Since being gluten-free for almost a year for health reasons, I’ve encountered interesting reactions. Many people have told me “oh, you don’t need to lose weight,” “ I couldn’t do it,” or “That’s just a fad.” Maybe some have chosen to be gluten-free because they think it’s the latest cool dietary thing to do. That’s not the case for me and I don’t believe it is for many people. I’m a pizza eating, beer drinking, kinda girl… at least I was. I wouldn’t choose to be wheat-free except for the fact that it was effecting my health. I actually went through a mourning process when I finally discovered what was causing my symptoms. I’ve eaten carbs… pizza, pasta, BREAD, all my life… why now?? Can’t be! I also denied it a couple of times and went back and suffered the consequences.
What were my consequences? Bloating, fatigue, unhealthy bowel movements, gas… oh the gas!!! My family and I couldn’t stand to be around me. I was like a walking methane gas bomb. This went on for three weeks until I decided to figure out what is going on. So I started the process of eliminating things from my diet. First, dairy… nope that wasn’t it. Then flax seed, which I had recently introduced into my diet. No. Then Whey protein. Still had symptoms. Hmmm… well I know some people who are gluten free… could it be that?
So I eliminated gluten.. and the next day my symptoms were better… bloating gone… second day I felt better – no more gas, normal bm!
While I was glad I found it, I was sad and somewhat in disbelief. I was being a bit of a baby. After three weeks of being off and feeling good, I thought (somewhat irrationally) that maybe it’s not the wheat.. maybe it was just a thing. So I decided to “test” it out and ate a big piece of Sicilian pizza. Well, that afternoon wasn’t too bad, just a very rumbly tummy and I thought OK not too bad. Next morning was a beautiful spring day, filled with plans, but by mid-morning an overwhelming feeling of fatigue came over me. I was sad because while I wanted to do so many things that day, I had no energy to do it. It didn’t only affect my GI system, I felt it was affecting my whole system. DUH! Why is it so hard to believe that something you are eating would affect more than just your digestive system?
Since then I “glutened” myself a few times… by accident and by choice. But I’ve learned there is life after gluten. And only occasionally now will I craved and miss a gluten filled treat. But I know in my heart that that piece of crumb cake or brownie I really shouldn’t be eating anyway.
I chose not to get tested for celiac. I don’t believe I have celiac but rather a gluten-sensitivity.
From my understanding to be tested I would need to be on gluten for four weeks. I really did not want to put myself through that. So the answer for me was feel better off it…don’t eat it.
Why does it seem the all of the sudden everyone and their mother is now gluten free? I know this is why it is misconstrued as a fad. But today’s wheat is vastly different than the wheat your grandparents ate. Over the years wheat has been modified and hybridized to grow faster and yield more. Sounds like this would be a good thing. Except now the wheat today is completely different from wheat from the old days. Today’s wheat actually has more than double the amount of chromosomes and higher levels of gluten. The genetic modification of plants in my opinion will continue to cause people to have food allergies and sensitivities. In Dr. William Davis’ book Wheat Belly, he explains how wheat is detrimental to everyone’s health, even those without obvious sensitivities.
Some facts and stats on gluten:
- Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.
- Estimated that 1 in 133 Americans have Celiac Disease.
- 6-7% of Americans thought to have gluten-sensitivity