What up bloggies? How’s your week been going? Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?
In yesterday’s post I mentioned I had something personal to discuss. As you can probably guess from my title, my question revolves around the issue of gluten.
Before I get to it, let’s back track a little bit. This winter, my family and I got sick with a horrible stomach flu. It was so debilitating that I litterally could not do anything but lay on the couch for 5 days. I think you can imagine how much fun that was.
Anyway, I found myself gravitating towards gluten-free items while I was sick for a reason that I could not explain. In fact, when I tried to eat glutenious bread and cereal, my stomach bloated like never before and even cramped up. At first I saw no correllation and continued to try eating glutenous products. No luck.
While there very well could have been another reason, everything I tried seemed to point to gluten. After numerous uncomfortable moments, I finally learned my lesson and decided to try to avoid it, but only if possible. I did not mean to eliminate it altogether, but my gravitation towards whole grains and non-grain complex carbs (like sweet potatoes) made it natural. I actually found I was able to nourish myself better this way because I did not feel bloated.
Everything has been going great since then. I have noticed I have increased energy and strength (more push-ups & stamina in yoga—wahoo!), experience less bloat and heaviness, and even need less sleep.
However, when I started eating things that could be gluten-contaminated, my body acted out against me. Again I wrote off my difficulties (read: excessive gas (gross, I know), “icky” feeling, congestion/allergy symptoms (HUGE for me) and even headaches), but just could not go on living that way. I tried changing some things and went back to normal, until my third rebellion. A few days ago I was actually woken up by my horrible cramps and was unable to go to my morning classes. The third time must be the charm because after waking up with horrible stomach cramps, now I am seriously starting to wonder if I have a gluten sensitivity.
- gluten is found in most processed foods; gluten-containing grains include wheat, barley, and rye
- grains that are gluten-free include amaranth, corn, quinoa, millet, teff, and rice
- individuals with Celiac’s disease are not able to eat gluten because when consumed, it produces a toxic reaction in their bodies that can cause damage to the small intestine
- 1 in 100 people has Celiac’s disease (but most go undiagnosed)
- an estimated 50-70% of the population has some sort of
- wheat rapidly converts to sugars, thus causing a rise in insulin levels and an inflammation burst at the cellular level
While I don’t think I have Celiac’s disease, I do wonder about the possibility of a gluten sensitivity. To try to rule out other factors for my symptoms, I experimented a little like Ashley (check out her reacap here—maybe something like this would help me rule other things out better?) while keeping the other variables constant. All in all I learned that gluten definitely has an effect on my energy levels and the way I feel. While I do not wish to label myself as “gluten-free,” I think it might be best that I be “gluten-aware.”
So, my very informed readers, what do you think? Can you think of another cause for my bloating/cramping/fatigue/conjestion problem?
If you are gluten-free, what made you decide to go that way? And if not, what do you think about eating gluten-free? Have you noticed any other personal food sensitivities?
I really want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for listening to me! I really hope we can come to the bottom of this, and that this post might help people with similar symptoms get help, too.
Have a lovely day!