Are You Gluten Intolerant?

Gluten Intolerance

I’ve recently succumb to the large probability that I am gluten intolerant.  Stomach issues come and go for me.  I’ve always claimed IBS as part of my issues although I’ve never been diagnosed.  I also highly suspect a gut imbalance caused by taking a large amount of antibiotics growing up.  My stomach issues include gas, bloating and constipation.  At the moment, I find myself reacting to just about everything I eat.  I’ve been in hot pursuit for relief and answers and thought I’d share.

Gluten intolerance is a pretty popular ailment these days and going gluten free is becoming more and more common.  I have suspected I was gluten intolerant for some time now but recently had adopted some eating habits which included eating gluten daily.  As my stomach issues were at an all time high, I decided to go gluten free.

After cutting gluten from my diet I noticed relief within 1 day.  I continue to enjoy less bloating and gas but my symptoms are not completely remedied.  So hence diving head first into gluten research!  As per usual-I’m sharing what I’ve learned and would greatly appreciate comments that might add to the information!

First off-what is gluten?  Gluten is a protein in wheat, rye and barley.  Gluten is in all the good stuff like cake, pizza, cookies, crackers and chips.

I didn’t know there was a difference between celiac disease and gluten intolerance.  Celiac disease is an allergy to gluten and will show up in a blood test.  Often, a person with celiac disease has small intestine damage. It affects about 1 in 100 people, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation. Gluten intolerance is much more common and simply means that someone has a hard time digesting gluten. Gluten intolerant people have most of the same symptoms of celiac disease but don’t show any of the physiologic changes, like damage to the small intestine and malnutrition.

Gluten can actually cause significant changes in the gut microbiome.  This is bad news since overall health orginates in the gut. Gluten intolerance can affect almost every cell, tissue and system in the body since the bacteria that populate the gut help control everything from nutrient absorption,  hormone production, metabolic function and cognitive processes.

Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance:

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea or Constipation
  • Stomach Pain
  • Headaches
  • Feeling Tired
  • Brain Fog
  • Muscle & Joint Pain
  • Skin Issue such as dermatitis, eczema, rosacea and skin rashes
  • Depression
  • Weight Loss
  • Anxiety
  • Anemia
  • Arm & Leg Numbness
  • Autoimmune Disorders

If you quickly begin to feel relief after cutting out gluten, it is pretty safe to say that your body is having a hard time digesting this protein.  It would be wise to greatly reduce your intake of gluten if not stop eating it all together.

Like me, many people still continue to have stomach issues after quitting gluten.  This is usually caused by the damage gluten has already done.  We’re talking inflammation and a gut imbalance.

Reducing foods that cause inflammation such as alcohol, fried foods, processed foods and sugar is an absolute must.  It doesn’t have to mean you cut these foods out forever but cutting them out to reduce inflammation will help your body heal.  Also, getting your gut back in balance is a must.  The easiest way to do this is by taking a probiotic.  I alternate between Garden of Life’s probiotic and Plexus Pro-Bio 5.  Go HERE for more ideas on replenishing your gut with good bacteria.

Since I quit eating gluten, I’m pretty shocked at all the gluten I was eating.  I really thought I had cut it way down but I was fooling myself, that’s for sure.  I’m currently figuring out how to reduce inflammation and help my gut get back in balance and hope to ditch the stomach discomfort soon.

For more info. on gluten intolerance and next steps read HERE.  Also, here’s an article on anti inflammatory foods HERE.

Do you have a gluten issue?  Any advice?  I’d love to hear!

xx, Jenni

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11 Comments

  1. Connie
    October 5, 2018 / 9:36 am

    I’m sorry to hear this! I would suggest that you get tested for food allergies if you haven’t already. I have MANY food allergies and it’s hard to imagine how bad you can feel when you consume something that bothers you.

    • Jenni
      Author
      October 6, 2018 / 3:40 pm

      Connie-I have not! I’ve heard so many things about food allergy testing and don’t have a doctor I trust so I try to be super aware how each food makes me feel but it’s really not working. Have you had allergy testing? If so, was it expensive and painful? I really need to figure this out!

      • Connie
        October 8, 2018 / 10:14 am

        Yes I was tested the first time about 20 years ago and again last month. It hurts some but not a big deal. Allergies often change over time, some of mine did, not allergic to something’s now that I was all those years ago and now allergic to things I wasn’t then.

        Food allergies can be serious and you can react to them in different ways. Sometimes with reactions not showing up for several days. I also have Hashimoto, an autoimmune disease of the thyroid. People with Hashi often also have food allergies.

        Its something to take seriously because food allergies can do a lot of damage to your body. Best be tested. Ask for recommendations for a good allergist in your area on Facebook or something.

