Gluten-free: Is it the way to be?

7 Feb

What exactly is this “fad diet” that has emerged within the last few years you may ask? It is a diet free of the protein (gluten) found in wheat, barley, rye, malts, and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). I started eating a gluten-free diet about a month ago. What prompted me to start this diet was a miserable day (New Year’s Eve) spent sitting in the emergency room for ten hours with abdominal pain. Fortunately, the pain was not unbearable, but it was quite uncomfortable and irritating. It  had been going on for five days, so I thought it was time to get it checked out. I went to the doctor and was sent to the ER for a cat scan. Ten hours, two cat scans, and a pelvic ultrasound later, the doctors came back with nothing. No answers. Just a big waste of time. They did not test for celiac disease, the disease associated with an autoimmune response in the small intestine to gluten. I wish they had,but I don’t think it is a routine thing that is tested for; although at this point it is irrelevant. After racking my brain with what could be going on, I decided that I wasn’t going to take ‘nothing is wrong’ for an answer. I took a look at my diet and started to do some research. While researching, I came across some frightening facts about gluten. Some of the risks associated with gluten intake include the development of insulin resistance which can lead to diabetes, weight gain caused by overeating, and a higher risk of developing coronary artery disease. It’s no wonder why the rate of obesity and diabetes is at an all time high in America! Irritable bowel syndrome, fatigue, brain fog,  heartburn, and dementia are a few other symptoms that can result from gluten exposure. Want more info? Read the book Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis, M.D.

Well, to put it quite bluntly, this research scared the $*** out of me! I decided to give this gluten-free thing a shot. In the beginning, I thought, I’ll just do a little experiment and see how it makes me feel. Two weeks later…….

I FELT LIKE A NEW WOMAN!!!

It was incredible! Not only did my abdominal pain subside, but I no longer had a foggy brain (which I thought was normal because I’d dealt with it for as long as I can remember), I had more motivation to do things (like starting a blog for example), and no more heartburn which was also something I thought I was doomed to live with forever.

Needless to say, I will continue with what started as an experiment and keep gluten out of my diet. Now, I don’t believe everyone will have the same results that I did by cutting out gluten, but I do think it is worth a try if you are experiencing any of the symptoms that could be attributed to gluten intake. There is still much research to be done and many things for us to learn about gluten (and many more foods for that matter), but it won’t hurt to get rid of it if it’s causing negative side effects like it did for me.

So, gluten-free is the way to be for ME!

Let me know if you have any questions about how to become gluten-free. It can be overwhelming in the beginning. Also, take note that just because something is gluten-free, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy. And, healthy should be the first priority when treating your body right and feeling better.

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6 Responses to “Gluten-free: Is it the way to be?”

  1. glutenputin February 7, 2013 at 8:48 PM #

    I love how you talked about the foggy brain!!! Many people don’t understand how that can suck, I had foggy brain for years and now it has gone, but any time I eat gluten or corn it comes back for a day or two. Gluten free is totally worth not having the foggy brain!

    • eatnapplay February 8, 2013 at 5:39 PM #

      I absolutely agree! It’s like living in a cloud; not fun at all. I am very excited to have found a cure for it!!

  2. thesecretlifecoachofdc February 10, 2013 at 3:02 PM #

    Hi! Just found your blog today. Do you think becoming gluten-free can help with sleep as well? I’ve been considering going gluten-free for a while because there are many times a week where I feel like absolute shit (excuse my French) after eating certain types of meals. I went to a GI doctor and he said I just had IBS..but let’s be honest. IBS is such a catch-all term and “drinking more water and eating more fiber” as he told me to do only helps so much. The abdominal pains and heartburn are really starting to get to me lately. I did a Paleo diet challenge this summer and felt amazing. I’m thinking I should go there again, but for some reason I just can’t pull the trigger. Okay, that’s my rant for now. Great post!

    • eatnapplay February 10, 2013 at 4:41 PM #

      Hi there! Thanks for the comment. 🙂 In my opinion, although I am not an expert by any means, eating gluten-free can help with everything. It won’t do any harm to give it a shot. I think many other foods, such as soy and corn, can also be harmful to our bodies. For me, it was helpful to start a food diary. I wrote down the foods I had each day and any symptoms I had (e.g., headache, fatigue, etc.). Then, I looked for any trends. You will be surprised at what you will find. I found that I was getting headaches from the nitrates in processed meats, so I try to limit those now as much as possible. I feel like becoming gluten-free was just the tip of the iceberg for me to finding my perfect diet. It is definitely a process. The most important thing to remember is try not to get overwhelmed by it, and focus on the foods that you CAN eat. Hope this helps!

  3. Karen February 11, 2013 at 1:23 PM #

    I keep hearing so many great benefits of gluten-free diets. I’m so close to giving it a shot!

    • eatnapplay February 12, 2013 at 8:34 PM #

      Karen, If you give it a try, I’d love to know how it goes for you!

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