Gluten Intolerance

Finally I think I know what is contributing to my health issues and causing me so many problems. I think that I have a gluten intolerance.

Gluten intolerance is an issue where the body cannot digest the gluten that is present in certain grains. Part of the gluten in the digestive system is recognized as foreign and attacked by the body’s defensive system. This causes damage to the villi (little hairs in the intestines that absorbs nutrients) leading to damage that is called Celiac’s Disease. This is an autoimmune disorder of the small intestines.

I was always discounting this idea. Mostly because it is not that common. Though I read recently that Celiac’s Disease (that is caused by gluten intolerance and eating gluten) is being diagnosed in one out of 133 people in the United States. Not so rare at all.

I finally went in and talked to my doctor. He gave me the condescending speech about it being uncommon and it is probably IBS. He went into the whole IBS speech again. I told him I don’t eat a high fat diet. Though he looked like he didn’t believe me. I am moving soon, so hope that I will find a new doctor, one who is listens to me better.

At the beginning of June I went on a very limited diet with just fresh fruits and vegetables. I wanted to see how my body would respond. It felt great. Less than a week and I had significantly less pain. I lost some weight. I was feeling great.

Eating processed foods again was awful. I ate a lot of grains, because I wanted to see how my body would respond. Now I am sure I have gluten intolerance. The symptoms that resulted when I ate bread every day for a week were enough to convince me and horrible enough that I probably won’t be eating bread any time soon.

Learning about gluten is pretty daunting. It seems to be in everything and not always labeled. I found some resources in my area and some more online.

I believe that I will learn and it will help me a lot to feel better and that figuring this out will be a very positive thing for me. It is really funny because the day of my final Reiki class I felt and told them that I know this class is going to bring in a huge change in my life, for the better, for my health. And it has.

12 thoughts on “Gluten Intolerance

  1. I’ve heard that Celiacs can be daunting, trying to find food that has not had gluten added to it. Even way out here in the country, I have noticed, tho, that the stores are carrying more things labeled, “No gluten added”.

    So sorry about it and that you had to diagnose yourself.

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    • Hi Ivory,

      So glad that I have something that I can do to make my life and health better now. It took a long time. Since I don’t eat alot of bread and it is in everything, it was harder for me to see connections. My doctor is an idiot. I see that most of my symptoms he ignored when I brought them up.

      Right now I’m trying to be strict with my diet and eat only stuff I know for sure is gluten free. It is hard to give up some of these foods cold turkey. But I see a huge difference in how well I feel and that is worth it.

      Thanks for your comments.

      Kate

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  2. I think more people have gluten intolerance than we really realize … and celiac disease is, I think, pretty common, and often mild cases of it are masked by OTC meds.

    I started limiting my gluten intake because it tends to contribute to inflammatory conditions, and I was having a lot of joint pain. Watching my diet really helped. I think you’ll find that avoiding gluten does amazing things for your health.

    Watch out for it in cosmetics, esp. hair care products.

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    • Hi David,

      I’m glad that you are getting some good results from limiting gluten. I was planning on asking you if you had considered doing that.

      I had read that it can be in tons of stuff. I was upset to learn that it is in non-dairy creamer at restuarants. Going out for coffee is something that I love to do. And some coffees and some teas as well with barley, malt flavoring, lots of prepared frozen foods that I like are no-nos now because all of them seem to have wheat in them for some bizarre reason, including no MSG which doesn’t have to list it’s ingredients and they don’t have to list whether or not MSG is in a food product. Kellogg’s Corn Flakes obviously but that one really made us cry, because it has been fun comfort food for over twenty-five years. I’ll find something else to replace it, but it might take some time.

      Thanks for the heads up about hair care. I did read a couple days ago that it can be in women’s cosmetics, but that is okay for me as right now I don’t use any on my skin. I will learn more before I buy anything new. Which reminds me I have to check and see if the toothpaste I like is gluten free before I buy more.

      Take care.

      Kate

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  3. HI Kate,
    I’m gluten sensitive, which means I can have a little gluten, but I get symptoms (mostly just gas, twitchy feet, allergy type runny nose) if I eat too much. At first I did a strict no-gluten diet, and like you I felt so much better that I decided I needed to keep it up.

    You can eat some brands of corn flakes (the health food kinds usually don’t have gluten in them, for example), any sort of puffed rice cereal. I sometimes eat low-gluten bread like spelt bread. I bought a breadmaker and some spelt flour and used it to make my own bread for a bit. However now mostly I just dont eat bread. I eat oatmeal, which I don’t seem to have trouble with iether even though it has some gluten.

    For pasta, I find corn has a much better texture than rice pasta which gets all gluey. Rice noodles and rice vermicelli are already okay. I eat a lot of asian food when I’m out, since it’s often rice based. However, vegetarian restaurants and some asian restaurants serve gluten as a meat substitute, which I don’t eat of course.

