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Nitrates, Gluten or Both?

April 1st, 2010

The thought of going on a strict elimination diet and slowly adding things back in, one by one is crossing my mind now. After avoiding gluten for over a month, aside for a few incidents of getting glutenized (a.k.a. glutened), I have finally felt some relief from my fibro pain.

In going gluten free I have naturally avoided things like pepperoni pizza and lunch meat that have fillers. When I went to Pizza Hut on Wednesday for a class field trip I sat and watched a couple of my sixth grade students stuff themselves with pepperoni pan pizza. They each managed to eat four breadsticks and eight slices of pizza. I warned them about the bus ride home repeatedly, but they continued shoveling it in. I can’t believe the stomachs of 12 year old boys. Corbin will surely eat us out of house and home.

Alas, I just smelled the pizza, carried in my own salad dressing and requested a side of pepperoni for my salad, while sipping my unsweetened tea. My reaction to my lunch was this, intense heartburn, my arms felt like they were on fire, and I started feeling the muscle aches all over. This is not my typical reaction to being “glutened”. Normally when I am accidentally exposed to gluten I have intense stomach pain, followed by constipation for about 3 days, bloating, swelling of my joints and itching skin. Sometimes I’ve noticed a swollen tongue. I know this sounds like an allergy, but I went to the allergist and he found I had none. I suppose my spring and fall sinus infections are just imagined. I was diagnosed with non-allergic rhinitis (which has gone away since going gluten-free), given a prescription for Flonase and sent on my way. I never used the Flonase by the way, so I can’t tell you if it helped. What has helped was going gluten-free.

My search for the root cause of my Fibromyalgia definitely is pointing to gluten, but my fibro flared up when I ate the pepperoni and drank tea in a slightly different way. Maybe it has been a combo of the nitrates in lunchmeats and the gluten in bread that has been making me so sick. What else do I need to avoid? I’m re-reading this article on WebMD about the 7 Foods to Avoid for Fibro. Caffeine is also listed as a trigger and I do notice a prickly sensation when I drink tea or coffee, almost like my skin is crawling. So I am back to the drawing board a bit.

The next big challenge is my first holiday dinner gluten-free. Think I can celebrate Easter without getting glutened? We will see. Maybe the Easter bunny will bring me some gluten-free candy.

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