Seventeen years ago while attending college, I started to experience many health and energy issues. This persisted for over a month before I sought help. During that month I lost over fifteen pounds, had trouble sleeping and concentrating, felt fatigued, and my quality of life was compromised. When I found the help I was looking for I was told that, due to my family history, I might have sensitivity to bread products. Bread products were my main source of food, so this was a challenge. Giving up bread and all other foods containing bread would be extremely difficult. Over time I took steps to eliminate the offending foods and I started to feel better. At that time, there was little to no research on gluten allergies – internet information was limited and restaurants and supermarkets had no clue that a gluten-related medical condition even existed, so I faced many challenges along the way.
For me, a gluten-free lifestyle means a choice to embrace removing foods that contain gluten from my daily diet. Gluten is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barley and rye. It gives elasticity to dough, helping it to rise and keep its shape. Typical symptoms for those who are sensitive to gluten are abdominal bloating and pain, constipation, weight loss, fatigue, canker sores in the mouth, and depression or anxiety. Personally, I have experienced all of these symptoms and I discovered that, when I made a conscious decision to live without gluten, my health significantly improved.
With that said, my goal is to help others progressing toward a gluten-free lifestyle to realize that the first step is to embrace your situation and seek help. Ultimately, the key is to be thankful that many resources now exist. My major goal for this site is to help others feel comfortable with this new lifestyle and provide support to get them back on a healthy living lifestyle, free of gluten and other allergens.