Just remember in about 40 seconds someone is about to commit suicide as we sit here blogging. This post goes out to the teens who took and will take their lives. Please just reblog this post to recognize them and don’t question whether or not you should. I promise it won’t ruin your blog type.
I’m glad that my long reply cleared up some things.
Here in America it really depends on what insurance you have. My insurance doesn’t cover the test unfortunately - at least not completely - and money is tight right now. I can’t even buy gluten free products most of the time because it’s just expensive. The food companies are cashing in on the fact that it has become kind of a fad to go gluten free… which is pretty frustrating, because it means that I have to pay more if I want chicken nuggets, for example. It’s like a once a month treat to eat stuff that isn’t rice… good thing I love Mexican food.
I do think that my eating disorder developed somewhat from having to have a restrictive diet because of the no sugar no wheat thing. Really I’ve always had a sensitive stomach but it has gotten about a thousand times worse since my bulimia began… bulimia really, really messes up the body in so many ways. More than once I thought I was going to die from it… it’s weird the things we get addicted to. I actually restricted heavily for about a month and then began to have the urge to binge when I returned to a full credit load. When I ate an entire box of pop tarts in one sitting I realized i had a problem but i was too embarrassed to talk to anyone… I wish I had talked to someone then. My ED has touched on several things actually, and went kind of like this: heavy restriction due to dietary needs (past the point of just dietary needs), heavier restriction and compulsive exercise, then extreme binging, then binging / purging, and now it’s binge/ purge - restrict - eat normally - restrict heavily - binge and restart the cycle.
I’ve heard about more than one person diagnosed with something like diabetes of Chron’s and developing anorexia or bulimia. It makes sense - there just aren’t a lot of options in the world for people who have to live diets like this, and the options that exist are typically not as cost effective - or worse eliminate tasty, filling foods. No one wants to eat only lettuce. A lot of people develop eating disorders simply from going on diets and the diets they go on are so restrictive and so bad for you that they have the urge to binge and then bulimia ends up taking over the person’s life because they try to restrict to “make up” for the calories… thus starts a vicious cycle.
Bulimia, unfortunately, is not only a commonly accepted disorder as a diet plan - think about how often you’ve sat at a table with friends and ate and someone has said “I have to go running after this cheese cake!” or “I ought to only eat salad, this sandwich is too many calories” for example (several people who talk and act like this are engaged in non purging bulimia and may not realize it) - it’s also nearly invisible. A person on the street would look at me and think that I am of a normal weight and probably have a good metabolism, and hell, they might even find me attractive. They would never look at me and guess that I probably purge about once a week. My going record right now for not purging is four weeks, that’s the longest I’ve been with no purging activities whatsoever in recovery to this point. I think that bulimia is the biggest reason my body doesn’t digest gluten properly. Lately I also feel pain when I eat dairy products as well as indigestion… I’m hoping that this doesn’t actually mean anything because I don’t want to give up cheese and milk if I don’t have to. I truly don’t.
There is also some theorizing that gluten intolerance and diabetes have a connection but this is yet to be truly verified. Most diabetics I have met eat whatever they like, and can afford to do so because they can measure their insulin. It’s probably not healthy, just like it wouldn’t be for anyone really, but I have known more than one diabetic who consumed large amounts of sugar in one sitting, often, and then simply measured out insulin. I have actually prayed for diabetes before because then I would be able to control how much insulin is in my body, instead of riding this constant glucose and insulin roller coaster.
I tend to give long replies where they aren’t always necessary, but I do want to say, I’m happy I have a follower in Europe! That’s awesome. :) If you ever want to talk about the frustrations of going gluten free, or life, or whatever, feel free to come off anon. I’ll only ever publicly reply to something with your consent.
Why not get tested? Actually the main reason is that it’s expensive. I have, however, been to the doctor about it, before you bust your chops... for about a year doctors were like “Maybe it’s this?” and tried different pills on me to try and make things better… I felt like a strange, red-haired Guinea pig. Eventually the doctors at the health center I went to just kind of shrugged, and the waiting list for a GI doctor was three months, so I decided to go somewhere else instead - I wanted answers sooner, not later. I should have just gotten on the GI list to begin with because it wasn’t until pretty recently that a doctor connected my symptoms to a book she had been reading about wheat sensitivity - but I’ll get to that. For a long time I thought that I had ulcers because of my history with bulimia, but I actually lucked out and don’t, but the pain didn’t stop.
