You are currently viewing Was it hard to give up gluten?. From Struggle to Triumph.

Was it hard to give up gluten?. From Struggle to Triumph.

A lot of folks have been curious about my experience on how to give up gluten and how I managed to cut it out from my diet.

Being honest, to give up gluten was far from easy; it took me over a year to make that change. My mind and body resisted accepting that one of my greatest pleasures in life could be the cause of my health issues.

Back then, several years ago, I was battling autoimmune diseases, which I’ve shared in several posts on this blog. I found myself trapped in a constant loop of medications that merely numbed the symptoms but didn’t offer any real cure. The most distressing symptom was the skin irritations akin to hives. These tiny red spots would appear and then spread all over my body, causing intense itching, heat, and discomfort, leading me to the emergency room. The doctors had to inject corticosteroids intravenously to reduce the inflammation. I went through cycles of prednisone, antihistamines, and immunoregulators every time the spots resurfaced, which unfortunately, didn’t take long.

Amidst the hundreds of tests I underwent, the doctors ruled out common allergies as all the results were negative. Fortunately, I didn’t test positive for celiac disease, which brought me immense relief. However, they did identify a genetic lactose intolerance, something I had already been avoiding for quite some time.

The Suspicions about gluten

During that time, I recall pondering whether giving up gluten made sense, especially since I wasn’t diagnosed as celiac despite the suggestions from books and publications I read, like “Grain Brain” or “The Autoimmune Fix“. However, as I delved deeper into the subject, I began to consider the possibility of having a leaky gut. When I inquired about it with my doctors, they dismissed it as an unproven theory in the realm of science. It was this very moment of their indifference that sparked something within me, urging me to take control of my own health. I refused to spend my life solely reliant on medications while the underlying condition worsened, leading me towards an uncertain future.

Balancing my existing treatment with the medications, I embarked on an elimination diet to pinpoint the foods that triggered my health issues. The internet provided a wealth of information about these diets, and I personally followed Dr. Will Cole’s guide. Weeks went by as I adhered to a simple diet, gradually reintroducing other foods while meticulously recording their effects in a notebook. Dairy had already been eliminated, including lactose-free options. In my case, I discovered that sugar, gluten, raw onion, garlic, certain cruciferous vegetables, and legumes caused the most inflammation and discomfort, sometimes even days after consumption. It was a learning process, and it took time for me to realize that soy was also contributing to my health problems. And soy is a ubiquitous ingredient found in nearly all processed foods..

Embracing the Transformation

Filled with a mix of sadness and frustration, I made the tough decision to eliminate those troublesome foods from my diet. Little did I know the true extent of what that entailed. Giving up gluten and sugar proved to be an incredibly challenging task. Once you commit to avoiding them, you realize they seem to be present in almost everything you love. From pizzas, cakes, and pastries to sandwiches and ice cream, gluten and sugar lurk everywhere, making it feel like a nightmare.

Despite facing moments of depression and anguish, where I succumbed to consuming more gluten than usual (a psychological paradox, I’m sure), I eventually mustered the determination to embark on my new diet journey. I hurried to the supermarket to stock up on expensive and not-so-great-tasting gluten-free products, filling my pantry to avoid any temptation of going back to my old eating habits.

In retrospect, I realized it was a blunder. Within a week, my gluten-free stash had vanished, and I had gained a few extra pounds. Perhaps I should have sought psychological support or the guidance of a nutritionist to help me transition more smoothly into this lifestyle change. After all, my decision to abandon gluten and sugar wasn’t based on celiac disease, but rather a personal choice to improve my health.

Despite the initial setbacks and the persistence of skin irritations, I started noticing subtle improvements after a few weeks without gluten and sugar. The recovery process was quicker, and I began incorporating ginger and turmeric tea into my daily routine, followed by turmeric capsules on the advice of a friend.

Taking one step at a time, I kept moving forward on my path to better health.

Navigating the Gluten Setbacks

Although I was making progress, there were instances when I faced challenges with gluten, particularly during social gatherings and events. Parties, dinners, and family get-togethers often lacked gluten-free options, making it difficult to resist the tempting array of dishes. As Oscar Wilde once said, “I can resist everything except temptation!

Whenever I succumbed to these temptations, the consequences were not immediate; it often took two or three days before the hives resurfaced, reminding me of the toll gluten took on my body.

To counter these setbacks, I decided to take a stricter approach to my diet after experiencing several relapses. I began bringing my own gluten-free bread and cookies to parties and gatherings, ensuring I could still enjoy the occasion without compromising my health. It was essential to educate my family and friends about the adverse effects of gluten and sugar on my well-being, helping them understand and support my dietary choices.

Over time, my determination paid off, and my diet gradually became free from the harmful foods that had caused me distress. Though it took perseverance, I can now confidently navigate social events while staying true to my health goals.

Making Progress

As time went on, the hives became less persistent, allowing me to discontinue antihistamines, corticosteroids, and immunoregulators. Not only did I shed some weight, but my body also felt lighter, and my energy levels soared. It was a tremendous relief to no longer depend on medications to keep the symptoms at bay, and I felt a newfound sense of freedom and empowerment.

In addition to the dietary changes, I delved into incorporating other foods, becoming quite knowledgeable about kefir, water kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, and lacto-fermented vegetables to restore my gut flora. The journey of exploring and experimenting with these probiotic-rich foods was both exciting and rewarding. I was amazed by the positive impact they had on my digestion and overall well-being.

Moreover, embracing bone broth and supplements helped heal my intestinal lining, bringing me closer to optimal gut health. The healing process was gradual, but I could feel the positive changes happening within me. It was like nurturing my body back to vitality and balance.

As time passed, I dedicated myself to mastering the art of making my own gluten-free flour bread. It was no easy feat, but the satisfaction of creating a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional bread was well worth the effort. The aroma of freshly baked bread filled my kitchen, and every slice was a celebration of my commitment to a healthier lifestyle. I have even authored a comprehensive gluten-free sourdough guide available also on Amazon.

Over the course of a couple of years, the hives never resurfaced, leaving me hopeful that my thyroid gland would also recover fully, allowing me to bid farewell to Eutirox in the near future. My journey towards better health and well-being was not without its challenges, but it taught me the value of perseverance and self-care.

I must admit and be completely honest that I’ve experienced some relapses with gluten and sugar, but fortunately, these occurrences are becoming more sporadic and infrequent. The discomfort and inflammation they bring simply aren’t worth it.

The Lessons

Embarking on the journey of transforming our habits and lifestyle is a profound experience that teaches us valuable lessons along the way. It requires a strong commitment and perseverance, but the rewards are truly worth the effort.

When undertaking such a transformation, seeking guidance from experts is instrumental. Having the support of professionals who can provide not only valuable insights but also psychological and nutritional assistance can make all the difference in achieving lasting change.

Additionally, progress may not always be smooth, but taking small steps consistently is the key to success. Embracing the process, even with its ups and downs, allows us to grow and build resilience.

It’s equally important to keep our loved ones informed about the changes we are making. Their support and understanding can serve as a powerful motivation, helping us stay on track and avoid potential obstacles.

As for giving up gluten, I won’t deny that it presents challenges. However, with determination and the right mindset, the seemingly impossible becomes achievable. As we focus on the positive impact on our health and well-being, we find the strength to overcome any difficulties.

So, if you are embarking on this transformative journey, I wish you the best of luck and the highest level of success. Embrace each step, cherish the progress, and remember, the destination is not just a goal but a lifelong commitment to better living.

With great love and gratitude to all the sources of information and wisdom
that have allowed me to reach this knowledge and share this information!

Namaste image

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