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My 30-Day Gluten-Free Experiment

Posted May 07 2009 9:23pm
Well...it took me much longer to recuperate from my last operation than I anticipated. Plus I've gotten side-swiped really hard from the vertigo as of late. Now we haven't had as much snow this winter as we usually do -- we can actually see the grass right now which is pretty abnormal for our neck of the woods -- but the dizziness and off-balance problems have been far worse this year.

So I kindda sat back and looked at what has been "different" in my life.

Yes, I've had 2 major surgeries within the past 4 months which have obviously put my body under a great deal of stress lately. And stress "does" make vertigo worse. But I've also been on maintenance levels of calories and carbs. Partly because of the operations I've had, and the need to heal, and partly because of our current financial situation.

My husband hasn't had any work for the past month and a half. So my ability to purchase what I need weight-loss wise has been very limited.

Now we have plenty of food in the house, but it's more along the lines of maintenance rations, not dieting fair. And it's pretty varied too. I have lots of Dreamsfield Pasta, Carbolose and Carbquick flours, wheat protein isolate, dried beans and rice, veggies that I canned myself from my gardening efforts a couple of years ago, some home-canned meats, lots of tomato sauce, etc.

So we've not starving. We're pretty well fed. So well fed that I've just maintained. Which is OKAY. Because throughout all of my issues and dieting attempts over the past year, my searching, my diet breaks, my refeeds and what have you, I've come to understand the "key" that will allow me maintain what I have accomplished so far.

The key of understanding --

That I got into this condition in the first place by eating far more carbs and sugars than my body was able to burn. More carbs and sugars than any healthy person should be eating.

But I've also come to realize that maintenance isn't about returning to what you were before. It isn't about trying to manipulate your foods and food choices, so that your emotional hungers and longings for the carb-fests of the past can be appeased. In a very real way, it's about what the OLD Weight Watcher exchange program taught me -- and what a lot of low carbers tend to "fear" these days.

It's about -- BALANCE
Not abstinence.

So not knowing where I wanted to go from here...I took a trip over to the Beyond Low Carb forums a couple of days ago, because they seem to have their focus more in line with where "I" am at these days -- and I ran into a thread about "Gluten."

Now that isn't a new topic for me. I've studied that a bit in the past as it was a "BIG CONCERN" of Dr. Atkins back in the day. I've even blogged about it here at my blog a time or two. But that's about as far as it went.

However, this time something felt different. This time I was "really" interested in the topic. Not just out of curiousity. Not just because it would be interesting to research. Not just because it would make a good blog post. But "honest-to-goodness" interested.

The idea suggested in the threads over there was the possibility that gluten intolerance and/or problems digesting wheat (with Celiac Disease being the worst case scenario), could actually be the cause of not only undiagnosed health issues, but fat loss stalls as well.

And I was struck with this crazy idea that since my vertigo has been worse lately, "almost" to the point of having to spend most of my waking hours in bed...and since I've been eating an awful lot of Dreamsfield Pasta, low-carb tortillas, and Carbquick/Carbolose lately -- way more than I would be if I was not eating at maintenance levels -- that maybe...just maybe...these guys were "on" to something.

So I typed "Meniere's Disease + gluten intolerance" into a search engine -- and was SHOCKED at what I found. A Very Strong Connection between vertigo, off-balance issues, and gluten intolerance. In fact, I even ran into a poster over at one of the gluten-intolerance forums who was testifying to the rest of the group that abstaining from gluten, and later on dairy products, TOTALLY put her condition into remission!!!

Well...you know...it's like this -- this stuff is sooooo disabilitating, and so disruptive of life, that we who suffer with this garbage are quite likely to do some pretty crazy things in our search for a cure. Most of us who suffer with Meniere's initially went to our physicians in good faith. We went with "hope" of a cure. Hope that there was something driving all of this inflammation. We went through all the riggors of testings, got passed around from one specialist to another -- only to be told that there was "nothing" anyone could do.

"Go home, and learn to live with it!"

Such is our path.

But it's usually a path that few of us accept. So while removing gluten from the diet isn't all that crazy of an idea, this time around, there's no way of knowing the truth of that posters claim, if it's just another false rainbow, or not, until I put it to the test.

So for the next 30 days, I'm going to remove as many forms of gluten from my diet as I can, and see what happens.
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