Irritatingly I find I am either gluten or wheat intolerant – it’s being investigated now. I have always prided myself in my omniverousness and general lack of faddiness in my eating. Of course I’m nearly always watching my weight and have at various times done the Atkins diet or variations thereof, and have always felt particularly well when doing it, but have drifted back to carbohydrates (and therefore wheat etc) because of social pressures.
What has caused me to examine my diet more closely is that I have been getting increasingly tingly and numb toes! This is much more uncomfortable and alarming than it sounds – and wakes me with the discomfort in the small hours (hence much Tweeting at strange times). Various blood tests have shown that I am short of Vitamin B12 and Folic acid, and Vitamin B12 deficiency has now been directly connected to neuropathy (nerve damage in the extremities), and can be caused by malabsorption of nutrients from the gut which in turn can be caused by coeliac disease which is the more severe form of gluten intolerance. Since I have known this I have been testing my reaction to wheat, barley, rye and oats which are the culprits and have discovered a clear relationship to their intake and the reaction of my gut.
I am off to see a gastroenterologist at the end of the month to explore this properly but have such mixed feelings about it. It would be fantastic to halt (0r even repair??) the damage to my feet and to stop my gastric system from getting ever more volatile, but the thought of having to be serious about the exclusion of all gluten products from my diet (and that means ALL) is really daunting and rather depressing.
The other driving force in my quest for a proper diagnosis is that my mother for about 25 years has been complaining about increasing numbness in her feet which has now at over 80 reached her knees and has also had a digestive system that sometimes leaves her trapped at home not daring to travel. An investigation on her gut about 15 years ago resulted in a removal of a portion of it where 2 little polyps were found since when her digestion has been much worse. I, of course, now think that she has been coeliac – or at least gluten intolerant – all this time and am anxious for her to be diagnosed to improve her quality of life which is now rather impaired.
Anyway… in the meantime I have been exploring what the implications of it would be and researching what I can eat!
One of the things I thought I would miss was pancakes – but I think they will be the least of my problems having found that I love buckwheat and that it makes superb pancakes. Another good alternative is corn and I love these Mexican Corn Pancakes – and even if your gut is in perfect working order they are quite delectable so I give the recipe below. Enjoy!
Mexican Corn Pancakes● 1 1/2 cups fine corn flour
● 1 cup milk
● 1 egg
● 1/2 tsp. salt
● 1 small can sweetcorn, mash half the corn slightly before mixing in
● 20 gms butter, melted
● green chilies or jalapenos
● coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped
● ground cumin
● chicken or vegetarian stock instead of milk
● cheese, grated
● red or green sweet pepper, diced
Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Heat the griddle or a large skillet over medium heat. Grease the skillet with a little ghee or butter and drop the cakes onto the griddle, slow-cooking them 6-8 minutes each side, until browned and crispy.
While the first batch of cakes are cooking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and have ready a medium sheet pan. Remove the cakes to the sheet pan and bake for a minutes, until cooked all the way through.