Saturday, November 29, 2008

my wheat allergy

how does an active healthy 29 year old learn that she has a wheat allergy?

~swollen glands and google

This has been a hectic fall between dave's tacoma smashing, car shopping, renewal of contracts and life in general. I was enjoying frequent trips to Merle's Brown Bag and loving the fresh made sandwiches. Life was stressful and my body felt funny. I was always tired and suffering from frequent afternoon headaches. I had trouble focusing at work. So after one really good sandwich I googled my sore throat and swollen glands and found many possible solutions one being a food allergy.

I started to pay attention to these symptoms and when they hit and noticed a trend with some of my favorite foods, the brown bag sandwiches, my homemade mac and cheese and even cereal.
As any good google fan would do I started researching wheat allergies. I've learned that it is now one of the top 8 food allergies in the US and has many symptoms. I did a four day wheat free experiment and felt a surge in energy. My next foray into wheat resulted in a swollen throat and more fatigue. Since then I've been avoiding wheat with a few exceptions. I made homemade mac and cheese and only ate one small dish and felt awful. I bought a wheat free cookie mix and realized life wasn't going to be terrible.

Work was busy so I kept forgetting to make a doctor's appointment. Thanksgiving had me avoiding pie crusts and anything that possibly had wheat and realizing that I couldn't live without knowing. I called on Friday and went in that afternoon. Dave and I went out for my first ski day of the season and while my ski conditioning class had made my muscles ready, my joints hurt from the wheat I ate the day before. We took a few runs then headed in for some lunch. I wanted the doctor to see my wheat symptoms and have wheat in my system for the tests so we ate some hot dogs. Within 20 minutes my mood had changed for the worse and my glands became swollen.

At the Medical center and hour later the nurse took my information. Swollen glands, mood alterations, headaches and more, the doctor arrived and we spoke about what was going on. She was concerned about my anaphylaxis reaction to wheat. "Regardless of how your blood test goes you can no longer have wheat." she told me. The test is very black and white and allergies have many shades of grey. She examined my glands, swallow and throat and offered a script for an epipen. They took my blood but I won't hear about those until next week since the lab had already picked up for the week. The information from the test should tell me how careful I will need to be.

Now life without wheat begins in full swing. This just isn't about avoiding wheat bread or crackers. This means all things with wheat. Go into your kitchen, read some labels and design a day without wheat.


p&k said...

so even though it's a bummer that you even need a site like this one, I have to say that your title is super clever!

heather said...


My son is allergic to soy, peanuts, eggs, wheat and dairy. I started a website to help people who suffer from food allergies. SPEWD Free has allergy friendly recipes(all free of wheat) and an allergy blog where I try to keep track of food recalls.
I hope it helps!


Greg said...

Wow, sorry to hear that Camper. I believe that you and my wife have more in common than just relocation and hobbies. A few months ago, she read a book dealing with gluten and the effects it was having on her body. She was pretty bummed out b/c she loves bread and pasta. She has been doing quite a bit of reasearch since then and now has a small arsenol of recipes for the loves in her life (bread, waffels, cookies, ect.) Maybe she could get you some websites as well.....