Today's subject is gluten and my information was gathered from an article in The NY Times Sunday Magazine titled HurtAllOver and from a book I just received from Rodale Press called The Gluten Connection by Shari Lieberman. A little background information first.
I ave always been sensitive to milk and then also to milk products. I didn't have a name for it until my mother, when I was already 50 years old, sat next to me in the movie theater and told me I had to "Do something" about my indigestion. There was no longer a doggie to blame anything on! I then tried lactaid milk and pills with no success; I had to stop using any product that contained milk, except sheep's milk, and I was fine.
Twenty years later, I again experienced the same symptoms and worse; I had uncontrollable diarrhea which sometimes occurred as I was walking in the street. Bob was already experiencing memory lapses and becoming very dependent on me, so I self-diagnosed Irritable Bowel Syndrome and to remedy the tension I felt caused my symptoms, I joined a self-help group online for Alzheimer spouses. It didn't help. My doctor recommended fiber supplements which only added to my social inacceptability.
The following year, the gatroenterologist finally suggested I omit gluten from my diet-- no more bread, rolls,cookies, cakes, pasta. I tried that with moderate results. During that year I lost ten pounds which I have kept off. That was a bonus I enjoy, but my problem recurred every so often.
What I am finding out now is that I have to be as careful with products that contain the least amount of gluten--no potato pancakes, unless made with rice flour, no more gefilte fish-it has matzoh meal, no more Chinese food, the soy sauce has wheat as its second ingredient.The book helped me with ingredients to watch forand with restaurants which have gluten-free menus. By the way, even choosing "safe" foods in a restaurant doesn't work as there is "cross-contamination" in a restaurant kitchen unless they have a gluten-free or "alerganfree" policy in which they keep mixing bowls, pots, pans and griddle separate.
So yes, we caregivers are stressed, but don't stop there if you have physical symptoms. Fight for a diagnosis that fixes the problem. It is "not merely" being tired, or older, or psychological.