I’ve written lately about my battle with fatigue: a sometimes overwhelming tiredness that I feel that lends itself to lack of motivation and procrastination.
Besides tiredness, I have also been experiencing the following on a regular basis:
*bouts of diarrhea
*terrible heartburn, especially when I eat bread, chicken, or potatoes
As I said in Friday’s post, my doctor and I discussed my problems with fatigue, and one of the things he suggested was to change the timing of my depression medication.
Another thing we discussed was my diet. I asked him how much validity he put in the idea that one’s diet could affect one’s mental health.
He said he had patients who had changed their diets—mostly giving up wheat and other sources of gluten—who had experienced positive results. In conjunction with medication and/or other treatments, he believed certain changes in diet might help.
I don’t believe in throwing out whole categories of food unless a person has real medical issues. For example, according to the website of the National Institutes of Health, people who have celiac disease cannot consume gluten because they have an immunereaction to gluten, a protein in wheat, barley and rye.
I don’t have celiac disease. And I don’t have symptoms that are anywhere nearly as bad as those with celiac disease.
But I’ve wondered if I may be sensitive to gluten.
Perhaps it’s really a matter of too many simple carbohydrates. Maybe it’s a problem with wheat.
I already know that milk irritates my digestive system. Cheese and Greek yogurt don’t. I’m allergic to tree nuts.
I decided to try eliminating, as much as I can, gluten from my diet for a week or two to see how I react. It won’t hurt. If I feel better, then I can add back some foods gradually and get a clearer idea of whether or not food is affecting how I feel.
I had no gluten (that I know of) Sunday. For breakfast, I had a cup of Greek yogurt.
For lunch, we ate at our favorite Mexican restaurant. I had beef fajitas and ate just the meat and vegetables and a little of the beans. I didn’t eat the tortillas.
For dinner, I had the salad pictured above: Romaine lettuce, carrots, red kidney beans, apples, and pickled beets. After I took the photo, I added cheddar cheese and some tuna salad that Larry had made. I also added balsamic vinaigrette dressing after making sure it didn’t contain wheat.
No heartburn. No digestive issues. It’s too early to tell about the tiredness.
I am motivated to try this. Saturday was a bad day for me digestively. I knew what had caused at least of the problem: I had eaten some doughnuts.
As I lay down to rest, I decided that I’d had enough of feeling so bad. I needed to find out how to help myself.
Right now my plan is to stay away from gluten and to follow the new medication timing.
Have you ever found that a certain food, or group of foods, negatively affect how you feel?