So, funny thing happened to me last fall…

At the end of August I started breaking out in hives.   Luckily they weren’t on my face but they were everywhere else.   I went about my daily life just thinking it was a temporary thing and they’d just go away.

They didn’t.

A few days passed…

Then a week…

Then a couple of weeks…

Yeah, time to see a doctor.

After a few tests, we discovered that my body just suddenly decided it was allergic to gluten.   I never had a problem with wheat or wheat products before but, now, I was all of a sudden allergic to it.

Luckily, I’ve found the world of gluten free products.   There’s pizza, cookies, bread – pretty much everything I was having before with a few exceptions.

So, why am I posting about this in my travel blog, you might ask?   Well, turns out one of my biggest challenges when I travel now will be maintaining a gluten free diet.

It’s one thing to be gluten free at home where you make your own meals and if you go out, the restaurants have gluten free options for you.

It’s quite another to be traveling where I’ll be eating out almost every day and, let’s face it, communication with waiters in foreign countries isn’t the greatest.

Oh, and street food – yikes!   It’s going to take alot to be vigilant about staying away from gluten.

“Yeah, but it’s no big deal if you accidentally have some gluten” you might say.

Actually, no, it is a big deal.   A very big deal.

Alot of people have a misconception about gluten allergies or celiac disease.   It’s not something that has a cure or something where you can cheat and just have a “little” bit of gluten.

It’s something that can’t be compromised.   I can not have gluten ever again.   Ever.

Most people relate celiac disease to having gastrointestinal issues.   The type I have though doesn’t rear it’s head that way.   My version gives me hives.   Or, to be more accurate – chronic hives.

Chronic hives are hives that last longer than 6 weeks and that will eventually go away on their own.   The kicker, though, is that they can last anywhere for a few months to a couple of years.

Now, I’ve been on a gluten free diet for the last three months and it appears the gluten has finally been flushed out of my body as my hives have finally started to dissipate.   However, if I accidentally have gluten again, it could theoretically reset the whole cycle where I break out in hives for another 3 months.

Um, no thanks.

Anyway, that’s my new reality.   Gluten and me are not friends!

Balkan Trip 2020, Pretrip, Trip Journal
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