Do you have any Dietary Restrictions?

by Billygoat 34 Replies latest jw friends

  • Billygoat

    I realize this isn't JW related, but I've discovered a few people on this board also have auto-immune disorders, so I thought I'd cast out a net to see who else might have this problem.

    About 6 years ago, I couldn't figure out why I couldn't get over a bout of the flu. I threw up a lot, felt feverish, my joints ached to the point where I had a hard time walking, was all around tired, diarrhea, severe moodiness, strange little skin rashes that popped up within minutes of a meal, had asthma attacks (never had asthma before) lost weight (down to about 85 - 90 lbs). (For those of you that know me, I usually stick around 105 or so, so imagine me 15 - 20 lbs lighter!) Antibiotics didn't work, creams didn't work, anti-depressants didn't work, exercise didn't work. Nothing seemed to work! And to top it off, the doctors could not find what was wrong with me. They told me it was psychosomatic. So what do you do when you feel bad and nobody seems to understand what's wrong with you? I did what most little girls do and called home to mommy and daddy.

    It was in this conversation that I learned that my father had food intolerances that gave him the same symptoms I was experiencing. Considering that many food intolerances are hereditary, he recommended to me that I try a gluten-free diet for 30 days to see how I held up. At that point, I was willing to try anything. I was missing work like crazy and I was going nuts over my constant sitting on the potty. My boyfriend at the time had little compassion or tolerance to what I was experience. (That's why he's an EX-boyfriend now!) So I had to do something. I cut anything with gluten out of my diet for a month. Now that doesn't sound like a big deal until you research what has gluten in it. Flour has gluten. Which cut out any breads, pastas, cakes, cookies, crackers, gravies (oh my!), most sauces, most processed meats and *gasp* BEER! It was a hard, hard month, but I stuck to the Gluten Free (GF) diet best I could. Lo and behold - I felt better! Better than I had in months! (What triggered all this illness, was the bread machine that I got for a birthday present a few months earlier. I was baking a loaf at least twice a week. No wonder I felt so bad!)

    Since then it's been trial and error. I've discovered gluten intolerance (also known as Celiacs Disease) is actually an auto-immune disorder. My body thinks that gluten is so bad, that it attacks it to the point where it harms my digestive system. The little filli (nutrient absorbers) in my tummy were damaged so much that I wasn't absorbing ANY type of nutrients, thus the weight loss and malnutrition. And gluten is hidden in so much food, that it really is difficult to adhere to the strict diet necessary. But I work at it and have learned discipline. I have discovered some Gluten Free items at Whole Foods and other health stores that taste pretty good, but all in all, I've adapted fairly well. I eat special GF bread, GF pancake and cookie mixes, GF pastas. The one thing I can't seem to discipline myself in is the beer. I will cheat for that. But only if it's good beer. Coors? Blech. Guiness and Shiner Bock. Well...okay...maybe just one. I usually pay for a few days when I cheat, but sometimes I just need to cheat. It's great for the moment, but then I remember WHY I have to stick to the diet.

    So to make a long story endless...

    Do any of you have food sensitivities? Or auto-immune disorders that are aggravated by food intolerances? Have you found any good substitutes or recipes that hold those cravings at bay? Any tools on the web that you find useful? I've just recently discovered Wow! What a great site!

    Thanks for letting me share. I would love to hear your stories too!


  • chrissy

    Glad you got your Celiacs Disease properly diagnosed and under control.

    No allergies here or anything, but I cut dairy out of my diet because I don't like the way it makes me feel. Like you, I am in the habit of paying close attention to everything that goes into my body and notice the effects it has on me.

  • ButtLight

    yes, I do. But not what you think. I drink as much budlight as I can!

  • BrendaCloutier

    Billy, I'm sorry about your gluten intollerance. A good friend has that. I'll ask if she's aware of the autoimmune disease associated with it. She sticks to a "whole foods local foods" concept in diet. Very little of it comes in a package. As much as possible comes from local growers.

    Me? I love food, food loves me. Gimme chocolate or gimme death! Just don't gimme alcohol. I inherited alcoholism from my birthmother and I developed into a raging, albeit functional alcoholic. Been sober now 15+ years but it ain't easy. At least I'm a cheap date.

