Dear Gluten-Free Brain,
You are feeding me the right foods -- no wheat, oats, barley, or rye. I'm feeling better, slowly. The brain fog has disappeared, and those stomach pains have settled down. The bloating, cramping, and other problems "down there" are almost gone too. But, the exhaustion is just not going away. Tired. So tired. Please help.
Your digestive system.
Dear Digestive System,
I just learned that, while I am abiding strictly to the gluten-free diet, my insides have not healed completely. The little villi that help absorb all those good nutrients have not yet regained their full capacity. The longer I remain gluten-free, the greater the chance of regaining all the villi. I know that cheating on this diet is not even an option because that's almost like saying "I think I want to kill some villi today." But, now that I know I can't just go gluten-free and be good as new, I will work harder. I will add in some extra vitamins and other nutrients to help you along in your healing process. I will ask my doctor about taking supplements for a little while, at least until most of your villi return. I'll avoid dairy for the time being because I know that can be really tough on those tender little villi that are so necessary. In the future, I'll eat ice cream and have milk on my cereal, but for right now, I'll give you a fighting chance. I will make sure that I haven't developed some other mild intolerances -- like to corn or eggs -- that might be causing you exhaustion. Those intolerances will go away in time as well, but if I have to avoid these foods to help you out, I will. I'll also double check any skin lotions I use that may have gluten in them. And, we'll double check any issues of cross-contamination. I know you and I work closely together, so whatever I can do to help you out, just let me know. We'll get through this together: you and me.
From my heart,