Cough, Post Nasal Drip, Gluten Intolerance, and Other Allergies
Looking for Answers
What’s wrong with me? My nose runs. Drainage slides down the back of my throat. I cough till my belly feels like it is turning inside out. I heave and heave and nothing comes up! What is wrong with me? If you have endured cyclical rounds of antibiotics, live on antihistamines, and go from pill to pill you need to take a look at this discussion.
My life was an endless round of coughing, drainage, heaving, wheezing, coughing, Kleenex, sneezing, sinus infection, antibiotics, nasal sprays, constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, respiratory infections, doctor visits, and on and on. My nose started running somewhere around my tenth birthday and never stopped.
As a child I missed more school than anyone could possibly need to miss and was known as the kid with the colds. They called it hay fever in those days and antihistamines were unheard of. I found tissues in the pocket of every garment I own. On bad days they were everywhere. I lived with doctor visits. I worked in healthcare for sixteen years. Not one time did I ever hear a comment that I might be suffering from food allergies. Not one time did I even think about food allergies.
As I look back it is amazing to me that I never noticed that most of my symptoms occurred after eating! Of course hindsight is twenty-twenty but as I look back over the past few years I can see the correlation to my food allergy, sensitivity, or whatever you choose to call it, to the foods I was eating!
My father was diagnosed with Celiac Disease (CD) thirty-five years ago. Not a lot was known about the disease during those days and they thought that mostly men had the disease. Eventually two of my nephews were also diagnosed with CD.
Jennifer Esposito is a celebrity with a cause. Her story is the same as others who have been through the long journey from illness to understanding. Her passion to create a Safe Zone for other people who suffer from Celiac has brought about her bakery that is now open in New York City called Jennifer's Way. Her web site is informational and certainly commercial but is a good resource for those looking for an easy read and help.
Symptoms for Celiac Disease
- Stomach upset
- Joint pain
- Muscle cramps
- Skin rash
- Mouth sores
- Dental and bone disorders (osteoporosis)
- Tingling in hands and feet (neuropathy)
Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease. It is genetic. There are no typical symptoms of CD. An individual may present with diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating. “Sometimes people with celiac disease may have no gastrointestinal symptoms at all. Celiac disease symptoms can also mimic those of other conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, gastric ulcers, Crohn's disease, parasite infections, anemia, skin disorders or a nervous condition” (Mayo Clinic Staff)
Malabsorption Related to Celiac Disease
Here are some indications of malabsorption that may be related to celiac disease:
• Weight loss
• Abdominal cramps, gas and bloating
• General weakness and fatigue
• Foul-smelling or grayish stools that may be fatty or oily
• Stunted growth (in children)
This is an itchy, blistering skin disease that results from gluten intolerance. This rash may appear on the face, back, sacrum area, knees and buttocks. Dermatitis herpetiformis can cause significant intestinal damage identical to that of celiac disease. However, it may not produce noticeable digestive symptoms. This disease is treated with a gluten-free diet, in addition to medication to control the rash.
Autism and Diet
Research indicates that foods impact your health in many ways still to be discovered. Autism seems to be on the rise. Researchers are looking into the possibility that gluten impacts people diagnosed with autism.
Type I Allergies
Type I Allergies and the following symptoms may be connected to gluten in the diet.
You can see why it is hard to get a true diagnosis of your illness. Most of the time the symptoms are treated and unless the patient is determined to find the root cause the investigation will stop there!
My tests do not indicate Celiac Disease or even gluten intolerance. What I have found to my personal satisfaction is that removing gluten from my diet changed my life. I am not advising people who are not intolerant to wheat gluten to embrace the gluten free lifestyle. It is expensive and time consuming. However, if you have Celiac there is hope.
But, here is the big news! I removed wheat products (mostly) from my diet as well as most dairy products. I have not been able to give up my cola drinks which would fall within the list of foods in the Type I Allergy list and my nose drips a little. I am so far able to live with it. I have not taken any allergy medication in 6 weeks! None! Nada! Not one pill! Not one spray! Nothing. You will understand my joy when I tell you that I spent around $100.00 monthly on over the counter meds, not to mention the antibiotics and other medications I regularly needed. The coughing incessantly is gone. Wheezing...gone! Constipation...gone! Post nasal drip...gone! Every one of these symptoms were debilitating. I am living in a new world for the first time in my life!
Since this article was first published I have completely given up cola drinks for more than two years. I am making slow changes to my lifestyle.
Most of the symptoms have been reduced to extremely tolerable levels. The great thing about it is that now that most of the gluten and dairy products are out of my system, I can add back different foods and know immediately which ones are really deadly to me and which ones are not.
I hope you find this information helpful. It changed my life!
*This hub is written for informational purposes only. It is in no way intended to replace medical advice. See your physician for treatment.