My name is Nick Bayley. My wife and I are parents to 4 kids and we live in New Zealand. Here’ s a picture of us with Nana (and our dog :-)) …
How I Accidently Discovered I Could Not Tolerate Gluten/Wheat
I accidentally discovered I could not tolerate wheat in 2015. Here’s the story of how that happened…
When I was a kid I was fit and healthy. The main problem I had was recurring tonsillitis, but that was cured by fear. I’ll tell the story of how that happened another time.
At the age of 14 my parents divorced and I moved from Auckland to Napier with my Dad, while my mother and sister stayed in Auckland. This obviously was a very stressful time. And shortly after that for the first time, I experienced what I thought was hay fever. I had very sore eyes and a runny nose. That slowly got better with time… or so I thought.
At the age of 16/17 I had bad stomach problems and was prescribed all of this medication until I could get into the Hospital for them to take a look at my stomach. When I did get into hospital it was found that I had 3 stomach ulcers.
That was treated and I was sent on my way with a huge amount of Zantac.
Every time I would have a sore stomach I would take Zantac.
In my teenage years I was playing a lot of golf and I just didn’t have the energy I wanted. I thought it was because I was unfit, but looking back on it now I realize it had nothing to do with fitness – in fact, I would have actually been very fit at that time of my life.
From the age of 21 to 27 I put on a lot of weight and I was tired and achy a lot. I thought it was hay fever but I would take hay fever pills and they didn’t seem to do any good.
Then from about the age of 27 to 30 I was focusing more on my health and trying to reduce my weight. Sadly at about the age of 30 my health took a really big turn and I couldn’t even walk our dog around the block.
You Have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
I went to the Doctor for my lack of energy and they performed a whole bunch of tests and couldn’t find anything wrong so I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I suppose in my doctor’s mind they had ruled out all other possibilities so it must have been Chronic Fatigue Syndrome… right? I was told to rest when I could, so I did… I rested (slept) A LOT.
So I started to research Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and look for natural cures for it. I tried a lot of things and eventually, my energy came back.
Around the age of 35/36 I was working out a lot, fasting and trying to get my body in good shape. I find this hard to talk about what happened next, but in the middle of the night, I was awoken by a very, very sharp pain on the right side of my stomach area.
I got up and had no idea what to do. The pain was like someone was stabbing me. It was the worst, most intense pain of my life. I thought I was going to die.
And then, as fast as it came, it went.
Within an hour the pain had gone.
I had no idea what had happened but went back to bed.
Then about a week later the same thing happened but this time it wasn’t quite as intense. This continued happening on a regular basis with differing levels of intensity but always the pain was extreme.
One night when this happened I went to the emergency doctor and they gave me some pills which didn’t help.
I went home and continued to have regular bouts of these attacks of pain, so I went to my personal doctor and went through a whole range of tests again.
This time it was found that I had gall stones.
You Have Gall Stones
I wouldn’t wish gall stones on anyone!
The option at that time was to get my gall bladder out but I said I’m not having that done. I did a lot of research into Gall Stones and found that a lot of people have a lot of problems after they have their Gall Bladder out and it didn’t seem to cure the pain. So I decided to research cures for it.
Over this time I became very thin and pale because I was afraid to eat. Food definitely seemed to be a trigger for the gall stones/pain.
The ironic thing is that not once was I tested for wheat intolerance. And because I didn’t know what to eat I spent a lot of time just eating chicken soup and bread (duh!). And over the course of about two years I had gall bladder attacks every week sometimes a few times a week. Sometimes they’d last a couple of hours, sometimes five or six hours, a few times up to 12 hours. The pain was always severe, and I always told my wife it was far worse than childbirth pains. (I guess we’ll never know for sure who had it worse – but my wife never gave birth every week!) I recall a couple of times asking God to either end the pain or let me die. Of course, I didn’t want to leave my family, but I was so tired of it all and the pain was unbearable.
Over this time the best cure I found was to have very hot baths. Sometimes when the pain was intense I would stay in the bath all day! I asked my wife to keep bringing jugs of boiling water to refill the bath with. She wasn’t happy at all about that because she thought I was scolding myself, but it was all I found to give me relief.
To help me my Doctor thought an operation to open up the Duodenum might help. So I went into the hospital and had that done.