I had read that when you begin to stop purging, your stomach will hurt, but months went by with me keeping down 98% of my meals, the doctors I went to thought that it was normal, and I just felt… frustrated.
Every meal with my boyfriend we would sit there afterwards and I would be like, “Oh, great, here it is.” And he would be like, “Your stomach hurts?” and I would just nodd because it was so commonplace; every single day this happened. Around my family I don’t talk a whole lot anyway, and when I hurt around them it just made me more quiet and tired, really. In the end I just ended up asking my mom for an ibuprofen for the headache that always came, and it helped the stomach inflammation too, so that seemed like a solid solution to me for a while. But ibuprofen isn’t great for your stomach and it makes me feel kind of sick because I once took too much of it, so that wasn’t a permanent solution. I began looking for other clues.
I then ran into a friend who had stopped eating gluten after having symptoms like mine when she ate wheat - tired, pain and lots of it, gas, headache, general fatigue, nausea, heartburn, general indigestion, constipation, and sometimes even diaherria - and going gluten free made these symptoms stop for her. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t skeptical at first, but I ate my next meal gluten free… and I remember sitting there with my boyfriend and being all, “Woah. I don’t hurt.”
I went to a new doctor and told her my symptoms, and she explained that she thought it could be different things - but all these things I had been tested for and the tests were negative (ulcers, gallstones, liver disease, pancreatic troubles, the works of the digestive tract). She said that she wanted to try a few things before we got me tested for celiac’s because it’s an expensive test, and actually there is no fully conclusive test for it (I’m still looking into that, but it’s what she told me). The second time I came in she got out this book, “The Wheat Belly Diet”, and all of my symptoms were listed there next to gluten sensitivity. Given what I knew about a couple of my friends who were gluten sensitive and how their symptoms, and my symptoms, matched up with this book, she said, “I think that’s it. I think there’s your answer.”
I still sometimes feel this weird need to test myself, like maybe it went away on its own, and eat gluten, but I always get pain. Always. But restricting is… it’s less than easy for a person with an eating disorder and a blood sugar problem.
The cycle goes like this: I restrict as I think to myself “You’ll never lose weight if you eat like you did yesterday!”, blood sugar gets low, keep restricting, body goes crazy, binge mode begins, I binge disregarding all health concerns, purge if I’m feeling particularly bad, curl up on the couch and watch television mindlessly if I’m feeling like “No, i want to get better”, and tell myself “tomorrow I’ll be well”, I’m well for a few days, then have a day where I feel the urge to “restrict” to make up for yesterday. If other people are with me that day, I’m less tempted. if people aren’t and I’m alone it’s much harder to keep the wellness days going. To be honest most of my binges no longer actually qualify medically as a binge. For example… a slice of cake is not a binge. It’s just a slice of cake. Had I eaten three cakes, that would be a binge. Or even two… or even one, to me, that’s a binge. But my binges aren’t actually that big any more, which is a sign of progress.
I know that craving sugar and gluten are both normal. After all, we in America are raised with sugar, bread, and meat as a staple diet, basically. Even in my household where things were “ultra healthy” - my mom bought sugarless cereals and tried to get us to eat her healthy entrees but I usually just microwaved myself something else - but I actually have reactive hypoglycemia. It’s kind of a really hard thing to have if you’re trying to restrict other parts of your diet as well as sugar. Reactive hypoglycemia has nothing to do with me craving sugar. It is a disorder in which my pancreas over produces insulin when I eat sugar and causes my overall blood sugar levels to drop. Protein is a balancer for this kind of thing and helps stabilize blood sugar. So, say I want a bowl of ice cream. I would probably have to eat 4 - 6 tablespoons of peanut butter to have no reaction to it at all. It makes me very sleepy and nauseas. In addition if I don’t eat I will pass out or throw up - usually it’s throw up first, pass out later. I have emergency blood sugar shakes for just such an occasion as well as glucose tablets, and I try to carry a form of protein with me everywhere.
