What I take:
Taking vitamins to replace what we aren't getting from being gluten-free is something a lot of us are doing. I am as well with many different vitamins I am low in. I personally take Vitamin B-12, Vitamin D, Magnesium, and Iron supplements to help with my deficiencies from Celiac Disease. But some other medicines I take, most of you probably do not. My body does not produce and cortisol whatsoever throughout the day which is substantial to keeping me living. Without cortisol I could not function and without cortisol I would actually die. That's why I have to take hydrocortisone to replace what my body should be producing and is not. My adrenal disorder isn't the only thing I deal with though. For those of you that have been following me, you may know that I recently got diagnosed with POTS as well. Since POTS is a really hard disorder to live with without some medicine to help, I luckily got a beta blocker called nadolol which has made a world of difference with improving my life. These forms of medicine luckily do not have to be worried about for containing gluten or lactose in most situations. However, you should always ask your health care professional before hand because the last thing you want is to be taking medication that is supposed to help you, but in turn is making you sick.
What got me sick:
I don't know about you but I for some reason can never go through a week without getting a headache. It's just something I deal with and something most of us deal with as well. Usually the first thing I would do whenever I get a headache is take ibuprofen to help! (I also broke my toe pretty bad recently so of course I was going to be taking this stuff often) I began to take this ibuprofen multiple times a day in hope that it would help with my headache and help with the pain I was feeling with my toe as well. It did begin to help with the pain in my toe, but then a whole new set of pain started to come along. I began to get awful stomach aches and would continue to get these headaches with really bad hot flashes. My glands would get swollen and all sorts of stuff would begin to happen where I just went down hill. When I go under an illness or some type of stress on my body with my disorder, it usually causes a whole chain reaction of symptoms to go off. I was truly beginning to feel awful and of course day after day I was continuing to take this ibuprofen hoping it would help with some pain. I felt helpless and really had no clue what was making me and both my mom sick too since she had been taking it as well. I randomly decided to check the label of the ibuprofen I had been taking for weeks and it turned out it had the ingredient lactose in it. The thing I had been taking this whole time to make me feel better had actually been the whole cause as to why I was continuing to get worse. This led me to believe that there had to of been many others out there that may be dealing with the same thing but just might not know it.
How serious this is and what you should be aware of:
I know I really don't have to say much because it's obvious how serious this situation is. Many of you could be taking medications or supplements daily and making yourself sick without knowing it. The medication that is supposed to keep us alive and functioning could very well contain an allergen you are allergic too! After doing quite a bit of research through my medicine and online, these are the most common allergens I discovered to be in many medicines.
- Rice is commonly used in many supplements
- Gluten is more commonly found in the capsules using gel or a liquid in it
- Lactose is found commonly in the grocery store brand pills (Publix, Kroger, etc.)
- Lactose is found in many laxative supplements so be careful
- Soy can sometimes be used as well as a binding agent
When we go gluten-free or begin to avoid an allergy, we generally only think about food! We don't really consider medications because really it's hard to imagine why they would contain these allergens in the first place. The fact is that medications as well as many other products can very easily contain gluten, lactose, or another allergen without us knowing. We must always check the labels of not only our food, but everything we use in our day to day life! Whether it be hair products, toothpaste, and most importantly medication. It is something we have to always be aware of and make part of our day to day life if we want to be healthy. Always read labels and always check with your health care professional about the medication you are taking. You can never be too safe when you have a food allergy and you would be surprised of all the scary places these allergies can hide.