Going Gluten Free

Okay, so I still haven’t been very good about updating the blog! I need to stick with it, partly because of an “experiment” I’ve been doing on myself.

I’ve had unexplained chronic pain in my left arm basically from my rib cage, through the scapula, shoulder, elbow, wrist and all the way down to my finger tips for the last 18 months.  It has been so bad that I have spent the last 8 months learning to write, draw and everything else with my right hand.  After x-rays, MRIs, nerve conduction tests there was still no explanation for the pain.

I’ve tried a ton of “alternative” treatments to alleviate the pain with little to no results.  I’ve been on anti-inflammatory drugs, had coritsone injections and been through physical therapy.  Orthopedic massage, while painful, did help improve my range of motion, but I was still in constant pain.

After the nerve conduction test in January showed no damage, I was frustrated and somewhat devastated.  It made me feel as though I am crazy (one of the specialists basically told me as much and called me a drug seeker).  I’ve tolerated pain and joint swelling (but it wasn’t arthritis), for as long as I can remember, but this was debilitating pain I had never experienced before.

After doing some reading, I started finding studies and anecdotal stories that indicated that wheat/gluten sensitivity can cause chronic inflammation and arthritis-like symptoms.  At this point, I figured I’d give it a shot.  I’ve tried so many other things, it couldn’t hurt, right?

Well, of all the things I’ve tried in the last 18 months, I’ve had the best results of ANYTHING I’ve tried (the mental torture of giving up a good crusty bread on the other hand, has been the suck!).

I was planning to do a small experiment by returning to a regular diet for the month of March, but part of me is terrified to give it a shot.  Today, for the first time in more than a year and a half, I was able to use an x-acto knife and my rotary cutter to cut countless swatches for a school project. I am NOT in excruciating pain.  I can definitely tell my left arm has been underutilized for a long period of time, but I don’t have the burning, tingling and stabbing sensations I normally have.

It might not sound like much, but to me, it’s a big deal.

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