I just got back from New York for business, and those trips always make me re-evaluate. First off, living gluten-free is hardest when you’re on the road. Add to that being in tons of airports (where they don’t exactly cater to the GF clientele), it becomes doubly tricky. But before I get there (and warning: I’m going to bounce back and forth between time periods in this post)…
Alot of people have asked me “have you noticed a difference?” I’ve been gluten-free since Memorial day, just over 6 months now. To define that – I have not KNOWINGLY put any gluten in my body in that time. Beyond that, I don’t think I’ve even accidentally put any in (and known about it). I HAVE however eaten foods with likely contamination. Mostly french fries. They are almost always fine, but often cooked in the same oils as other wheat. As Stephanie put it, it’s playing “Gluten roulette”. Who knows if it’ll actually be a problem. I’ve not NOTICED any issues directly from eating fries.
Anyway, back to the present. Most of trip to NY I was sick. This resulted in a few things – my skin acted up because it usually does when my immune system is fighting something. I had a few apthous ulcers, but easily managed (thank you Apthasol!) Also, I took care of myself, not drinking as much soda or liquor.
But here’s where it gets dicey. So my skin is worse, my tongue is worse, and those are both supposedly symptoms of Gluten intolerance. But I have them anyway – most of the time. In fact, I’m on numerous skin meds, so any improvement is hard to trace the reason why. Same with the apthous ulcers in my mouth, though since going GF (as well as other preventative measures taken at the same time) I haven’t had a full mouth meltdown like I used to get.
So the answer to how I’m feeling is tough. Everything is marginally better since going gluten-free. I’ve only had one what I would call severe stomach issue, adn that was early on. Ash says I seem better, but I think part of that was when I cut out soda. Man, did I see an improvement without soda, and a deprovement with it. Also drinking less when I do drink is also helpful to my stomach for obvious reasons.
BUT WAIT! In NY, the last two days I had strange episodes with my stomach of EXTREME urgency at night. I can’t recall having had that in a very long time. And this coincides with a week of likely frequent contamination (if not outright glutening if something was given to me say at an airport where the cook didn’t know it contained gluten). Well, that’s a pretty strong tell, right?
The short answer is I just don’t know. Stephanie has been told that skin is usually the LAST thing to improve (a year or two perhaps), so it’s hard to find causation there. The ulcers are better, but I’m also doing other things to combat them (apthasol, mainly, but also hydrating more and making sure I use nasal-spray at night so I’m helping myself be a closed-mouth sleep-breather). The energy seems to be tied almost exclusively with soda, and not gluten.
So where to go from here: well, the first thing I’m going to begrudgingly do is give up soda again. This time, not just for 3 months, I’m going for 6. At least for a start. We’ll see where I’m at then. Also, I’m probably not going to have any more liquor in 2012. I actually probably had less on this trip east than on any other in the past, but still, my stomach didn’t seem to react perfectly to it, so I’ll probably just ease up on it. Go from one bottle of wine a week to one or two a month.
Lastly, I think I may try GLUTENING myself after I’ve gone an entire year GF. Nothing drastic, not starting with two meals of pasta topped off with dinner rolls. But maybe try a burger with a bun one night. If that goes well, up it a bit with maybe going out to Macaroni Grill, having some bread and a pasta dish. We’ll see if I have immediate reactions that Landen gets (overnight eczema, sometimes stomach pain). It is possible that many of my subtle symptoms are just related to other things. But we’ll see. I associate so closely with the GF community now that I almost don’t feel a struggle to do it anymore.
So that’s where I’m at. Wish me luck, and sorry for the ramble.