The Road to Gluten Free

by Dave Jackson

Dave JacksonLast post I let the cat out of the bag on a life changing event for me and I hope that you can totally relate – either someone you know, or maybe even you – and these posts will help.  What is amazing is that with the technology we have at our fingertips, we can easily search the Internet and read what has worked for other people.  No longer are we bound to what the medical profession allow us to know.  It’s similar to the old church not allowing the parishioners to read the Scriptures; that only a man of the cloth could interpret the words.

Before I get too far with the concept of self-diagnosis and healing, let me say I have a great respect for many doctors.  A few are good friends.  Unfortunately, it is the medical training system that we currently have that seems to teach them more about easing symptoms than researching the cause.  And I don’t know this for a fact.  I’m writing out of my own experience, and that of friends.

Let’s take my situation as an example.

Yes, the doctors ask if you’re taking any medication, how do you feel, etc.  And I told my doctor in Arlington, Texas, that I was taking this “new” brand of antibiotic.  Why on earth he prescribed a synthetic cortisone that simply covered the symptoms…does anyone have an answer?

The “Prednisone” did cover up the reaction I was having.  But here is what happened – in my mind:  I was given an antibiotic to reduce swelling around a tooth.  A reaction to that careless drug flipped a switch with my autoimmune system.  Now I was allergic to gluten.  I suppose the doctor’s thinking was the reaction would go away, and the Prednisone would cover the horrible side-effects until it did.

But, it never did.

My doctor then referred me to a dermatologist who couldn’t diagnose the tiny painful blisters of Dermatitis Herpetiformis I now had on my knuckles, my back, upper knee area.  He took a biopsy of a blister on my ear and sent if off to the lab.  I wanted to know what was happening.  This was pre-Internet, so there wasn’t much I could research.

The dermatologist told me I had Dermatitis Herpetiformis and he prescribed Dapsone which is the common treatment for this.  It also masks the symptoms but does not address the cause of the disease.  I feel the reaction from the antibiotic triggered my autoimmune system, and that is where research should be done.  I could be wrong – but why keep covering over symptoms?

And here’s what I want you to take away from this.  The other choice was to simply stop eating anything that had gluten in it.

For me, the Dapsone was taking a long time.  I took it faithfully for three days and showed no improvement.  And then I made a life-changing decision.  I totally quit eating gluten.  And three days later all symptoms disappeared.  Pretty cool, no?

In fact, so cool that a ton of my allergies disappeared forever.  I used to have horrible reactions to Texas pollen, so bad that I’d be out of commission for days hurting.  Did gluten cause these?  I believe indirectly, yes.  As gluten is ingested, and I think largely because of the hybridized wheat, it lowers our immune system giving us less to fight with.

This was not a cure of Dermatitis Herpetiformis.  It’s simply removing the cause of the symptoms.  If I ate gluten then – I’d have those awful symptoms again.

Unfortunately, because my autoimmune system was now damaged, several other things began to slowly break down in my system.  Isn’t it interesting how tightly woven this whole tapestry of life is?  One system is dependant on another.  In my next post I’ll share the common disease this progressed to, and how I found a cure.

Talk soon.

P.S. Know someone with a allergic to wheat products or on a gluten-free diet?  Send them this site, and feel free to comment below on this story… I promise I’ll write back.

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Jana Hopper March 22, 2010 - 7:07 am

Hi there. My name is Jana Hopper and I’m from Midvale, UT. I have been GF for 8 years now. I followed a link on Twitter and voilà here I am reading your blog. I was reading another one of your posts that you have never met anyone with the exact celiac disease presentation you had. How interesting that you say that because I have thought that myself so many times I have lost count. Also, I agree that prednisone is a nasty cover up drug. I am allergic to it. Also, the DH for me was the key to my diagnosis. It was the one true sign after 3 surgeries and me being large intestine-less that something was still wrong. It made my doctor and family realize I wasn’t crazy. I really enjoyed reading your posts and if you don’t mind I would like to continue following your blog. 🙂 have a great day and thank you for posting this.

Sophie Wilson April 28, 2010 - 2:26 am

me and my sister are both allergic to Gluten and we were always on a gluten-free diet ever since we were teenagers. ~


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