I think this post would be better named “food for thought” since it is really hard to wrap my brain around the idea that the “staff of life” is quickly becoming instead a “death trap” for many, many people, especially those with autoimmune diseases like Hashimotos Thyroiditis and others. How could it be as simple as eliminating gluten from your diet in order to feel so much better? But for many gluten intolerant people, that has been ALL it took! For me, my main symptoms have almost disappeared after going on 6 months gluten free.
All I know is that when I eliminated gluten, some major symptoms were alleviated and continue to show signs of more and more improvement. Some are completely gone like the scary symptom of my head inflammation! Now I only get that feeling if I have been accidently contaminated with gluten. It’s taken me a few months to track the symptoms because at first it is not real easy to identify all the sources of gluten. Most concerning for me, were the large amounts of sauces, canned goods, condiments, and even dry beans that can harbor unwanted traces of gluten. If you go gluten free, don’t think you can just eliminate bread— it is just not that easy!
Here’s a video that I feel helps explain many ways gluten sensitivity can present itself in our body:
But honestly, one of the most exciting things I have learned in the last couple months is that I do not gain weight if I don’t eat gluten! I have not lost weight since going back on non-gluten grains (because I was in the process of getting tested for cross-reactive grains and you must be eating them for the test to be accurate) but the shock to me is that I have been eating the “replacement products” for many of my favorite foods (by the way, I am NOT talking sugar laden processed foods – I stay away from those) including macaroni and cheese and ice cream which does not contain gluten and I have not gained a pound! Now, I must emphasize that I am not indulging in these foods in an excessive way but before, if they contained their gluten counterpart, I would gain so easily and be so inflamed, it was not fun! Now, those side effects are completely absent and although I recommend that we probably would do better off of grains completely, especially if we want to lose weight, I think this is a notable observation now on my part.
You see, some of us have to see first hand, the difference in not eating gluten before we truly believe. I have to admit, I was a skeptic and did not think just taking gluten out of my diet would do any good. Boy, was I wrong! Here is a list of symptoms that have changed dramatically since going gluten free:
- Head inflammation (it seemed like anaphylactic shock at times) which made me feel like passing out for hours after eating a meal with gluten. I did not really believe this was related until I replaced those meals with non-gluten counterparts and did not get the same reaction. I kept waiting for it but it didn’t happen!
- Weight gain – as I mentioned above – no weight gain from the biggies—ice cream and macaroni and cheese, etc. This is HUGE. Believe me – weight gain was the “given” when I ate these things. The next day I would pay for it in being bloated, heavier and altogether miserable.
- Energy level increased – just by eliminating gluten, I have had more good days than bad days. This is also an amazing testimony, especially since I am not eating yet the way I think will not only give me more energy, but allow me to drop weight and that is a diet with very little grain with high protein. A Paleo Diet seems to be the best choice as I lost 25 pounds in one month using mostly a Paleo type diet, as I detoxed when going truly gluten free! Adding grains back stunted the weight loss but at least I haven’t gained in all those 5 months afterward!
- Bloated stomach – gone!
- Asthma – significantly reduced – no longer feeling immediate asthma symptoms after eating meals!
- Anti-body test shows 172 instead of the thousands and this is where the “rubber hits the road” so I am watching these numbers carefully. I will get another test soon to see what is happening there.
- There are more but those above are the major ones.
In all this observation, I have come to an important conclusion that I am glad I have come to myself; I need to severely limit grains if I want to lose weight. I need to add that I was tested for cross-reactive grains and strangely enough, I have no other gluten type reactions going on, at least not on the test I took. I hope to get a test to help me find the foods I am least reactive to so I can build my diet around the least reactive foods for a while to help me heal quicker.
What an exciting journey! If you have eliminated gluten and have had some of the changes I have, feel free to comment and help others with your encouragement.
Remember, it only takes ONE instance of gluten contamination for a person to feel the effects for weeks sometimes so we need to be aware of cross-contamination issues. If it doesn’t say “gluten free”, assume it is not! (especially in restaurants and grains that are not marked specifically gluten free.)Disclaimer: All posts are describing my personal journey through health issues and are in no way meant to guide anyone towards any method in particular. I am not a medical practitioner or have a dietary or medical license, and this blog is not intended to be taken as authoritative advice. Please see your doctor, or health professional before making any drastic diet changes! Also, occasionally I find others to partner with whom I have had tremendous help from and therefore, there may be paid advertisements and links to support them and help me financially run this website.