Our gluten-free story began in early 2012. My husband had been experiencing chronic back pain for years due to severely bulging discs in his lower back that resulted in back surgery. He continued to experience back pain even after his surgery, and we sought the help of a rheumatologist – even though we were told his issues stemmed from osteoarthritis.
Why My Family is Gluten Free and Why Should Consider It Too
After some initial testing, we were hit with the news – not only did my husband have rheumatoid arthritis but he had spondylitis – an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis that causes severe pain in the spine and could lead to the spine fusing together. Diet was directly linked to his condition. In fact, his holistic doctor told him that gluten allergies and autoimmune diseases go hand in hand.
Gluten and Autoimmune Issues
So my husband got tested for food allergies and not surprisingly found out he was borderline celiac, as well as allergic to soy and eggs. He also had leaky gut syndrome (intestinal permeability syndrome), which is caused by damage to the lining of the gut making it difficult for the body to absorb food and nutrients properly. This is why those with leaky gut often have health issues such as celiac disease, irritable bowl syndrome, allergies, asthma and autoimmune disorders. Again, leaky gut syndrome is common in those with autoimmune issues.
Looking back, it all made sense. He got the flu or a cold at least every other month for the last few years, and I remember I had a gut feeling that something wasn’t right. This was finally the missing piece to the puzzle. But it took several doctors and numerous tests to get to this point.
I cannot stress enough how important it was that we were tenacious in finding an answer. We just couldn’t accept that “some people have back pain”. I knew something was wrong. And the test made all the different. Here’s the lab test that detected my husband’s gluten allergy. Once we had that, he got the additional blood test to find his spondylitis.
Gluten and Skin Problems
Then, I began questioning whether my oldest son had gluten allergies too. He had a long history of getting the stomach flu. In fact, he would regularly get it every 3-4 months. When I questioned his pediatrician about it – she said, “Well, some kids just get sick more often. Think of it as he’s building his immunity.” In addition, my oldest son had a benign skin condition called keratosis (chicken skin), that she chalked up to just having “sensitive skin” and recommended I use an alpha-hydroxy acid-based lotion to treat it.
That just wasn’t good enough for me. My instinct told me there was something else going on. So we got him tested for food allergies – which actually came back negative but he did have colitis, which is inflammation in the colon. Our new doctor recommended supplements to help heal gut and reduce his inflammation. He also recommended that we reduce the gluten in my son’s diet to help his gut heal and test whether his keratosis would clear up (gluten is a known cause for keratosis). Within just three months, my son’s keratosis nearly went away and the inflammation in my son’s colon went down to normal levels. And best of all, he’s only gotten the stomach flu once in the last two years.
In addition to my son’s keratosis, I was battling what I thought was hormonal acne. As I researched more, I found that my acne was likely a result of gluten and grains in my diet. Find out how I cleared up my acne naturally.
Gluten and Behavioral Issues
Going gluten free has made a world of difference for our family. Shortly after my husband and older son went gluten free, I joined the bandwagon and tried it with my middle son. And I’ve seen a HUGE difference in his temperament and behavior. While he doesn’t have ADHD or ADD, he is a very active child and is prone to meltdowns. I’ve found that eliminating gluten from his diet has helped.
Living Gluten Free
My family has been gluten-free for nearly two years. It was a tough journey at first to find find that were gluten free and met my other criteria – e.g. GMO free, no artificial colors, no preservatives, organic, etc. For the most part, I’ve learned that many of the gluten-free foods in grocery stores are loaded with toxic chemicals. You wouldn’t believe the chemical additives that are lurking in gluten free foods.
I’ve found that eating whole foods as much as possible and making our own staples have been key to living the gluten free lifestyle that I want for my family. Find my kid-friendly gluten free recipes that the whole family will enjoy.
Check out my new book, Gluten-Free, Real Food Recipes for Kids. I wrote this book with YOU in mind. Parents who want to provide kids with wholesome meals without artificial colors, preservatives and other additives. All the recipes are gluten-free – with many options for grain free or Paleo, dairy free, egg free and vegetarian.
What’s Included In This Book
It’s filled with 130+ pages of content and recipes, including:
- Real food nutrition 101
- Detailed information on how to properly soak and sprout nuts, beans, grains and seeds
- A guide on how to spot chemical additives and what to avoid
- Kitchen essentials and cooking tools
- Tips on how to get kids to become better eaters and help in the kitchen
- 70+ gluten-free recipes – such as snacks and appetizers, beverages, condiments and dressings, main meals, desserts and more
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