When I was 32, I was diagnosed by my doctor as being perimenopausal. I had polycystic fibroids on my ovaries, as well. I had been out of sorts for years – irritable, uncomfortable, foggy-headed, and generally felt like I was just about to come down with the flu. My hormones were all out of whack. A few years later, after battling fatigue and crippling pain for several years, I went to the doctor and was tested for just about everything you can think of: MS, Lupus, Arthritis, Diabetes. My doctor finally determined that I also had an incredibly high concentration of the Eppstein-Barr virus and, thus, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue. Amazingly, when I got the call, I was elated. Yes, I’d just been diagnosed with an incurable, life-long issue, but at least I knew what it was, and most importantly, that I wasn’t crazy!!
I also had a recurring yeast infection in my ears that nearly drove me insane because it itched so much. I was nearly afraid to eat because more often than not, when I did, I would fall asleep immediately after. My children used to tease and laugh when I would eat a dessert because it was known I would be passed out right thereafter.
I googled and googled, read nearly every medical site on the internet, researching for hours a night to understand what was going on with me and to try to fight it. One of the first books I bought was the Complete Candida Yeast Guidebook by Jeanne Marie Martin and Zoltan P. Rona, MD. It was an eye-opener and life-safer!
I realized I had to radically alter my diet in order to heal myself, but I was not prepared for how drastic the changes would be. After just a few days, I could eat a meal and stay awake. After just a few weeks, I was virtually pain free, I could think clearly, and my ears never itched. I was ecstatic.
Over the following years, I have tried to maintain the diet I know works for my body with varying success. When I’m stressed, I tend to revert to comfort foods, which for me are sugary, wheaty things. Knowing them to be toxic, I still eat them, and never understood why.
Watching Dr. Oz the other day with my mom, his guest suggested that the wheat we eat today is not like the wheat of 100 years ago. Both gluten and sugar are allergens and addictive. For me they are poison. I’ve finally come to accept that I cannot eat what some other people can eat, and that’s ok, because what I do get to eat is nutritious and delicious and leaves me feeling and looking great!
Update 2018: In the years since, I’ve fallen off the path and eaten all the wrong things every once in a while. Every single time I do, I suffer. Each time seemed worse than the last. Most recently, I ate 3 slices of pizza, gained 13 pounds overnight, didn’t poop right for 4 days then nearly died from the return of poop. Flour makes me itch and gives me the weirdest symmetrical rash on my upper body and arms. It makes me feel like I’m having period cramps regardless of the time of month. It puts me straight to sleep. After the last relapse into stupidity, I ended up at the doctor. I had to eat bread for 8 weeks so they could test for Celiac. Worst 8 weeks of my life. After week 2, I already knew definitively. Surviving to the test was hell. Never again. I get it now, intestines, I swear, never again. I won’t eat the bad ever again.