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Why I Broke Up With Gluten

Part One

Breaking up is hard to do! Especially if you're like me and love pasta and the occasional croissant at the farmers market. Gluten is the bad boy you know is no good for you. It's all fun and games until you realize he's causing more harm than good. If you suffer from inflammation in the body, IBD, headaches, acne or mood swings I highly recommend eliminating gluten for a short period to see if eliminating is best for you. I suggest eliminating bad partners for life ;)

Gluten, latin for “glue,” is the group of proteins found in wheat, barley, rye, triticale, malt, brewer’s yeast, wheat starch, and wheat derivatives like wheat berries, durum, emmer, semolina, spelt, and farina.  Often those who are intolerant don't experience symptoms until days after consumption. I didn't consider eliminating gluten sooner because it didn't make me sick immediately. I have friends who are physically sick for days if their meal has even a small trace of gluten. Because I didn't notice an immediate reaction, I thought I was in the clear- big misconception!

I made the choice to cut back on gluten after reading several studies about the link to anxiety and depression. I've worked too hard on personal growth and healing. I'm not going to gluten compromise that. By week one, I noticed how much more energy I had. By week two, my skin was clearer and I felt great. My only regret was not eliminating gluten sooner. 

Gluten intolerance is 30 times more common that celiac disease. 1 in 7 are gluten-sensitive but test negative for celiac, an autoimmune disease that attacks the small intestine. These attacks lead to damage on the villi, small fingerlike projections that line the small intestine, that promote nutrient absorption. When the villi get damaged, nutrients cannot be absorbed properly into the body. Even if you don’t have celiac disease or a wheat allergy, you may still find relief from digestive issues and other ailments by breaking up with gluten and/or cutting back on gluten. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is a new kid on the block in the spectrum of gluten-related disorders and becoming more and more recognized by health practitioners.

Symptoms of gluten intolerance:

  • Inflammation in the body ( puffiness, achey joints, joint pain)
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Brain fog (distraction)
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Anemia
  • Stomach upset
  • Diarrhea 
  • Muscle cramps
  • Skin rash (acne, psorias, ezcema)
  • Mouth sores
  • Tingling in legs and feet
  • Fatty or oily stools (do you leave streak marks??)
  • Weakness and fatigue

I recommend eliminating gluten for 15-20 days. Pay close attention to how your body and mind react. After this period, reintroduce gluten and see how you feel. You don't have to have all of the symptoms listed above to suffer from NCGS. If you opt to cut it out entirely be diligent- read labels (gluten hides in everything from soy sauce, spiced nuts, beverages, sauces and salad dressings). When in doubt, go without store-bought dressings during the 15-20 days of elimination (a great substitute is fresh lemon juice and EVOO).

 

Good news is there are many restaurants that now have a selection of fresh gluten-free (GF) items. During your 15-20 elimination diet try to make as many of your own meals. When that's not possible, ask how your meal is prepared (same knife, pans, etc). Find me on Instagram (@radiate_wkate) for great GF recipes.

Lots of love,

Katie 

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