Maybe Michael has always been gluten-intolerent. If he has, we hadn’t noticed in the past. You see we are from Chicago, so our diet used to consist of Pizza, Italian beef sandwiches, and Pizza.
Then in May 2012, his neurologist, Dr Perlmutter, recommended a test for gluten intolerence. It came back showing that, in fact, Michael was very intolerent to gluten and that it must be cut out of his diet immediately.
So I did what any normal mother would have done- open my kitchen pantry and cry at the stockpile of whole grain pasta, crackers, cereal, and the other many various kitchen staples that has built the American diet for the past couple decades, and that we could not eat anymore. Then I went online and to the library to research how to live gluten-free.
Michael has been gluten free for months now- every once and a while I’ll tap into the gluten stockpile and offer a different meal to Michael than I do for Aedan because I don’t want the other food to go to waste. And I have to say, only good things have come from this change.
Michael still has bad days where he struggles to get enough energy to walk across the house, but overall, the removal of gluten has lessened some symptoms. It is hard to quantify because his symptoms inhabit so many body systems but I can say that relatively speaking many things have improved. On the pain scale from 1-10 Michael often existed at a 7. Now he can say that he’s down to a 5. While still too painful for me, any improvement is monumental. His brain fog that caused him to sometimes walk about the house at a zombie’s pace has been upgraded from “zombie” to “tired person”. Most importantly, his symptoms are more…predictable…He knows that if he does too much or skips out on his supplements, his body will react accordingly whereas before it was more random.
This new focus on proper nutrition is life changing for all involved. Pizza and Italian beef has been replaced by Kale and Roast Chicken. My scientific brain gets to enjoy the chemistry behind why the body needs certain vitamins and minerals. My inner child gets to be the “Swedish Chef” from the muppets as I make gluten-free bread from scratch.
Gluten-free white birthday cake for Michael’s 39th Bday was the best cake I’ve ever tasted!
In the end, I’m not surprised Michael’s body cannot tolerate gluten. For decades wheat starting being cultivated so that the strains containing the most gluten were in high demand because the American taste buds liked the gooey texture of high gluten wheat. It just doesn’t surprise me that the same culture that created these Frankenstein-like drugs also creates food that the body cannot process. Whatever turns a profit I guess.