After the operation, I was in a lot of pain and asked if I could hop in a bath somewhere but the hospital didn’t have one. So I made the decision to go home straight away and have a bath, which did help.
I wasn’t particularly hopeful of the operation helping seeing as how I had stomach pains right afterward, but over time it did help.
I was very careful what I ate and I did limit wheat but still had it. And all the while I suffered from muscle aches and hay fever symptoms and would often have sneezing fits and running eyes – along with that fatigue again.
It was very hard to get through the days as I was either tired or had sore eyes.
You Have Hay Fever
My doctor just prescribed me hay fever pills but I didn’t like taking them because they didn’t help so I did more research.
In my research, I came across Candida overgrowth. And I read the symptoms and I had a number of them like…
- Chronic fatigue
- Brain fog
- Digestive issues
- Sinus infections
- Joint Pain
- Low mood
… so my wife and I completed a program to get rid of Candida because she had some similar symptoms. As part of this program, we were on a very restricted diet that did not include wheat. After a couple of weeks, we gave ourselves a treat and made butter chicken with homemade naan bread. I always made the naan bread and everyone in the family loves it.
So here I am, eating my butter chicken and having some naan bread and almost immediately after eating the naan bread I started sneezing and my eyes started watering, just like I had hay fever – but of course I didn’t. Straight away I jumped on Google and searched what the symptoms of a wheat/gluten sensitivity are. Sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, fatigue. I just accidentally discovered I was intolerant to gluten/wheat!
So for years, I would have been sensitive to gluten/wheat and never known it. I couldn’t believe it!
From that point on I have simply cut wheat out of my diet. But it’s not that easy to do that. Wheat is in almost everything!
Not Eating Wheat Is Hard!
Whenever I accidentally had wheat I could tell immediately because of my almost instant reaction of sneezing, watery eyes, etc. Then for the next week or so I would have a headache and achy muscles and be really tired. I would need an afternoon nap after I’ve been ‘glutened’.
As time has gone on my tolerance to gluten has become less and less. Here’s an example of that. After I found out I did not cope well with wheat I would still make the naan bread for my family when we had Indian, but I never had any. And as time went on I got wheat sensitivity symptoms from simply making the naan bread… so I had to stop doing that.
Then when I would go out for a meal and there was some wheat in something that I didn’t know about my reaction wasn’t too bad, BUT over time it’s getting worse and worse. And I have found that I’ve been reacting to dairy as well.
So in 2018 I just couldn’t keep living the way I was. I was scared to eat almost anything.
I vowed to find a solution to my acute sensitivity to wheat and then share it with as many people as I could because I know what it’s like to be in pain a lot of the time.
My Mission To Help As Many People As Possible Tolerate Wheat Again
I know what it’s like to go out to restaurants and be scared to order anything even if they say “it’s gluten free”.
I know what it’s like to go to social gatherings and look at the food on offer and know “I can’t eat any of it!”.
I know what it’s like to tell someone you’re “gluten free” and they roll there eyes thinking you’re on some fad diet.
However, when I started out on this mission I was not trying to find a cure for gluten intolerance. All I was trying to do was help myself so I could tolerate small amounts of wheat so it wouldn’t affect me for a week when I consumed some.
I have no desire to go back to eating pies, cakes, sandwiches etc. It feels so much better eating natural food.
In my effort to help myself I spent months studying all the latest research on why intolerance to wheat happens to people that could tolerate it at some point in the past. And then I became a human guinea pig on the ideas I found. Little by little I could feel an improvement in my ability to handle small amounts of wheat. And instead of avoiding things that said… “may contain small amounts of wheat” I ate them and had no adverse reactions. I’ve spent thousands of dollars and hours researching what it takes to cure a food sensitivity and I fully believe I have the answer to help many people tolerate wheat again. And I’m going to do whatever it takes to get the information needed to help people like me tolerate gluten/wheat again and start living a good, balanced life.
As an example, here’s a picture of me eating a donut in 2019 before we go on an adventure in the forest….
That was the first donut I had eaten in years. I only ate it to see if I would react… and I didn’t!
That was the best bit about eating the donut. After eating so clean for so long I didn’t actually enjoy eating the donut as much as I thought I would.
Anyway, I am the director of Emet Marketing Ltd and now a certified nutritionist and herbalist and am using my personal and professional knowledge to help people tolerate gluten again.