Jun 01 2013
Do you regularly suffer from gastrointestinal issues, such as cramping, gas, diarrhea or constipation? Do you feel tired or logy, especially after eating a meal with lots of wheat products (pasta, bread and cereals)? If so, then it’s possible that you are one of the estimated 15% of Americans who are gluten intolerant (also known as gluten sensitivity or gluten allergy).
Gluten intolerance means that your body reacts negatively when you ingest gluten, which is a protein found in all wheat products. Current data on gluten intolerance is sketchy. Some doctors and dieticians suspect that gluten intolerance is highly underestimated, because there is currently no way to diagnose it.
If you are experiencing symptoms of gluten intolerance, you won’t be able to go to the doctor for a blood test to figure out if gluten is the cause of all your physical discomfort. Instead, the best way to determine if you are gluten intolerant is to cut gluten out of your diet cold turkey and see if the symptoms dissolve.
Before you start throwing out all of your cereals, pastas and bread, take a moment to list out all of your symptoms. It doesn’t matter whether or not you think they could be related to a gluten allergy. List them all out and rate their average severity on a scale of 1 – 10. Next, jump online and research which foods contain gluten and which don’t. You may be surprised at how many foods harbor gluten. (A great resource is this article from the Mayo Clinic).
Now it’s cold turkey time. Do your best to go 60 days without ingesting any gluten. This will require you to look carefully at every food label and to order with care at restaurants. This may seem challenging at first, but we promise that it becomes easier as you gradually become more familiar with the inbounds and out-of-bounds foods. There are also many online gluten-free communities, like GlutenfreeSingles.com, where you can reach out to others who are living the gluten-free life.
At the end of your 60 gluten-free days, review your list of symptoms again and determine if any or all of them have gone away or at least improved. Look at the rating next to each symptom and ask yourself if the rating is lower.
For one final test, add gluten back into your diet. If you truly are gluten intolerant or gluten sensitive, your body will let you know right away. Sometimes, we don’t even know we’re suffering from a symptom (like fatigue) until we clear our bodies of gluten and bring it back.
Using the 60-day gluten-free experiment, you’ll get a clear picture of whether or not gluten is causing some or many of your physical and mental symptoms. If your symptoms abate, then we strongly recommend that you consider adopting a gluten-free lifestyle. Here at GlutenfreeSingles.com, we’re here to support your lifestyle choice, and we hope that you’ll become part of our gluten-free community.