You may recall that we've had our issues with constipation and gas around these parts (need a refresher? Go HERE). I haven't posted all the details along the way, but I'll summarize for you now.
1. Charlotte was a fussy, extremely constipated newborn
2. I went off gluten, chocolate, coffee and dairy
3. Added back coffee, dairy and chocolate (thank goodness on all 3 counts!)
4. Charlotte started solids at 5.5 months old
5. Charlotte started pooping regularly
So back on April 8th we went to dinner at The Walrus and the Carpenter to celebrate Kim's birthday (which is on the 9th) and it was right then and there that I added gluten back into my diet. You see, I had just taken Charlotte to the doctor for her 6 month check up a few days prior and it was there that we decided I could try gluten again. Dinner was fantastic and I enjoyed every bit of gluten I indulged in (yes, I ate a lot of bread and butter - I was making up for lost time!!). The days following I was SO happy that it appeared to not have affected us. I was so happy in fact that I began to indulge in pop tarts and other gluten filled treats I hadn't eaten in months... Then just when I thought we were in the clear - I was hit with extreme fatigue. I didn't know what was wrong with me. I. was. so. tired. Every inch of me became lazy and a bit testy. Then Charlotte became a bit constipated and fussy and I didn't know what to think. Hadn't she been fine right after I'd indulged in all that gluten?? What was wrong now?
I became extremely constipated (sorry if it's TMI for you, but I'm used to crappy conversation these days). The pain in my intestines was horrific. If felt like contractions - sharp shooting pains that brought me out of my seat. I honestly was having a very rough week last week folks. I was frustrated with the condition Charlotte and I were in and so I called my doctor. She asked me a few questions and there it was - the answer to all my problems. I have an issue with...
Seriously?!?? I was a bit shocked and absolutely and totally relieved to have an answer! In talking through it with my doc, it made so much sense. For as far back as I can remember I have had this fatigued feeling (I've often beat myself up over it) and I've never been all that regular in the BM department... My doctor told me that fatigue is one of the first signs of a gluten intolerance and that the symptoms can take a while to show up after having the gluten. On one hand I wanted to dance around and sing praises for having an answer. On the other hand, I became a bit sad to realize that I would have to ban myself from all sorts of amazing bad-for-me foods in order to keep my body happy. Oh how I love bread...
I had been wondering why I felt so incredible after having Charlotte - Pete and I have actually discussed it a few times. My energy levels the last few months have been great despite the lack of sleep. Mentally I've been sharp and not depressed. I've been enjoying RUNNING of all things! I've always hated running. I did the couch to 5k program after I had Hailey and I hated every single step of the way because every time I moved a leg it felt like I was dragging a ton of bricks. Even after going through the whole program, I had a very hard time running any distance. I thought it was all due to my low iron or maybe I just wasn't the runner type. Now I know. I wouldn't say I'm a running type now, but let me tell you...I go out to run my hilly 2 mile loop and often come back feeling like I could have run a lot longer (but I don't because I feel the need to get back inside to make dinner for my family).
I had no idea the conversation with my doctor would lead to this, but I'm so thrilled to have an answer for both Charlotte and me. I told Pete that our family is going off gluten and I got one of those sad stares... You see, I'd been hanging onto some of our gluten filled foods for when I was able to eat them again...but seeing that it's not going to be in the cards, I'm going to rid our house of it (any recommendations for where to donate food?). Pete can eat all the gluten filled foods he wants when he's away, but for the most part, I think our every day life will be much easier if we all just accept this new lifestyle and embrace it. And that means I need to get all the gluten filled temptations out of the kitchen (Pete cooked a yummy gluten filled pizza the other night and let me tell you, it was hard for me to not be a little jealous). I think Pete is on board for the most part as he realizes life will be much easier for both Charlotte and me if we remove all the 'bad' stuff and learn to live gluten free. I'm actually relieved to do a whole pantry makeover. We're diving into this lifestyle and going to learn to love it!