Saturday, March 2, 2013


My last few days have been spent researching and collecting.

A bit of backround; For the last few years...heck, maybe even several years, Toby has had some un-explained bodily issues that weren't really debilitating but noticeable...e.g. frequent loose stools...and I'm talking very frequent, acne and skin sensitivity, fatigue, unexplained lethargy and weight gain, joint pain and some other minor issues.

As many times as he sits on the toilet I would always say to him.."that's just not normal". A couple of years ago I went about doing some research and had his symptoms narrowed down to his thyroid. Again, the lack of health insurance issue left us with no other choice than to try and self medicate/diagnose. Goodness only knows how much they would rob us for the battery of test it would take to pinpoint his ailment.

We began to eat healthier and added more veggies to our diet...Toby more than any of us. After a few months of a healthier eating style we still didn't see any big changes in his ailments.

Then a few months ago one of my neighbors was telling me how he had to cut gluten out his diet because he had a gluten intolerance. Curious, I began to ask questions and the symptoms he described were almost an exact replica of  Toby's symptoms...minus the weight loss he had.

Like us, my neighbor has no health insurance and only went to the doctor once and forked out a couple of hundred dollars for a test the doc said he couldn't read because said neighbor had probably not eaten enough gluten for the test to show any results.

Neighbor said he just came home and totally removed the gluten from his diet rather than go back and fork out more money for more tests. He got better after a few weeks of being gluten free,...self diagnosis success story.

After our conversation I did more research and all Toby's symptoms matched gluten intolerance...except that he has weight gain instead of weight loss. I researched a bit more and found out that some people do have the reverse reaction and have weight gain instead of weight loss with gluten allergy...BAM!!!

So, my menu making has been bumped up a notch to delete out anything that even remotely resembles gluten for a few weeks to see if his symptoms subside.

I went through my pantry and almost every item in there contains gluten...some of it I just bought and still unopened!! The local food pantry will be getting a nice donation from me if it turns out to be a gluten issue.

Luckily I noticed that the items that I do have that are gluten-free clearly state it on the package, bottle, can, etc....funny how I never noticed those labels until I was searching for it. Guess it shows you how much I read a label.

My neighbor told me it was really stressful for him at first because he resorted to eating salad all the time until his wife had done enough research to figure out what all he COULD eat instead of what he COULDN'T eat.

That's sort of where we are  right now. I'm constantly monitoring food labels and worrying that Toby is not full or satisfied or that I won't be able to find a replacement for some of his favorite foods. Ugghhh...

I know it will get easier but my cooking style is definitely going to have to change.  I also realize that  I will most likely be spending a bit more on groceries for those fancy dietary replacement items...Ugggghhhhhh....

I feel confident that it will all work out though and I will eventually easily adapt to his dietary needs AND now that we feel he most likely has a gluten allergy I want him to feel better so that motivates me even more to make the changes we need to make.

On another note, I am taking Summer and her friend to the Sherwood Forest Faire tomorrow. We are looking forward to it!!

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