Over the last weekend of February I read Wheat Belly by William Davis. The basic premise of this book is that we consume way too much grain, and grain contributes to our health problems in ways we don’t even realize.
I decided I had nothing to lose by going gluten-free during my IVF cycle, and it may even help, so I dove in.
It was both easy and hard.
The hard part was eating out and social occasions. The first challenge came when we went to an Italian restaurant for my mom’s birthday. The menu was full of pastas and pizzas, and literally the only gluten-free item was eggplant. Luckily, it was drowned in cheese and pasta sauce so it was delicious! But it seriously limited my options.
I also had difficulties when we ate other people’s houses. For example, we went to Tom’s mother’s house for a family birthday celebration and everyone else was having pizza. Tom and I brought our own steaks and spinach to cook. Our meal was perfectly fine, but that pizza smelled so good!
It was easy in the sense that I found I really didn’t miss bread or other grains all that much. I was replacing them mostly with dairy (which some people don’t recommend, but full fat dairy is recommend for women trying to conceive), so I didn’t feel hungry.
Did it help with the IVF? I don’t know, but I do know felt a lot better physically! Despite the insane amount of drugs I was injecting myself with every day, I didn’t feel the same fatigue I usually did. Yes, I would get tired, but I no longer had that almost-overwhelming urge to take a nap after lunch. I didn’t feel like I was about to fall over from sleepiness like I normally would. That disappeared within 2 days of going gluten-free.
I lost about 5 pounds, which I wasn’t trying to do, but it showed me just how many calories I was getting from things like crackers, pasta, and bread.
Finally, I broke my gluten fast last weekend when I ordered grilled cheese for lunch at Chili’s. I was already feeling horrible due to the fact I had just gone off all my medications, cold turkey. I figured a little gluten couldn’t make it much worse.
I don’t know if it was the gluten, or the meds withdrawal, or a combination of both, but I basically spent the next 8 hours on the couch. I felt terrible the worst I had in a long time, both mentally and physically. While I don’t think I’ll be gluten-free, 100% of the time, forever (because it’s just not always practical or polite), I haven’t had anymore gluten since, and I’m planning on going gluten-free again during out next IVF cycle.