Gluten stole my mojo…and I want it back!

Celiac Disease, Health August 3, 2011
Tired.  I’m so tired.  Depleted.  Exhausted.  How can this be?  The girl who celebrates fruits and vegetables every week, the girl who does 5000 lunges for charity then 3000 more just for fun?  The girl who teaches you about oats and chia seeds, circuit-training and goal-setting?  Why am I so tired?  What is wrong with this picture?

I’ve dealt with stomach issues for as long as I can remember.  I have been diagnosed with IBS multiple times.  Doctors tell me I am too stressed or just come from a family of sensitive stomached-people, and to just deal with it.  Meditate, listen to music…you will be fine.  
Since having this cutie two years ago, I have noticed a major increase in my symptoms.  Much more pain, stomach upset all the time, skin breaking out, brittle nails.  My clothes don’t fit.  I haven’t gained any weight, but I am so bloated that sometimes I look 6 months pregnant.  I had an ultrasound and found out that I have ovarian cysts, but they are small.  They cause some pain, but they don’t explain the rest of it.  At one point, I was diagnosed with interstitial cystitis, through a checklist and pushed out of the door with some heavy medication.
Two months ago, total exhaustion set in.  I would go to work out as I normally do, and 15 minutes into the workout I would be shaky with absolutely no energy.  I was eating correctly (or so I thought), so I didn’t understand what was going on.
For a while I have suspected that I might suffer from food allergies, but I have never been tested.  I visited a gastroenterologist last month, and she decided to do some blood tests.  After a few days, she gave me a call.  “I think I found out the answer to your problems.  You tested positive for celiac antibodies.”  It’s hard to describe the relief I felt upon hearing those words.  Finally, an answer!  The doctor wants to do an endoscopy to get an official diagnosis, so I will be having one on Friday.  The hardest thing to do this month has been to continue to eat wheat products when I know that they are most likely making me sick.  I have to continue eating them until the test or the results will not be accurate.  So the countdown is on…2 more days of eating wheat and then I’m officially going gluten-free.  
I’m overwhelmed, but I’m ready.  Ready to have energy again.  Ready to work out like I want to.  Ready for my clothes to fit.  Ready to be a happier mom, a more attentive wife, a more helpful friend.  I’m ready to be me again.
I’m ready to get my mojo back.

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  • Heather @ Not a DIY Life August 3, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    Hugs, Alysa! Sorry that you've been dealing with all of this – no fun at all.

  • Owen's Mom August 3, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Best of luck on your journey. My kiddos have a really restrictive diet, so we do tapioca breads and bake with wheat starch. It is different, but companies are really stepping up to bring a variety of gluten free options to consumers. It is a growing market, and you can benefit.

    How about baked polenta rounds for pizza or zuchinni noodles with your pasta sauce. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

  • Debra Riedesel RD, LD August 3, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Just wanted to wish you the best of luck on your upper endoscope. Living GF has a steep learning curve but you'll be GFinspiredRD expert in all things gluten-free in no time. I expect with your background and loveliness, newly diagnosed Celiacs will be beating a path to your door for help. If you ever want to talk via phone please give me a call and I'll spill the beans on what I know.

  • Regan - The Professional Palate August 3, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    Hoping for the best… whatever the dx is, I know it'll just be a relief having a direction to take. Best well-wishes.

  • Jess August 4, 2011 at 1:13 am

    My aunt has Celiac, and we often have long conversations about food and health. She grew up without all of these gluten-free alternatives like rolls and cookies, so she got used to a really natural, unprocessed way of going gluten-free. It's admirable and so fresh sounding – it's a challenge, for sure, but I'm sure you'll find your niche and feel much better when you do. All the best!

  • gretchen August 4, 2011 at 1:17 am

    ohhh, sister. this story sounds too familiar, though i'm 4 1/2 years ahead of you. tummy pain, pregnant-like bloat and all! wow, you'll feel so much better. and there are so many more products and resources for us now too, even in the past year or two. and you're ahead of the curve given that you have tremendous nutrition knowledge. please feel free to contact me too, if you want any details on tried and true products… and definitely check out my blog for some yummy, hopeful recipes! (

  • trifitmom August 4, 2011 at 2:14 am

    good luck, i hope it is the answer and you can move forward to better health

  • Kati August 4, 2011 at 2:26 am

    Good luck this week! I hope the next couple of days pass quickly for you.

  • Kelly August 4, 2011 at 5:32 am

    Good Luck!!! I hope this is the solution you are looking for. I know I was going mad until someone figured out I had a Hypo Thyroid.

  • Baye August 4, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    My son's fiance also found out she can't do gluten after many times of being told there was nothing wrong with her. You are fortunate that there are a billion internet resources for dealing with this. Some blogs are devoted to gluten-free cooking.

    Geez, I really happy for you! I had a thyroid problem misdiagnosed for a very long time. It begins to affect you emotionally as well as physically when you can't get anyone to even look for the real cause.

  • Healthy Mamma August 5, 2011 at 2:52 am

    Man, that stinks but it is good to get a correct diagnosis for sure. At least now you can make some changes and know that you will feel better. Mamma needs her Mojo!

    This is really great information. My mom and 2 good friends of mine went through this same thing. Do you mind if I post this story on my blog, Simply Healthy Family. I would link back to you of course!
    Let me know.

  • Jesse @ Happy Go Lucky Vegan August 5, 2011 at 5:46 am

    So wonderful that you're keeping positive – and I look forward to hearing about your journey. What a weight off your shoulders to learn you have something that can easily be corrected! Keep us posted, and lots of good thoughts being sent your way. 🙂

  • Alysa August 7, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Heather, thank you for the support!

    Owen's Mom, those are great suggestions! I am looking forward to experimenting with gluten-free options 🙂

  • Alysa August 7, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Debra, you are too sweet. Thank you for the confidence and support. I am sure that I will be hitting you up for information soon!

  • Alysa August 7, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    Thank you all so much for the support. I really appreciate the well-wishes!

  • Alysa August 7, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Jess, it's funny because I feel like we do a lot of that kind of cooking anyways, so the transition shouldn't be too tough at home. I wasn't buying many cookies and crackers before, so there's no reason to start buying gluten-free versions now!

  • Alysa August 7, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Gretchen, I can't wait to check out your recipes! You are right, I am so ready to feel better!

  • Alysa August 7, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Baye, I'm so sorry you had to go through that. You are right, it starts to mess with you when everyone says that nothing is really wrong with you!

  • Shaina August 9, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    I'm so glad you figured out why you were feeling the way you were. I'm sure it is a huge weight off your shoulders.

  • Becca @ Our Crazy Boys August 11, 2011 at 3:03 am

    I'm so glad to hear that you found an answer!! I have been thinking of cutting gluten from my diet, but am a little intimidated. I'm excited to live vicariously through you for a bit and learn how you do it 🙂

  • Nikki Garfield August 18, 2011 at 4:22 am

    girl you are inspired and inspiring !! i have some similar issues and have been thinking of cutting gluten out of my diet and seeing if there is a major diff. in the way i feel ( with or without talking to a doc. ) anyway – i just thank God you have gotten some direction and can move into the solution- you ROCK ! cant wait to check out some of your recipes !!

    i just cant believe how big and adorable your lil girl is already ! love the pancake post and the site looks FABULOUS !

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