To be born normal and healthy is a blessing, to both, the mother and the child. But when you or your child are plagued by health issues from childhood, you wonder ‘why me’?
I was a weak child, shortest in my class, and had to wear spectacles from the tender age of 6. I was constantly under-weight, under-nourished, despite having the most nutritious food intake.
As I got older, I realised I wasn’t as flexible as the others of my age. I was constantly experiencing joint pain. My skin was extremely sensitive and I kept breaking into rashes.
Doctors were unable to give us a definite cause. And the only cure they had were anti-allergic medicines and antibiotics.
I often found myself wondering why was all this happening to me, but to no avail.
Motherhood is a phase most women look forward to. I was no different. When I delivered my second daughter, I was ecstatic. But my joy was short-lived. I went through one of the worst periods health-wise. I was unable to digest my regular meals. I constantly felt bloated, had gas cramps, constipation, diarrhoea. In short, I was miserable!
And above all, I had a new-born to look after!
After months of suffering, I went in for an endoscopy. The gastroenterologist checked my colon and pronounced the verdict – I had Celiac disease, an auto-immune condition. I had never heard this term before. To me, it seemed like the end of the world. I was told to stop eating anything that contained gluten, a protein that is found in wheat and wheat-based products.
That meant, not eating all of my favorite foods – pizzas, pasta, cakes, samosas, and chapattis – which we Indians consider to be one of the most healthy parts of our meals. It was physically and psychologically traumatic. But I had to deal with it as my digestion was so poor, and I had no choice.
Gradually I came to accept it, and decided to know more about this alien who had decided to attack me!
I read books, spoke to doctors. But the doctors I was going to, were not able to help me at all. The only advice they gave was that I had to stop eating any foods containing gluten. That’s when I began charting my own course of treatment.
I have now come to learn the root cause of all my ailments, be it skin rashes, joint pains, weakness, weak eyes and lots more.
Before I share my experience, I would like to familiarise you with a few terminologies. Comprehending these is crucial. As we go ahead, we shall be doing an in-depth study, and finding solutions to all of these ailments that afflicted me.
What is an auto-immune disease?
As the name suggests, it is a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues rather than a foreign body such as a bacteria. I was shocked to learn that there are more than a hundred different autoimmune diseases.
We name them differently like eczema, psoriasis, thyroid, ibs, lupus, celiac, diabetes, joint pains, arthritis… But they all fall under a single category – Autoimmune!
How is it caused?
The root causes of most diseases is INFLAMMATION. We will talk about it in depth a little later.
Causes of Autoimmune diseases are: microbes, allergens, environmental toxins, stress, poor diet and inflammation. But above all, foods which do not digest easily are the main triggers for all of the above diseases.
Is there a cure?
Yes. There is a cure and it is not only immuno suppressants or antibiotics. Just a simple diet modulation and lifestyle change can go a long way in combating an autoimmune disease.
With this brief introduction, and over the next blog posts, allow me to guide you and help you ‘Goglutenfree’!