Cafe de Desiree

April 6, 2013

A Gluten Free Journey

Filed under: food,Gluten free — desi83 @ 5:58 am

Three years ago I went to the doctor because I had gone an entire week without an appetite and a constantly bloated stomach that gave me a pain I had almost become accustomed to. I dropped massive weight that was completely unnecessary and unhealthy. My entire life, I’ve dealt with frequent stomach problems and loss of appetite. I’ve often forced myself to eat when I wasn’t hungry so that I wouldn’t suffer from a loss of blood sugar or lose too much weight. I joke that this would be a great diet if only I needed to lose the weight. It mostly just makes life difficult when you constantly have a stomach ache. So, I had tests done, and my doctor told me to take a laxative and probiotics. He said there was nothing physically wrong with me that he could diagnose from tests. Great. So, I became somewhat of a laxative junky, and I went to another doctor for a second opinion. I was now a vegan and a laxative junky who was terribly underweight because I didn’t know what the hell to do. I saw this new doctor, who is a bit of a hippie with a soft, slow voice and a comforting presence. She asked me if I had ever tried a gluten-free diet. I told her I was basically eating nothing but fruits and vegetables and senna tea because I was afraid of most food. She told me to eat normally except for gluten, and to obviously get off the senna tea for awhile. Of course, this requires extensive label reading and questioning restaurant staff. She referred me to a gastrointestinal (gi) specialist immediately after seeing me to get tested for celiac disease. He was noticeably skeptical and advised me against the gluten free diet as it is “too difficult to follow and not worth it if you aren’t part of the 1% of people who actually have the disease”. I was staring back at this man with tears in my eyes because I was in pain and thought I might have found a solution, and he was treating me as if it was all in my head. He sent me to the lab, and once I arrived, I realized his nurse had given me someone else’s file. A week later, his receptionist coldly told me that I tested negative. I broke down and cried because the answer I thought I had found was false. I decided to try the diet anyway, and I made an appointment with my doctor to speak with her about other possibilities.
I tried going gluten-free for a month, and I was mostly better. I cheated a couple of times, and immediately I suffered the terrible bloating and pain that I had previously dealt with constantly.The gi specialist was a first of many skeptics that I’ve come across, but by trial and error, I can tell you quite confidently now that I am gluten intolerant and slightly lactose intolerant. I’ve been told by another doctor that if you are intolerant to one, you are usually somewhat intolerant to the other. I switched to coconut milk and rice products, and I am happy to say that I gained some of my weight back and have less stomach aches than I did before the diet. However, I have often accidentally eaten gluten, mostly at restaurants, because it is an ingredient that hides in the most inconspicuous foods. I have trouble finding restaurants that have gluten free menus or offer a decent amount of gluten free products. I kid you not, I have been given gluten free menus that have 4 or less items on them. Kudos to those restaurants for even having a custom menu available for me, though, because some offer nothing for my limited diet. So, I am now on a journey to find the restaurants with the best gluten free offerings. I will be reviewing restaurants on my blog that have these offerings so that those of you who are gluten free as well or just curious will know the best of the best “gf friendly” restaurants in middle Tennessee (unless I travel outside of this place).



  1. That is good you discovered what was causing your body to malfunction. Have you thought about trying the Paleo/Primal diet?

    Comment by Michael — July 15, 2014 @ 9:34 pm | Reply

    • I am sort of doing the Paleo diet…I try to avoid processed foods, I eat mostly vegetables, fruits, rice, and lean meat. I think processed food and hormones/steroids in our groceries is the reason why so many people are having digestive issues.

      Comment by desi83 — July 16, 2014 @ 4:14 am | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: