Living the gluten-free good life in D.C.

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Drug-Free Glutie Zone

April 23rd, 2008 by Brooke

I set out on my gluten-free adventure on July 5, 2007. The night before, I ate nearly an entire 9×13 yellow sheet cake with chocolate icing that a friend brought over for a barbecue. (I still conjure up the smell and taste of that very cake…). I woke up so bloated, achy and swollen that I practically limped through my tennis match with the in-laws that afternoon. That was when I decided to just “see” if the gluten-free lifestyle made a difference for me.

Since 1997, I have suffered from chronic joint pain, endured rounds of steroids and creepy drugs like Vioxx, and spent more sleepless nights with my knees propped against pillows that I would like to admit. Only when I had my bowel resection did I experience some relief. But even in the five years since then, in addition to joint pain, I have suffered myriad unexplainable problems from moodiness to eczema. After many Q and A sessions with Brandi who so persistently urged me to take the GF plunge, I began noticing certain morning-after-gluten effects from puffy eyelids after inhaling an entire 12″ diameter piece of naan from Delhi Dhaba to a rock-hard, gaseous belly after a few beers at Ragtime.  

So I shoved the mental sheet cake aside and dove into the world of close-to-the-ground foods from the Arlington Farmer’s Market, GF novelty baked goods at Wegmans and being that person that asks for the gluten-free menu. Over time, most of my pesky problems have disappeared. And last week, with the blessing of my triad of doctors, I went off Immuran, the immunosuppressant drug, which I have been taking for Crohn’s disease for almost six years. All of my health care providers were in agreement that the glutie lifestyle is working wonders for me and my body.

Notes: I get the rice instead of the naan at Delhi Dhaba now. There is some skepticism about whether or not I have Celiac disease but no one is interested in glutening me up just to test for it. I am off the drug on a six-month trial and will keep you posted. No one should stop taking medication without talking to ALL of their doctors.


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