    Oh yeah, I think I react to butterfish and taro. Both ingredients in laulau's which I LOVE!

  • Billygoat


    Like you, I LOVE my food. I've just had to get..."creative"...about what I can eat. I've found some items that allow me to splurge without dietary consequence. Pamela's Brownie Mix at Whole Foods is the best thing I've discovered lately. Gluten-free and so delish...can't tell the difference from the real thing.

    Having spent a portion of my childhood in Hawaii, I too learned to love laulaus! Yummy! Unfortunately, it's not something easily sent by my parents in a care package. So I have to settle for chocolate covered macadamia nuts.


  • MonkeyPrincess

    wow andi, thats amazing.
    I am allergic to dairy. I am not lactose intollerant, i am allergic. It causes migraines that last days and days, sometimes so bad that i have to go the emergency room and get a shot of a strong pain medication. I have had to do this a number of times in the past. So i stay away from anything dairy (the best i can). there are so many foods that have dairy in them than you would think. So i read labels everytime i go shopping, when milk is needed for a recipe i use Soy Milk, and i use tofu cream cheese in my mashed potato's, they are excellent! :) I cannot eat cakes, ice cream, pizza, pie's... or (sigh) Chocolate. Everything that people take for granted, i can't eat, but i have learned to live without it. I will have an occasional treat every once in a while and it wont affect me, but it has to be small and very far in between.
    So i know your pain lady!

    (((hugs))) Char

  • Billygoat


    Could we have yet just one more thing in common? LOL

    I have discovered in the last year that I am also Lactose Intolerant. Within an hour of eating something with dairy I regret it. Ever see Dumb and Dumber? Since I have eliminated gluten and dairy from my diet, I haven't struggled with migraines nearly as much. I used to get them at least once a month, sometimes as long as 10 or 12 days. NOTHING worked to ease the pain back then. But now it's just on occasion and I can usually pin point what caused it.

    Just last night I bought "Tofutti's Better Than Cream Cheese" at the health food store. I haven't tried it, but have heard it's really good. Is that what you use? Never thought about using it in mashed potatoes. Sounds yummy!


  • jgnat

    Darn rights! But for a different reason. I am diagnosed glucose intolerant. I watch my sugars. I live in dread of the day I am asked to reduce my fats (weight) or my eggs (cholesterol). Food restrictions are a pain.

    I know a few JW's with autoimmune diseases. Perhaps people in high-stress lifestyles are more prone to these kinds of ailments?

    I'm no good for suggesting restricted regimens, because I will eat whatever I am allowed for as long as I am allowed. Sugar makes me feel lousy, so I stay away. Buttered popcorn on the other hand, yum!

    I see Google found some likely sites. Those of us with restrictions always find restaurants a challenge. A celiac I know likes the taco salads. My dietician suggested I ask the waiter to halve my order and doggy bag the rest. That way I am not tempted to eat past my portions. But alas, most waiters stare at me like I am from another planet if I ask them to do that.

  • NeonMadman

    I'm diabetic and should theoretically be watching my carbs closely. But I'm also on Weight Watchers, and I've found that as long as I follow the program, my glucose levels stay within the acceptable range.

  • Emma

    I also have celiac disease. After going through the pain and other symptoms, giving up wheat, barley and rye wasn't as big a deal as I was afraid it would be. I just don't think about the things I can't have like really good "artisnal" sp? bread, pizza ( I haven't found a good substitute so please recommend if you have), cinnamon rolls. I've baked all my life so I'm doing ok with cakes, cookies and am getting a passible loaf of bread. I used to make my own pasta, too, and love all kinds of pasta. Trader Joe's rice pasta is inexpensive and the best I've found.

    Billy, you drink beer! Don't you suffer? I haven't deliberately gone off the diet, having been diagnosed last year. What happens when you cheat? How long does it take to get over? I've had some cravings lately but am afraid to indulge...

    The things I think people are most surprised to hear wheat is in is salad dressing (modified food starch) and soy sauce.

    Thanks for starting this thread. I hope some will offer suggestions!


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