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Wheat-free midpoint update
mohawk
00goddess
I've been wheat-free for 3 full months now (started in late August, decided to do 6 full months so counting from September 1.)

I have noticed some positives:

First of all, I have much, much less joint pain than I had when eating wheat. It's amazing and impressive. I am not saying I never have joint pain, but now my joint pain is clearly EDS-related, rather than a constant gritty, inflamed, stabbing ache.

Second of all, I have noticed that I am tolerating the cold much better than I have in years. It's been quite cold here, in the 50s at night. Usually I would be miserable, and in a lot of pain from the cold itself. As in, I have for years experienced extreme cold as painful. Now, this could be a matter of the climate, however it's also been very damp off and on, and I still am ok. So I am pleased.

Third of all, even though I am not on any neuro meds right now, I am having far fewer stabby nerve pains than I had before going wheat-free. Before, I had these stabby pains all the time, and the only thing that stopped them was bupropion. They feel like someone stabbing you very hard with a big pin or even a knife. Related is the tickling feeling like a bug is crawling on you, and I am hardly having that at all. Both of those are problems that the bupropion treated, but without wheat, they are both drastically reduced.

Negatives:

I am struggling with depression. Some of that is situational, but I suspect some of it has to do with withdrawal from the opiod effects of wheat. I am not sure how long it takes to get over those. Note to self, look up the neurotransmitter-affecting foods in the IR diet book.

I'm gaining weight. I definitely have sugar cravings a lot, and conversely I am having a hard time eating enough normal food because I'm so tired and distracted. Those two things together lead to weight gain for me EVERY TIME.

Not only am I gaining, but I am gaining it all in my lower body, which is very weird to me. My upper body is slimmer than before, but my lower body is the biggest it has ever been. My hips, legs, and lower belly are enormous. Overnight, I became a pear. And I do not like it.

I've also been having some increased IBS problems since becoming wheat-free. I am not sure why or how to address them.

It is very frustrating sometimes. B has been great about it but even he got frustrated the other night. Tempe is surprisingly GF-friendly, more so than Houston for sure, but I am still pretty limited in terms of where I can eat. It has to be a place with wheat-free options, and that actually rules out most restaurants. I'm grateful that there are places I can eat, at all, but it's frustrating sometimes trying to find a new place. For example, I still haven't found a Chinese place where I can eat wheat-free.

And I miss just being able to eat whenever, whatever. I miss the flavor and texture of real wheat bread (though I may be getting close to it in my baking.)

Going wheat-free does not seem to have affected my CFIDS at all. One of my reasons for doing this was that a few people told me that they had been diagnosed with CFIDS, but after 6 months wheat-free, all their symptoms were gone. I have seen no alleviation of symptoms yet.
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While this post was sitting in draft mode, I spoke with a classmate who, it turns out, has PCOS. She has been wheat-free for 9 years, and she mentioned to me that she also became more cold-tolerant when she went wheat-free. Make of that what you will.

I'm glad that you're experiencing less pain -- that is awesome :)

Sorry about the other frustrations, though -- it's one reason why I have stubbornly insisted (other than doing trials of dairy-free and caffeine-free to see if they had any effects -- they didn't) on not changing my diet further . . . it's TIRING trying to deal with food restrictions, and it can have unexpected side effects, like the lower-body weight gain.

I hope that you can work out an individualized plan that works well for you, so that you can keep the pain-reduction benefits, but hopefully will have fewer negative issues.

**hugs & good luck**

<3!

Honestly, I think the weight gain has to do with the fact that I am not eating properly due to tiredness, distraction, etc. And the positives are SO positive.

A lot of people find that when they go wheat-free, their anti-thyroid antibodies go down, which was another motivation for me.

Going wheat-free was hard but it has been worth it thus far. So much less pain that I don't need pain meds every single day anymore. That's huge for me.

Because it was hard, I worked my way up to it instead of going cold turkey, which made it easier for me. I really urge you to try it. I resisted trying this for many years, but I reached a point where the evidence that it might help me was stacking up and up.

Btw, just in the time since I made this entry, I've been making an effort to eat more protein and less carbs, and take my thyroid meds religiously, and the weight is already starting to come off.

I can understand not wanting to take on something new when you feel overwhelmed already. I was reluctant to do this and sometimes I feel resentful. But this has helped me SO MUCH that I wish I had become ready to do it before. I've said for years that I was willing to do ANYTHING to be well, but in reality it took me a long time to become ready to take the plunge into wheat-free.

If you want to try it, I will do whatever I can to help you. Including sending delicious baked goods!

I'm so glad to hear that you're feeling better and that some of the weight is coming off! :)

I'm going to have to table any dietary changes until Kira's health is stable, though -- she was at the cardiologist yesterday and today, she's wearing another 24-hour monitor, and we have to go in next week to talk about her test results. I'm simply not emotionally equipped to give up the majority of my comfort foods right now.

Thank you for the support, and it's not something I'm unwilling to try, but maybe in the summer when life has hopefully calmed down a little (and there's lots of fresh produce to choose from.)

<3!

Yeah, I totally know what you mean. That is why I had to work my way up to it; I couldn't bear to go wheat-free until I had wheat-free versions in place of the things I love. The things I am baking now, people really cannot tell that they are wheat-free! Whereas the things I bought at stores in the beginning, they were mostly gross.

I hope Kira keeps improving!

Edited at 2013-12-13 11:43 pm (UTC)