Your Gluten-free recovery guide: Introduction

So you’ve discovered you can’t have gluten anymore…now what? An introduction to a new series.

There is hope after gluten…

I’ve battled my whole life with digestive issues, bloating, constipation... and I never knew what the cause was. Certain foods made it worse, at other times, it didn’t seem to matter what I ate. I had my first child at 22 and my second at 24 and it was after my daughter was born, that I went on a strict diet to lose the pregnancy weight. I started a vigorous gym routine and in 8 months I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight. In fact, I weighed less than before we got married. While on this diet, I went off wheat based products and I reduced my intake of things like cake, pastries, cookies etc. I felt the difference. For the first time in my life, most of my digestive problems went away. Less bloating, no more constipation, far fewer headaches. I thought perhaps I had a wheat intolerance and tried to stay away from wheat products. I tried eating rye products instead but found that my symptoms came back when I did.

It doesn’t matter what I eat, everything seems to affect me

can you relate? carry on reading this article

I knew there was a connection to what I was eating but I just couldn’t see it. I just knew when I stayed off bread, pasta, croissants, cake, cookies, pizza then I was mostly fine. This was around 2004. It was many years of not knowing exactly what the culprit was. I assumed I had a wheat intolerance and for the most part stayed away from wheat based products. It was only around 2014 that I came across the term “gluten intolerance”. I had never heard of it and I didn’t even know what gluten was!

This started my journey of major research. I read everything I could. It was a relief to read the symptoms of gluten intolerance and be able to say “But that’s me! I have all of that!” Understanding what gluten is, was the major turning point. Realizing that gluten is not limited to wheat. You can find gluten without wheat and it can be in anything! Sweets, chocolates, chips, sauces etc.

2015

The year things changed. So by now I knew it was gluten that was the culprit. When I was “good”, I was healthy and had no issues. When I “cheated”, I felt physically unwell. The longer the intervals went between cheats, the better I felt, but when I did cheat, I also noticed I felt worse each time and the recovery was longer. One day My hubby and I went out for breakfast. I remember looking longingly at the croissants…it had been so long. My husband said to me, “Don’t, you know you will regret it”. Being stubborn by nature, I said: “I don’t care, it’s worth it.” and ordered it. Well, the next few days were agony. I remember the pain, discomfort, total lethargy and brain fog and it really was my rock bottom. That was the last croissant I ever ate. It was my turning point.

I decided that was it. I was obviously had gluten intolerance and I just couldn’t live like that anymore. It was NOT worth it. I went for some blood tests and an Endocrinologist confirmed my intolerance.

6 years later…

So now skip to 2020 and I’ve been off gluten for 6 years. Not a-single-bite. (apart from some unfortunate accidental encounters) However, the damage had already been done and even after going off gluten, I continued to experience various issues with my health. Turns out I had leaky gut.

What is leaky gut?

To understand what leaky gut, you need to understand what gluten it. Gluten is a protein found in the endosperm of grains. It is also used as a binding agent in processed and packaged foods. It is the “glue” that binds food together.

Gluten is the “glue” that binds food together

Over time, gluten destroys the little hairs that line your intestine, called “villi”. These hairs act as the gatekeepers between your intestines and blood stream. {Sort of like a bouncer at a club!} When these hairs are destroyed, holes start to form in the intestines and this allows food particles to enter the blood stream. Once in the blood stream (where they shouldn’t be!) your body sends out an “attack” signal as it views these food particles or pathogens as intruders. This causes inflammation, brain fog, depression, migraines, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, pins and needles, lethargy, pain, joint pain, and a general lack of energy.

So how do you fix it?

The only way to reverse the damage and get the holes in your gut to heal (leaky gut) is to go off gluten completely. Over time, the gaps will start to close, the hairs will grow back and things will improve. This is unfortunately not an overnight trip and takes a long time. If the damage is not reversed, the problems will continue to worsen and this creates opportunities for a lot more damage to occur. It is vital the gut be healed. When you have leaky gut you suffer from malabsorption (unable to absorb vital nutrients, vitamins and minerals). This is turn leads to a chain reaction of other conditions like anemia, skin issues like eczema, dental problems, hair loss, hormonal imbalances, depression, memory loss and either weight loss or weight gain.

There is good news!

I healed my leaky gut. It took a few years and a lot of work. I wanted to share my experience and knowledge of my personal process to do this to help others who have to deal with this. This is the reason for this guide. Join next time as we get started on healing a leaky gut!

My gluten free recovery guide is written in the aim of helping others to fix their leaky gut and restore their health after the damages caused by gluten.

Note: I am not qualified in medicine or nutrition. I speak from personal experience only in the aim of helping others. As always, consult the relevant healthcare practitioner regarding any health related issues/supplements/treatment. Please read my disclaimer on my blog should you want more information

Published by Bonnie

Hello. My name is Bonnie. Welcome to my page. I have been an avid baker for about 20 years. Of those years, seven have been gluten-free baking. I discovered I had a chronic intolerance to gluten and began experimenting with converting my all time favorite recipes into gluten-free ones. I also have developed my own recipe repertoire. I am married and have two children. My husband and son are not gluten intolerant but my daughter is. She has also been the motivation for persevering in creating recipes we both can enjoy. My journey has taught me so much and I know many others can benefit from my experience. My hope is that you will find something you can order that you have missed and longed for being gluten intolerant or celiac. Or perhaps you just want a healthier option as I also offer alternatives to some of my orders such as sugar free, grain free and low carb. I share my experience and story in more detail on my Instagram page. (@bonniesGFbakery) Please feel free to follow me there. Located in Somerset West, Western cape, South Africa. I deliver to the Helderberg basin area which includes Somerset West, Gordans Bay and Strand.

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