When you are sensitive to gluten, corn, soy, dairy or any other food that creates an allergic response in you, your immune system gets “engaged,” resulting in inflammation, pain, loss of energy and in many cases, diseases. Symptoms of these allergies and sensitivities undoubtedly interfere with your ability to enjoy the most important things in life: family, friends, activities, and your favorite hobbies. Some people even have to stop working, as they are unable to meet the essentials in life due to their unbearable pain. Gluten alone is currently associated with over 200 diseases - celiac is just one of them (S. Ji, 2012; Dr. P Osborne, 2012, 2013; J. Adams, 2012).
If you are experiencing acute food sensitivities, you probably want more than anything to just feel good again – to have the energy and vitality you once had, without having to rely on medication that often treats the symptoms, rather than the cause.
I'm Diana Benedek, the founder of 2GOOD2B®. This is my story, and I share it with the goal of helping as many people as I can. After years of suffering from fibromyalgia, pain, defective thyroid (I was diagnosed with early Hashimoto), fatigued adrenals and resulting depression, I discovered it was all the result of eating gluten, corn, and soy. I felt angry and lost.
Although I have achieved wonderful things in my life, (I earned a bachelors in Microbiology and Immunology and a Masters and PhD in civil engineering - I had a full, successful career and was at the top of my field of expertise - I married a wonderful man, had 2 healthy sons and 2 beautiful step-daughters and grandkids) my health did not allow me to enjoy my achievements. I had everything in life except the health to enjoy my life.
Since teenager years, I had recurrent migraines and managed them with strong painkillers, just like many of my relatives on my mother’s side of the family. But after my second pregnancy, the pain became unbearable, and pain killers were no longer the answer. The pain spread throughout my entire body, mimicking arthritis (I was later diagnosed with fibromyalgia). I was very tired (because my adrenals were sluggish and my thyroid was deteriorating), and I had 3 herniated cervical discs. As a result, I had to end my engineering career.
Doctors ran test after test, but no one could find the cause of my pains – they prescribed me painkillers and sleeping pills and sent me on my way. Depression set-in as I could not understand WHY. I did not have answers, or a path to follow to improve.
But with the support of my friends and husband, I found a chiropractor and alternative doctors who helped me understand that the cause of my pains were simply allergies to gluten and soy. And although I did not have Celiac Disease (as shown by my normal blood tests and my normal IgA antibodies to Gliadins), I was still sensitive to both Gluten and Soy.
At first, I refused to believe it; how could it be so easy? But after the chiropractor told me that if I continue to eat bread, I would end up with colon cancer, I stopped and reconsidered. This really resonated, as my mom was already experiencing her second colon cancer. I then contacted my other maternal family members, and realized that the ones that suffered from migraines, like me, had either passed away or were struggling with various digestive tract cancers. I knew then that it was time to make a change.
In 2007, I began eliminating gluten and soy from my diet. I started EATING SMARTER. And guess what? My energy came back, my pain subsided, I was able to sleep again! My moods improved dramatically, too.
I was inspired – I finally felt good again! I began to FEEL ENERGIZED!
Over the years, I learned more about the horrible effects the wrong foods can have on people. I also started to meet more and more people who shared my symptoms, and I saw that I could help them by sharing my story. Gluten seemed to be a BIG culprit, and I wanted them to experience the same relief I had found.
But being a scientist at heart, I also needed to understand the WHY - and how the doctors could have missed my symptoms for so many years. I did genetic testing and discovered that I did not have issues with the 2 genes related to Celiac Disease (HLA-DQ2 and DQ8); I had issues with 2 other genes: HLA-DQB1 and HLA DQ3. These genes are also related to gluten allergy, but not associated to Celiac Disease. I did not have issues at the intestinal level, nor did I have abnormal IgA antibodies (like the persons affected with Celiac). Instead, I had abnormal IgG Gliaden antibodies, the antibodies that circulate through the blood and so often are the cause of auto-immune diseases.
Now I understand why the doctors were missing my problems - they were testing for the wrong parameters! This seems to be a recurrent problem amongst other “lost” patients like me.
In 2013, Dr Alessio Fassano’s team of researchers from Harvard University defined the term Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS) and I finally had a name for all my problems!
Although I was feeling better, I had not reached perfect health. The fibromyalgia was 80% better, but still existed, and once in a while all the old symptoms would come back with a vengeance. It took me 2 years to find out that I was also sensitive to Corn, and because I was now eating gluten-free foods, I was actually eating a lot of Corn! As a result, I stopped purchasing gluten-free foods and started to bake foods that were gluten, soy AND corn-free.
Finally, in 2011, free from all allergens, I felt energetic enough to take on a new mission - and I opened 2GOOD2B® Bakery and Café - a 100% dedicated Gluten, Corn, and Soy-free safe haven.
2GOOD2B is my forum for reaching, teaching and helping people with food allergies, and for helping them to enjoy life eating great-tasting food, in a warm and relaxing environment.
Diana M. Benedek, PhD