I started to do some research last week about how long a person should do an elimination diet before you notice a change. Everything I have read said that six weeks should be more than enough time to see a change if you are going to. Today would have been six weeks gluten free.
I have been asked by a number of people over the last six weeks if I have noticed a change in how I feel. Each time I thought about it, and tried my best to find something that was different, I couldn't. I felt pretty much exactly the same. My energy levels were the same, my digestion felt about the same, my thyroid didn't seem to be making leaps and bounds in the right direction (though I did get a call after my last blood work a couple of weeks ago that my levels are back in the normal range, so I am to keep on the same dose of medication and do blood work again in a month). I really think that has more to do with the medication than the diet.
In my research I also found that once you have cut something out of your diet for a period of time, that you can 'test the waters' so to speak by eating some of the product and see how your body reacts to it. I decided to test this out this weekend, mainly because we were invited to the Samurai for supper for a friend's birthday on Saturday. I figured at a place like that where they are bound to use soy sauce and other gluten filled sauces to cook everyone's food on the same grill, right in front of you, that there was bound to be gluten at least in the form of cross contamination. I decided to take my chances. I made that decision on Friday, and Friday afternoon, one of my clients just happened to bring me a decadent cupcake from Crave in Saskatoon. I figured since I would be testing things out on Saturday at the Samurai that I might as well eat the delicious looking cupcake that my client so kindly brought me for dessert on Friday evening.
I ate the cupcake and felt rather nauseated afterward. However, I chalked that up to the ridiculous quantity of icing on top of the cupcake. I ended up feeling kind of crampy and uncomfortable during the night but again kind of chalked that up to the richness of the cupcake. After that passed I felt fine all day. We had an AMAZING supper at the Samurai and again, I felt just fine. I felt great on Sunday, so after church we decided to BBQ our last package of premade hamburger patties that we made in the spring (with soda crackers in them) and I had it on a wheat bun. I still feel fine. So I think after six weeks of gluten free eating, I am going to go back to eating gluten. I just don't think that my body is benefiting from the gluten free lifestyle. I am sure that it wouldn't hurt me, but it is definitely inconvenient.
As for the whole thyroid/autoimmune disease/etc. I don't know. I have another appointment with my thyroid doctor next week, so maybe I will ask her what she knows about gluten free diets in regards to autoimmune diseases. I do not count this as a failure, I just wanted to give it an honest try, and I feel like I did.