Saturday, October 20, 2012


See this?

It's Pad Thai.  Delicious gluten-free, vegetarian Pad Thai.  One of my favourite lunches from the Thai place down the street from my work.

Until now.

Because it attacked me.

Due to the nature of this blog, it would make sense for you to be imagining that I ended up with a nasty case of the runs after eating this.  But you would be wrong.

Anyone who knows me well knows that in the course of trying to figure out what the heck was going on with my digestive system I eliminated a whole whack of foods from my diet.  I was desperate, and really wanted my symptoms to ease up.  Plus, I do trend toward the "granola" end of things, and the idea of managing disease through better nutrition was appealing to me.

One of the first things to go was gluten.  Yeah yeah yeah, I know you're all rolling your eyes.  Gluten-free is the big "trend" nowadays, and everyone is jumping on the bandwagon.  I get it.

And yes, I did get the blood test done.  And yes, it came back 'inconclusive' (whatever that means).  Honestly I don't care if I have Celiac disease (I don't think I do) or gluten allergy, or intolerance or aboogabooga.

All I know is that a whole host of seemingly disconnected things cleared up almost immediately after eliminating it from my diet.

The way I describe it to people is that it was almost like I had a low-level inflammation throughout my entire body that finally disappeared when I stopped eating gluten.  I had terrible acne.  Now?  Mostly gone.  Any cuts/pimples/rashes that I got would take forever to heal.  They would just keep filling up and draining.  Filling up and draining.  Now?  I heal like a dream.  My digestive symptoms improved by about 80%. 

I was sold.

Eliminating gluten was not terribly difficult for me, mostly because I was already in the habit of doing a 6-week "cleanse" twice per year.  During those weeks I would go without wheat, dairy, sugar, caffeine and alcohol.  Even then I noticed a huge deflation of my belly-bloating, although I didn't attribute it to gluten specifically.

So back to the Pad Thai.

Even though I ordered a gluten-free & vegetarian Pad Thai, about 10 minutes after eating it I knew something was up.  I should have double checked when I picked it up.  Especially after realizing that they'd messed up another part of our take-out order.  I should have maybe spoken up when they placed the non-gluten-free spring roll briefly in my take out container (although I tend to not be so sensitive to the cross-contamination like some others).  I know that I was negligent in this area.

But I didn't.  And I ate the ENTIRE thing.

I went back to my desk and started gathering papers for my next 2 meetings.  I noticed that my lips were feeling funny.  Not really tingly exactly, almost numb.  The feeling spread.  To my entire face. 

Then I started feeling light-headed.  The closest that I can describe it is drunk.  My whole body was buzzing, and I could not think straight.  I started having to check and double check to make sure I had everything I needed for my meeting.

I drove to my meeting but based on how hard I had to focus on the road, I probably shouldn't have.  The pounding headache started about half-way home.

I got home and just wanted to sleep.  Woke up hung over.  Then the gastro bleeding returned.  Three days later I started breaking out.

I can't explain this.  Although I'm a bit "granola" like I said earlier, I'm also a huge skeptic.  Nothing that I've read from a legitimate source has given me reason to expect this kind of reaction.  And if I was the one reading this story, I would probably think that it was an exaggeration.  So I don't understand.  But it's happened before, on one other occasion -- although in that case I had also consumed half a glass of wine so I wasn't as confused about the drunk feeling.

So if you've got an explanation, I'd love to hear it.  Or if you've got a similar story, please chime in.  It would be nice to know that I'm not alone in this.

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