    If you have full on celiac disease it’s quite painful, apparently. Medical doctors tend to be all or nothing with this sort of thing, so as far as they’re concerned you iether have celiac or you’re fine, but I think there’s lots of room in between. I have a good friend with celiac disease, who has had it from birth. She can have spelt bread, (some celiacs can and some can’t). She has to be quite strict about it, since she gets gut pain if she ingests gluten accidentally, but I don’t get very severe symptoms so I ‘cheat’ frequently, although I eat a lot less gluten than most people.

    SDW

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    • Hi SwordDanceWarrior,

      I’m sorry that you have a sensitivity. I’m glad that you avoid the foods for the most part and that avoids symptoms.

      I agree with you about the celiac, there is lots of room for damage to the body due to gluten intolerance issues that might not be found and diagnosed. The testing seems pretty iffy with damage perhaps being nearby but not the area that is biopsied, and you have to eat a lot of gluten for weeks before testing, which is not something that I would choose to do at this time.

      I have an issue with vitamin d absorption, so I think that I do have some celiac issues. Taking supplements in the last two years has really made a difference for me and I am hoping that it will continue to improve as I avoid gluten. I do think that a large amount of my pain issues are due to the gluten issues and the celiac. Time will tell how much better I can get through eliminating the gluten.

      I will look for a corn flakes that are gluten free. Thanks for letting me know.

      Kate

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  4. I have a whole truck load of food intolerances (including wheat, yeast, dairy, seafood, nightshades, blah blah blah) – although I don’t have Coeliac’s and can eat other forms of gluten (eg, oats).

    Like SWD, I can eat small amounts of the nasty foods before they tip me into hell. Funny you should post on this, as I’m writing my own blog post about this too.

    Life can be a little complicated when working around these things, but you do get used to it, and eventually it becomes second nature (until you go on anti-D meds that fix the IBS and make you gorge yourself on complete crap for months on end, but more on this another time). Thankfully there’s lots of products on the market that are gluten free now.

    Take care and eat well.

    Kerro

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    • Hi Kerro,

      I’m sorry that you are dealing with so many food limitations. I’m glad that you are able to work around them.

      I am learning, though slowly. It seems like you can get a lot of inaccurate information. As I am finding that is true right now. Trying now to find only the most accurate and most recent info to use. I am figuring out some things I can eat fast food and that is helping me feel like there are some options out there when I want something quick and easy. Everything that I had in my freezer was glutenized. And everything in my cupboard as well, except for the canned veggies. Had to throw out quite a bit of the teas that I had because they all had malt flavoring in them.

      Yesterday and today I haven’t had the all-over body itches that I was dealing with for days, so that is a great thing. I bruised so easily when I was eating the gluten and am slowly healing from that. I am having these horrible headaches at the start of every day and will be glad that the gluten gets out of my system completely as I don’t have that symptom when on the real strict diet. I’m trying to see if a less strict thing will work on getting me purged of the gluten or not, before going back onto the really strict fresh food diet, as I am not feeling strong willed enough to deal with that right now.

      I’m sorry about the ant-d meds sideffects. I would gain weight on them, no matter what. I am thinking that they have gluten in them. I have to start learning if meds are safe or not. I am so sensitive, they all cause me to gain weight. Not sure what that is about. My doctor looks at me like he doesn’t believe me. But I don’t eat a lot.

      I look forward to reading any posts you do on the gluten and eating issues.

      Good and healing thoughts to you.

      Kate

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  5. Something else to be sure to look for are warnings of products being made on shared equipment that is also used for products containing wheat, etc.

    Fast-food restaurant wise, Wendy’s had a gluten free menu (on their web site) but I discovered that it’s important to find out whether your local Wendy’s employees understand (or even know anything) about it. I finally had to stop going to either of my local Wendys’ because I couldn’t seem to go without having a reaction. If they make a gluten free item without changing their gloves after making a burger with a bun, for instance, that creates cross contamination. (Panera Bread, believe it or not, has a gluten free menu on their web site, and our local store employees will change their gloves before preparing a plate – I just tell the person who takes the order that I’m gluten intolerant).

    For healing the gut, I take L-glutamine and ginger, and sometimes I use slippery elm (you can make tea out of it or put it into foods or beverages if you get the powdered form).

    It’s hard getting used to all the small details and big changes, but it does become second nature, and as you have already discovered, it definitely is worth it in terms of your health! So many symptoms that one might never even think of can be a part of gluten intolerance.

    If I can help at all, please let me know!

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    • Hi,

      Yes I have been thinking about that as well about Wendy’s. Still not sure as I have not been able to do a ten day cleansing diet again, to get myself rid of all of that and give my body a rest for a bit. Though I am really hoping that I won’t get a reaction from gloves, but have heard that can be a common thing.

      Yes products that I read are on shared lines are something that concern me. Though I’m not sure how many companies admit to that who do actually do it.

      Thanks for your support.

      Kate

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      • Yes I saved that link you put up so I can learn about them all. I read it on your blog yesterday. I think every company should do that.

        Finally got caught up to your postings. Been a slow reader lately of blogs, but really wanted to read all of what you have.

        Kate

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