Six months ago, Mama and I found out that we were both Gluten Intolerant. This discovery changed our lives. I now know why, for years, I’ve had an increasing struggle with fatigue, why my body ached constantly, and I lacked the energy to carry out the duties of normal life. This isn’t the Susan Liana we know, you might say, but it was the person I was at home. I could put on a good front, pour all of my energy into an event, or person, or visit, but the next morning I would hardly be able to get out of the bed. I wondered what was wrong with me. Did I have Chronic Fatigue? I wondered if I would live the rest of my life like this. I knew that feeling as I did I would never be able to keep up with children, or manage a household well. That’s when I realized that we had to do something. Anything. All my life, all I’ve ever wanted to be is a wife and mother, and I could see that dream slipping away from me.
That’s when we sought the help of an old friend of ours who, in the years since we knew her, has become a Naturopath. Mama and I were both tested, and consequently learned that we are both Gluten Intolerant (Wondering what gluten is? Check out this article). Eating gluten creates inflammation in our small intestine, which destroys the villi which line it. This interferes with our ability to absorb nutrients from our food, because the villi are responsible for absorption. We are also intolerant to a number of other foods. Those intolerances (dairy, soy, and more) are most likely caused by the gluten intolerance and may, over time, if we carefully avoid all of the foods that we are intolerant to, go away. They might, or they might not. Almost certainly, I’ll live the rest of my life without eating any more gluten. Does this bother me? Am I upset by this? Not at all. On the contrary I am very thankful. Thankful to know, at last, what causes my fatigue, and most thankful that there is something that I can do about it. I’m thankful to know that a sovereign God designed my body and that my being Gluten Intolerant fits into His plan for my life. Of course I miss foods that I used to love and can no longer eat, but those foods were destroying my body, and no food is worth that. A simple diet change has changed my life, and it is completely worth it.
I've got a long way to go before I’m back to normal. It can take years to heal the damage done to my body, but already I feel so much better. It is becoming easier to get up in the morning. I can now get through the day without a nap, and I actually feel excited by the prospect of housework. I can see glimpses of the girl who liked to get up early, to do laundry, to make dinner. In short, the girl who liked to make plans, work hard, and accomplish a lot. I have a brighter outlook on life and I’m excited to see what the future holds.
Changing the way we eat has of course changed the way we cook. It has been a big learning curve for Mama and me, but it is actually forcing us to learn more about cooking. We are even learning to enjoy eating vegetables! Expect future blog posts on Gluten Free cooking, because that’s a big part of our life now.
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14