One day, my friends dad made the suggestion to fast and pray so that I could figure out what was wrong with me. That was such a new concept for me to hear. I had been searching for "the right Doctor" to find out what was "wrong with me". I had plenty names to describe the symptoms, but no answers to HOW I could recover my health. So, I did as my friend's Dad suggested. A couple days after fasting I met a woman who would give me the answers I had been looking for. She, upon learning my history, told of her brother-in-law who had the exact same experience as I had. This individuals father was a Doctor, but it took them 2 years to figure out that he had developed an intolerance to Gluten - Celiac Disease. She wrote her brother in law and he graciously sent me some Celiac literature and when I started to avoid the "bad foods" I was fine. I remember getting sick accidentally on postum, on cottage cheese, soy sauce, on chips, jerky, gum - it was crazy! There was gluten in everything!
I'll never forget the response of my Dr. when I told him about what I had been doing and how I finally felt better. He threw his hands up in the air with excitement and said "Finally! We have an answer!" I had began thinking that the Dr. had given up on me and that he was beginning to think the illness was just made up in my mind. (He was one of a dozen other doctors / specialists I had seen throughout the years). I remember him telling me "I could have you tested, but you would have to go back on gluten and it would make you sick again". I'll talk later about my journey of trying to be officially 'diagnosed' and finding out we had a history of celiac disease on both sides of the family line later in this blog, but for the first time in several years, being on a gluten-free diet, I FINALLY felt like 'Steffanie' again.
Two months later I met my future husband and thanks to his help, and the support of his wonderful Grandmother Jean, we enrolled me in a "Celiac Support Group" and it is there that I attained the information that got my life back. Gluten is in pickles, condiments, yogurt, sour cream, and conveyor belts are floured and frozen juice cans are floured so even if certain packages of food don't list any ingredients are bad, they may or may not be on the safe list. There are websites, software, books, pamphlets all dedicated to helping the Celiac navigate through the gluten-filled stores.
Note: I eat only raw cheese now and only sprouted organic, non-gmo corn tortillas. I eat both very sparingly. Now if I have to eliminate a suspecting food, fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds are what I eat only.