I should preface all of this with one statement: I love gluten.  I love all things gluten-y.  When I roast a chicken, I look forward to making a stew out of the leftovers, just to that I can top it with a crust or pour it over biscuits.  When I make soup, I always imagine it mostly as something to dip crusty bread in.  I love baking bread, I love the smell of it, and the act of kneading.

This morning is the beginning of my gluten-free trial.  I have been tested for celiac’s disease, with negative results.  But, my doctor has suggested that cutting out gluten might make a big difference in my symptoms. She says she has many patients with negative test results who see a huge difference when they go gluten-free.  Sigh.  I’ve been putting this off for a very long time.  My excuse wasn’t entirely made up – I was waiting until I reached some stable place with my medications and symptoms.  Well, it’s time to stop waiting.  I have to tell you, the last month or two have not been so good.  Before Christmas, I was doing pretty well.  I was swimming 2-3 times per week, I was working consistently on my dissertation, and I was generally feeling well.  Based on all this fabulous progress, we (doctor, husband, me) decided to decrease my methotrexate dose, hoping that a lower dose would still maintain the progress I’d made.  It didn’t work out so well.  Even after increasing the dose again, things have not evened out.  Just a reminder that Behcet’s and my body don’t mess around.  And they don’t really care if I’m months behind on my dissertation (years if we’re being honest, but let’s not do that).  So, to sum up: lots of mouth sores, lots of pain, and lots of fatigue and brain fog.  All of this adds up to going gluten-free.  I hope it works…and I kind of hope it doesn’t.

The morning, and the trial, started with peanut butter and chocolate flavored children’s cereal, so it’s not all bad.  I have blueberry waffles in the freezer, also gluten-free.  I have an enormous bag of brown rice in the pantry.  Oh, and the freezer still has probably 30 lbs of zucchini, tomatoes, and bell peppers from last summer’s out of control garden.

The reality is that a gluten-free trial of 2 or 3 weeks should not be that difficult.  If the gluten-free diet actually works though, I have no illusions that it will be easy to maintain indefinitely.  But, if it made me not hurt?  If I could focus for more than 30 minutes at a time?  If it allowed me to decrease my meds?  It would be worth it…but I will miss the biscuits and pastry.

I’d be infinitely grateful for any tasty (preferably wintery, cozy) gluten-free recipes you might have.   Eat well!

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