I had a whole year where I could eat anything I wanted at anytime and felt great. Since the beginning of January this year, it’s been the most persistent it’s ever been so I sought out my primary and specialist’s guidance for the 3rd time.
I started all over again with the tests: blood, ultra sound, MRI, stool sample. I had an endoscopy done after the surgery for the same exact symptoms but everything came back normal. This time around I was diagnosed from having everything from Irritable Bowel Syndrome(IBS) to postcholecystectomy syndrome(PCS), to just plain old anxiety.
Recently I decided I was fed up with the lack of help I was receiving and decided to take matters into my own hands. Although I tested negative for Celiac disease, I put myself on a gluten elimination diet for 2 weeks. Today marks day 7. I’ve had no stomach pain, no bloating, and my bathroom visits are more regular. I’ve also noticed that I don’t have that bloated heavy feeling in my stomach anymore that I used to feel immediately after ingesting gluten. I’ve had 2 heartburn episodes, but the first one happened right after I ate a crouton that I was unaware contained red pepper flake and onion. That’s another thing…I cannot tolerate anything spicy. Not even garlic or pepper. I’ve been on a very bland diet for months. The second episode followed a situation that was just very emotional for me, and I do have a history of anxiety and panic disorder, so I’m chocking it up to stress as of right now.
I figure no matter what’s up with my gut situation, I can only benefit from going gluten- free, even if it only makes me feel somewhat better and not completely cured. Then again, this is only day 7 and it takes about 2 weeks to really feel the difference, so let’s take that into consideration:)
While searching for new foods to incorporate into my diet, I came across a gluten-free bakery in Stirling NJ. It’s called Gluten Free Gloriously and they are a gluten-free dream! They have everything from breads to desserts to cookies…and more! You can also find baked goods that are dairy free and nut free too. After speaking with owner Kathie Schwarz I left her bakery with a bag of english muffins, a chocolate chip cookie, a brownie, and 4 salted caramel cupcakes:
I made sure I sampled everything in the next 2 days, and it all tasted delicious! I can still enjoy my homemade egg mcmuffin sandwiches as usual. Everything at Gluten Free Gloriously is freshly baked every day then frozen that same day so you can eat fresh food whenever you want it. If you live in NJ but you’re far from Stirling, you can find their food sold in other select NJ stores.
If you are following a gluten-free diet for any reason, this is a great place to go. I hope I’ve given those of you who need it a new destination to find amazing food that you can eat. I’m hoping this journey sheds light on what I’ve been going through for the past 9 years. I’m hoping my readers can share any advice or ideas that I haven’t thought of thus far. Do any of you have these symptoms? Did you ever figure out what it was? What are your personal symptoms of Celiac disease or having gluten intolerance? Can dairy cause these symptoms as well? Please leave your comments below, as I could really use all the insight I can get. Thanks so much for reading, and wishing you all health and happiness :)