        • Jenni
          Author
          October 9, 2018 / 7:52 am

          Connie-Do you mind me asking how you were diagnosed with Hashimoto? I’ve had my thyroid tested and it was normal but I’ve heard that it can be hard to get a good read on thyroid through a blood test. Thanks for taking time to respond!!

  2. k
    October 9, 2018 / 11:22 am

    If your gut is really damaged, you could try the GAPS diet. I read the book about it when my son was having trouble, and we did a modified version of it. It is helpful. All my kids responded well to taking stomach enzymes as well. It helps the food digest faster, so your compromised system has an easier time…you may already have that in your probiotics. My daughter and husband’s skin issues cleared after elimination of gluten.
    Prayers for continued healing…it’s not fun.

  3. Denise
    October 9, 2018 / 9:33 pm

    I have a gluten intolerance as well. I felt terrible, sluggish, gassy, bloated, irregular periods, didn’t ovulate and crabby. I went off gluten to see what would happen and I noticed a huge difference!! My workouts were better and everything normalized including ovulation 😉 then I discovered I was pregnant at age 38 (for previous pregnancies I had to take clomid to ovulate and to get pregnant). Basically gluten was like birth control for me. Going off gluten was a great idea for me. I can eat small amounts. If I eat too much gluten,my cycles will be 40+ days long.

    I had an endoscopy and I have had a colonoscopy. I don’t have celiac and no intestine damage.

    Good luck! Stick to your plan.

  4. Janice
    October 10, 2018 / 12:37 pm

    Hey Jen,

    So glad to see you’re getting relief with a no/low gluten diet. You are so right, a healthy gut really is key to everything!!

    I wanted to share this for others out there suffering with Lyme Disease. I suffered with chronic Lyme Disease for about 15 years and extreme mega dose antibiotic usage for four, which just made me sicker. Finally a few years ago I found out about eating a clean diet and getting my gut healthier. Gluten free, dairy free, no processed food, no beef, etc. It has been life changing for me.

    I would recommend just starting out slow, making small changes. There are great alternative foods on the market now. Of course, there are always times when I can’t or just don’t want to stick with it (like when someone make brownies…lol) I don’t fret those. I made a commitment to me to stick with it 85% of the time & work my way up from there :). Now I’m mostly vegetarian & chemical free living. YAY!!

    My search for healthy alternative methods using essential oils lead me to your pages. I searched around a lot and your blog has been absolutely great!! So much information presented in an easy to follow, well organized, well researched, educated way. I just want to say thanks for all the time and effort you put into all this, it is truly appreciated!!

    • Jenni
      Author
      November 9, 2018 / 8:30 am

      Janice-Thank you so much for sharing this-I’m so sorry for the delay on posting this comment! Thank you for sharing your personal experience and I’m so glad you’ve been able to see some relief! And also-I so appreciate your kind words!!!! I’m so glad to be helpful!

  5. B. C.
    October 11, 2018 / 8:11 am

    Don’t forget gluten in make-up, especially lipstick, which has made me very sick. I have to
    be very careful of what I put ON my face and body, as well as what I put in it.

    • Jenni
      Author
      October 11, 2018 / 3:36 pm

      B.C.-Really?! I wondered how necessary gluten free beauty products were. That’s great to know! Thank you!

  6. Elizabeth T
    October 11, 2018 / 6:53 pm

    I am also gluten intolerant. I had no other symptoms except that I would get eczema on my hands, front and back. I think I have had IBS and/or leaky gut for some time, even previous to discovering gluten intolerance. Recently, due to suffering a breakdown over a year ago, the IBS really began to flare up with intermittent diarrhea and later on, aching in my lower gut. The lower gut aching definitely put me out of commission. I came upon a site that educates people about the importance of eating probiotic-rich foods, e.g. kefir, cultured veggies (sauerkraut, kimchee), and kombucha; probiotics are so critical to gut health, therefore to skin health and overall health. So I am now making my own of all of these. A guy in the Whole produce dept. told me about a product called “Gut Shot” which is basically the probiotic-rich liquid from sauerkraut in a jar and very delicious. I took a “shot” or a couple capfuls anyway, and the gut aching stopped, continue to take those “shots.” The aching hasn’t returned. I am eating and drinking my own homemade probiotic-rich foods. The author of the site about cultured foods (culturedfoodlife[dot]com) told her daughter having severe IBS. She ate those probiotic rich foods (whatever amount I don’t know) daily, took about a year for her daughter to heal, resolve food allergies, and be able to eat normally again. [I thought I posted this comment not sure if it went through, I hope this is not a duplicate, as I am clicking on post comment a 2nd time]

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