IMG_8011.PNGSo I’ve wanted to blog about this for awhile. This past week was definitely a trigger for me wanting to talk about this. I am generally healthy but I have some autoimmune issues that are a bit of a drag. It’s not unusual for me to be sick fairly often with either a glutening, a IBS attack, jaw issues, back pain or all of the above!  I’m essentially a mess but I try to be happy despite how crappy I feel sometimes! Lol 😂!  If you aren’t familiar with the symptoms I could  go on and on but they do vary. For me I suffer upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, headache, fatigue, brain fog, muscle pain, depression, insomnia and the list goes on.

Like many others, I suffer from celiac disease, Irritible Bowel Syndrome (IBS), chronic back pain and TMJ.  In case you’re wondering, I’m not trying to get sympathy but maybe just awareness about these issues. Someone can look perfectly healthy on the outside and really not feel well quite regularly. I don’t always like to talk about my health issues but find I have to just so people don’t think I’m some crazy hypochondriac!  In fact I like to think that despite this, I can still look pretty, be happy and darn it even stylish despite being sick.  I was visiting family last week for Spring Break and sadly spent half my trip sick in bed with an upset stomach and horrible headache. I was careless about what I ate, eating out, not asking enough questions about food ingredients, drinking too much coffee and wine. I take responsibility but I have to admit I get soooo tired of having to so careful all of the time!

I was diagnosed with celiac disease over 10 years ago. I got very sick for months and lost weight rapidly for months. I ended up in the hospital and thankfully had a quick diagnosis after a endoscopy and colonscopy.  Interestingly enough my bloodwork has always tested negative for celiac disease which can happen. It turns  out celiac is hereditary and I have a number of family members with it as well.   I became gluten-free before being gluten-free was “trendy” and at that time, it was hard to find gf food in stores and very stressful eating out at restaurants.  GF products are readily available now but not very healthy.  One of my first sucesss stories was my first trip to Disneyland as a new celiac and I was overjoyed to find food options. I cried when I ate my first gf pizza, it wasn’t the best pizza I ever ate, but at least it was pizza!!

I get a little frustrated when I see people choosing to go gluten free to be honest.  Why would anyone choose this? Contrary to what you may think, gluten/free products are full of calories, sugar and the equivalent to eating white bread or simple carbohydrates. GF baked goods contain little or no fibre. I’ve learned over the years that sticking to a naturally gluten free diet is much more healthy. When I first got sick I lost weight rapidly, basically like having the stomach flu for 3 months.  However, over the years I’ve gained weight due to the fact that I know what junk foods are gluten free! Lol! It’s actually a lot harder to lose weight because it’s very hard to find good sources of fibre which can really help with weight loss.  I’ve also discovered that no dessert? No problem, I just indulge in an extra glass of wine. This has also become a problem too because the acidity of the wine can irritate sprue and upset the stomach,  I can’t win! Ugh 😑

The other issues that also accompany celiac disease can be  lactose intolerance.  So on top of not having gluten I’m supposed to avoid dairy which I refuse to do, I love cheese and cream in my cofeee. Again a choice that I have to live with and accept the consequences.

Most recently I’ve been stumped as to why I’m still sick when I don’t eat gluten or dairy….oh wait that’s the irritable bowl syndrome. Unlike celiac disease when I eat gluten I damage my intestines by flattening the vili lining my gut, the effects of IBS are not permanent but can make you feel just as sick including diarrhea, upset, stomach, bloating and headache.  I did a little research and discovered something called the FODMAP diet.  I won’t go into detail about the science behind this but in a nut-shell, this is a huge discovery for me. The chemical carbohydrate composition of certain foods can make them very hard to digest.  I always wondered why I still got so sick from foods which I knew were gluten free but yet seemed to make me so sick. For example, one day I ate chick pea salad which I know was super healthy and it made me so sick!  Well turns out that legumes and beans are not good for someone with irritable bowel syndrome, Who knew?  I’ve spent so much time worrying about gluten in the last decade I failed to realize that gluten was far from my only food foe. I  guess it turns out with my other digestive issues I could find some relief following this elimination diet which I stumbled upon recently. Luckily gluten free grains(ancient grains) have low FODMAP which makes sense.

IMG_8012So I really hope going forward, I have less of those days where I’m so sick that I can’t enjoy the things I love.  Don’t get me wrong when I say, I am VERY grateful it’s only autoimmune issues I have. I am familiar with Crohn’s Disease and Colitis and know what I live with is far more manageable.

Anyway, just thought I’d share my experience. I’m still learning and definitely have to learn to stop feeling resentful about what I can’t have and be happy with what I can. I truly  appreciate the support and love I get from my friends and family. I so have to acknowledge my friends on Instagram. I love fashion and makeup. I don’t always feel the greatest but your kind comments make it all worth it! ☺️

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2 thoughts on “But you don’t look sick….living with auto-immune disorders

  1. James

    Hi! Sorry to be so bold but I feel because of my previous illnesses, I believe I suffered to help others. So I will share my experience. No worries if you don’t want to look into this.

    Eating right is just a piece of the puzzle for autoimmune issues. I would research getting a VEGA test. I was dying back in 2008 with all of your symptoms and much more. Through VEGA testing I found out I had roundworm and once I killed it, all my symptoms went away. A lot of skeptics think it’s quackery but me and family have become healthy through it. VEGA testing can uncover parasites, enviro toxins, food allergies, etc. Google VEGA testing for details. There is an amazing person who does this here in Edmonton.

    I wish you all the best!

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