The biggest thing about why it’s so hard for me to restrict is that in bulimia you go into binge mode in which your body and brain don’t give a damn about what will make you feel badly, they just want it. It’s mechanical. I don’t enjoy binging. I don’t enjoy purging. It’s not a pleasant experience. But shutting off my “I need sugar” impulse in this mode is very, very difficult. “Craving” is putting things lightly. When I feel the urge to binge it often feels like if I don’t get X food right that minute I will have a heart attack. And then it feels like if I don’t purge X food I will have a heart attack. And then purging makes me feel like I’ve already had one. I have ways of avoiding this that I won’t get into - I don’t want to give anyone tips on an eating disorder. Most of the time honestly it’s curl up in a ball and cry and deal with the consequences the old fashion way. The best way I’ve found to deal with this is go on a long walk and remind myself that one meal that’s a little bigger than another will not effect my permanent weight.
so… my body needs me to not eat these things. And to get comfortable not eating these things, I need to stop the cycle of bulimia. But to stop the cycle of bulimia, I need to stop restricting altogether - and this is a form of restriction. That’s where it gets really difficult, and that’s why I go back and forth so much… that and in spite of being 5’3.5” and 124 pounds I still perceive myself as overweight. I dunno. I keep telling myself, “todays’ the day!” but that day hasn’t really actually happened yet. I need to get well, really… the road of recovery is very long and very difficult.
But I suppose that over answers your question of why not get tested for celiacs. I have had my symptoms confirmed and diagnosed as gluten intolerance, meaning my body does not digest it properly, and after all the loops I went through that’s enough for me - after all, not eating it makes me feel better, so it seems like a conclusion. I have a hard time avoiding it because of binge mode in bulimia nervosa, my eating disorder, from which I am trying to recover. And I’m hypoglycemic. Also I need to do my math homework. Hope this answered your question.
I am going to be selling work and painting live at YART, part of Arts Walk, this year on October 2nd.
All work will be $40 or less!
I ask that you please reblog and help spread the word even if you aren’t in the area, for your followers who might be, and I hope to see you guys there!
Any artists in Muncie: YART space is free and the people running it aren’t confusing (unlike some art stores I’ve spoken with about showing who were flip floppy). Contact Moth Maximus on Facebook for details and to reserve a space! Please reblogs for your followers who are artists and I hope you guys will come for the live painting!
that I have to be more strict about my diet. Before you go “but you’re supposed to be in recovery!” I want to say I’m not talking about calorie intake / output or any of that crap.
Here I’m actually talking about the fact that gluten makes my stomach hurt, that when I eat too much I feel ill and I feel a need to purge, and that I feel incredibly self conscious and triggered when I eat enough protein to actually balance the amount of sugar I’m taking in.
I just need to be more strict about not eating gluten and sugar. I’m always like “Just this one time” and then I feel horrible. I can put on a happy face but my stomach gets these sharp, shooting pains, my head feels like it’s in a fog, and my thinking feels slow as well. It just doesn’t feel good. So until I get more Glutenease - a digestive aid for folks like me - I have just resolved to be more strict about it and start enjoying rice.
Also just about every time I eat sugar, I feel at least woozy. I can eat sugar with protein - this is how a person with reactive hypoglycemia balances the reaction - but I feel so full that I feel an almost uncontrollable urge to purge. Sort of defeats the purpose. And things like milkshakes, doughnuts, candy bars, icing, etc were all binge foods for me at one time… and kind of still are. Every time I eat it I just want to purge. So… I should stop eating it.
Oh dearest gluten… why you be so delicious… and sugar… I have to eat so much so that you won’t make me sick that I want to make myself sick! Urghhh. It’s so hard to recover though when you have to be constantly thinking about what you’re eating and how much stuff is in it and etc etc. I keep going back and forth on the issue. It hurts, but thinking about restricting makes me want to binge, or just restrict a whole lot, depending on the day - and then I end up binging on the stuff anyway. Does anyone have advice for this?