Yeah, I can’t eat gluten or wheat either. I figured this out in 2010 when heading home from a trip to DC. A lady on the airplane saw me touching my eyeball socket, grimacing. She asked if I was getting a migraine. Yep. I got them all the damn time, starting at age 25 and getting worse into my 30s. She told me that she knows what caused her migraines. It happened when she had breads and pastas. When she was good, no headaches. When she ate what she wanted, they came back. I thought she insane, because get this: she was munching on a baguette the whole time she talked at me. I thought, “if I find the holy grail that makes my head actually quit hurting, I’d be totally puritan about adherence.”
The next day, I had a massive migraine that landed me in urgent care. They gave me some more drugs to make my head stop hurting. I wanted to know WHY my head was hurting. Not more drugs. And then I thought about the airplane lady. And I followed her lead, at least the sensible part.
It was the first food I tried to eliminate as an adult. But I was really sad about it. I had one “last supper.” I hit the KFC drive-thru in Lawrence, Kansas where I was teaching at University of Kansas and Haskell Indian Nations University. Got a 2 piece, extra crispy. Mashed potatoes and gravy. Two biscuits. And that was the last time I had a big plate-o-gluten.
I felt like crap for the first week or so. Got what they call the “carb flu” but my head did quit hurting, forever. That was over a decade ago.
This was the first time as an adult, that I realized that some food just makes me sick enough, that it just wasn’t worth it. I’ve had 2-3 big headaches since then – in over TEN years. Before that, I had 1-3 migraines, PER WEEK. It was hard to function. The rare headache since then happened because I wasn’t careful with with labels and “gluten-ed” myself. Sucked. Reminded me that I don’t want to feel that way ever again.
When I was a kid, I was treated by a mysterious thyroid problem the docs had a hard time diagnosing. They landed at Hashimoto’s Disease and put me on thyroid meds. I took those pills from grade school until about 3 months after the KFC Last Supper of 2010. Then as an experiment, I stopped taking the thyroid meds and at my next checkup, my thyroid levels were normal, for the first time since Wilma Mankiller was our Principal Chief.
Could be psychosomatic. It’s probably the food. I know it’s the food. And I wouldn’t advise going off meds without talking to the doctor first. But that’s my story. If you have headaches, joint point, feel bloated, have thyroid disease or are pre-diabetic. Give it a month. Cut out the gluten/wheat. Might work. If it doesn’t, I envy you the next time you go to KFC. Love that stuff.
I’ll discuss more about gluten and what can be eaten on a gluten-free diet in future posts.