I am a follower of Christ, stay at home, homeschool mom of four. I have been gluten free (GF) since 2010. Half of my family by necessity and half by default. We have a GF household (as much as I can control) and this has made it easier for us in keeping the kids and myself symptom free.
When I was pregnant in 2007, with my third child, I began having very bad stomach issues, something I’ve had on/off all my life. Sometimes it was worse than others. But, since my pregnancy in 2007 pretty severe. I had no idea that it might be gluten related until we went GF.
My third child had a lot of allergies, most of which he grew out of, but he developed really bad eczema on his legs, I mean really bad. I did a bit of research and found that usually wheat and dairy are the most common eczema causing allergens. I was just not ready to go there, as you might know it is VERY hard to eliminate foods from your diet and well gluten/wheat is in almost everything! I didn’t have it in me, at the time, so I just kind of let him live with it.
After I had my fourth child and he was about three months old he developed severe cradle cap, but it was the worst I had ever seen, then he started clawing at it and scratching his head and forehead all up from trying to scratch it. After a little while I started thinking that it must not be just cradle cap. Over the next few months he developed some little patches of eczema on his arms and legs. He had had no food at this time, only breast milk, so obviously it was what I was eating that was causing this. Well, I began to realize it is probably the wheat and/or dairy. I started doing more and more research and found that while there are wheat allergies often it is actually gluten that is the allergen, which is a lot harder to eliminate than just wheat. Between the two boys and how bad it was I decided that I MUST do this for them. I began, slowly, to eliminate the gluten from the boys and my diet and thus began our GF journey, that was the beginning of 2010.
I eventually eliminated all the gluten from our diets except for I made homemade wheat bread for the gluten eaters. For the first six or seven months we didn’t eat out until we were moving out of state. When we were moving, we had to eat out. It was/is very challenging, mostly for my third child, who is extremely sensitive. He was mostly clear on the eczema until the move. Since then we’ve had a lot exposure until we eliminated all gluten from the household. Now he is just recovering, my fourth child is eczema free, thankfully. A friend of mine with Celiac said it can take up to two years for your skin to heal and obviously if you are exposed again then it will take longer as it will aggravate the eczema.
After we’d been doing the GF for a while a friend asked how my stomach was doing, it was then that I realized it was better. I think the longer you’re off an allergen the better it is for your body and health, but the worse it gets if you do get exposed. Also, after doing all of the research I’ve done, I realized I believe that my grandma has Celiac or at the very least an extreme gluten allergy. So she has really benefited from the GF diet.
It was a hard road in the beginning, and it’s still hard now sometimes, like parties and eating out or at someone’s house. But, it’s doable. I hope that on this site and blog you will be encouraged in your gluten free journey and in life.