Grains and Blood

I was going to write a post about how I’ve gone 30 days without grains of any kind.  No wheat, no corn, no soy, no rice and no oats.  And this includes oils and food additives like modified food starches and corn syrup (corn syrup solids and high fructose corn syrup, etc.).  It hasn’t been easy.  It’s surprising how many things have some form of a grain in them like salad dressings, chocolate and ice cream.  And then there are obvious things like bread, pasta, crackers and polenta.

A few years ago (well, more like 6 years) I was a personal chef.  I had many clients with many different needs and one day I got a call from a pregnant woman who needed to me to cook her a month’s worth of gluten-free meals for her to eat after she gave birth.  I had never had such a request and I did a ton of research before saying that, yes, I could take her on as a client.

What surprised me the most was that the symptoms of Celiac Disease  (and gluten intolerance) were symptoms that I had been experiencing as well for years.  Things such as joint pain, headaches, digestive issues, and lactose intolerance.

So, for a while, I went gluten-free.  But it’s sooooooooooooooooooo hard to be sooooooooooooooooooo disciplined.  It’s hard to eat out, it’s hard to eat at someone’s house, it’s even hard to go grocery shopping.

I’ve been doing the no-gluten thing on and off, mostly off, for years now.  And while there’s no doubt that I feel better when I am on it, invariably I give in to temptation like stuffing at Thanksgiving or a croissant at my favorite French cafe.

The thing is, the older I get the worse things seem to get when I’m not following a gluten-free diet.  And, so, as part of my whole food/improve my health journey I went extreme and swore off all grains.  Interestingly enough, that’s been easier than just giving up gluten!  What I’ve found is that I fill that grain void with more vegetables and fruits and beans – all things that I should be eating more of anyway but that get pushed off the agenda when there’s bread in front of my face.

But today I got one more reason to keep it up (and to be sure to write this post!):  I finally looked at my pre-op bloodwork.

As you can see only area of my CBC is on the High end, that’s the RDW.  Not knowing what this meant I looked it up and found this.  Then I thought, wait…I take a Super-B vitamin every day along with all of my other supplements in addition to eating a lot of liver, dairy and eggs.  Why, then, would my body not be absorbing B-12?  So, I googled that, too.  And here’s what I found.

It gives 3 reasons for why your body might be absorbing B-12.  Juding by the symptoms I can rule out pernicious anemia.  And I haven’t had the surgery they mention.  Which leaves only the 3rd reason:

You have problems with the way your body digests food, such as sprue (also called celiac disease), Crohn’s disease, bacteria growth in the small intestine, or a parasite.

This blood test was taken on the 20th of March – not nearly long enough for my body to repair itself from any intestinal damage. Therefore, I’ve decided to go 2 more months without any grains at all (overkill?  maybe.) and then go back to my regular physician and have another CBC done to see if there’s a difference.

Stay tuned!

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One thought on “Grains and Blood

  1. Pingback: DePuy Lentils with Sauteed Kumquats and Purple Onion | whole food hungry

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