What Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Shelley Shaw Have In Common

This is a stretch. But here we go…

We’re moms. We both have great husbands. She does have a spot on a major TV talk show, which, if given the opportunity, I’d do the same in a New York minute. And we’re both blonde. She likes Sarah Palin. So do I. And I like Australia. Maybe she does too? Surely she does, after being on the Outback Survivor show and all.

But here’s the biggest connection I have to this celebrity. She’s gluten free! How ’bout that?

I get asked daily about this and I have found it is simple to explain. However, once it sinks in, most folks look at me like I’m crazy and say, “wait a minute, what DO you eat?” It’s tricky, but there is a way.

My story is much different than hers, as most of us with a gluten intolerance would tell you. It is generally on a case by case basis and sometimes (well, ALOT of times) goes undiagnosed. Because wheat is a huge part of the Western diet, it is impossible for most people to imagine living with out it. But truth be told, I’m living because I do live with out it.

Chronic pain and inflammation is a foreign concept to many and was to me before I began noticing how bad I felt a couple of years ago. I wondered, why I am bloated 3 weeks of the month? Why do I feel sick and have brain fog after eating a bowl of oatmeal? Those were uncomfortable symptoms but I lived with them. Until I started a fever, joint pain and a rash that would NEVER go away. Yikes! I had every test under the sun. And what came back was an elevated rheumatoid factor. Then my proactive, take charge self decided it was time to figure this out.

I was not diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. But it was becoming apparent I had an autoimmune disorder and these things take time, sometimes years, to figure out. Ever heard of prostrate prayer? Well, you can bet I was on my face daily. And when I wasn’t on my face I was in the bed. And when I wasn’t in the bed I was in pain. Again, Elisabeth had her aches and pains and I did too. I would say agony might be another thing we have in common. Plus food!!! Food, had become the enemy. Both Elisabeth and I have been at war with our own bodies.

Long story short, people suffering from a wide range of diseases—from autism to osteoporosis, from diabetes to rheumatoid arthritis—can often benefit from a gluten free diet. A chiropractor finally told me I needed to give this wheat free/gluten free thing a try. I was ready for anything. When you live this way for any length of time you will do ANYTHING to get better.

So, I have been gluten free for a year now and I am coming out on the other side of this crazy season of my life. I still have a chronic autoimmune condition which requires daily medication but by controlling the amount of wheat and gluten in my diet I have become much better. I do not have the same condition Elisabeth has, but my autoimmune disorder goes hand in hand with gluten intolerance.

Gluten is the binding element in wheat. It is a protein and once it gets into my bloodstream my autoimmune system attacks it as a foreign substance. I can handle LOTS of other foods (thank you God!) but not wheat. And it’s a full time job figuring out what you can eat. Thank goodness for celebrities like Elisabeth, for shedding some “celebrity” light on this discovery. Who knows, I might have another thing in common with her. We might just be trendsetters.

And I’m good with it.

4 Comments

Minde Briscoe
May 12, 2009 at 10:56 am

Thank you for sharing this.

What I know about Elizabeth Hasselbeck fits on a pin: she’s on The View. That’s it. But I know you, and I read your blog. I, too, have been seeing a specialist about possible RA. Right now they’ve left me with a diagnosis of “arthralgia” and a prescription for an NSAID. I get to go back every six months of more x-rays and follow ups.

The NSAID has made a HUGE difference (along with my losing a good 50 lbs of weight.) but I still don’t feel normal. I’ve been figuring some things out on my own. Like the fact that I hurt the day after I have red meat: turns out red meat contains things that inflame tissue. Sugar makes me ache the next day, too. It’s another arthritis no-no apparently. I had no idea the gluten could be a trigger for some people, too, and am curious to see if this makes a difference for me.


 
Shelley
May 12, 2009 at 4:54 pm

Everything you are describing Minde, is all too familiar! here’s what I know and have come to believe: many of our aches and pains are truly allergic reactions that affect our bones, joints, and all-over (systemic) processes. Some would even go as far as to say all autoimmune conditions are simply allergies gone wrong. I’m not too sure about my entire problem being attributed to wheat or gluten, but I do know what I eat makes a big difference.

I was put on prescription allergy meds early on b/c it helped reduce inflammation in the joints. have you started on one yet? also, OTC tagament can help b/c it reduces inflammation, not only in your stomach but also your joints. crazy stuff! we need to do coffee and discuss!


 
Minde Briscoe
May 13, 2009 at 10:53 am

I would enjoy that. Or a playdate. Melody might be a little bored but the boys could have at it.


 
Minde Briscoe
May 20, 2009 at 8:03 am

Fabulous Gluten free Chocolate Cupcake recipe: http://cupcakestakethecake.blogspot.com/2009/05/gluten-free-black-bottom-cupcake-recipe.html


 

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