Gluten Free or Gluten Fad photo of breads

Gluten Free OR Gluten Fad?

Should you go gluten free, or is this just another fad diet? So much information on the internet is making it really difficult to figure out what is real and what is fake news and information. I know for me, it has my head spinning. What should you believe? With regard to nutrition and diet there are so many fads – gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, leaky gut, now leaky BRAIN(!!), eat kale, on and on. I’m totally distrustful of the diet industry because of how I was a patsy and mislead for decades.

Honestly, I felt like a lot of what I’m reading is made up just to sell you something. But so many complimentary/alternative care doctors and professionals are insistent that gluten aggravates thyroid conditions.  Having Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, I felt it would be responsible for me to test for myself whether being gluten free would actually make a difference in my health..

Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance

Symptoms of gluten intolerance range from mild to extreme. If you have Celiac Disease, eating gluten can kill you, or just make you wish that you were dead because of the pain! Most of the symptoms have to do with digestion. It’s said that eating gluten causes “leaky gut” where molecules of food items escape the encapsulated structure of the intestines and get into the blood stream where they don’t belong. According to Web MD, symptoms include gas, bone pain, depression, tingling or numbness in hands and feet, itchy skin, mouth sores.

I knew I don’t have celiac, but I did a symptoms that might be related: heartburn and joint pain. But honestly, I didn’t believe that I actually had a problem with gluten- and believe me, I certainly did NOT want to be gluten intolerant! Yes, there are blood tests, but I don’t think that the always are accurate – and they are expensive. I went a lot of years with symptoms of hypothyroid with no positive blood tests until finally the blood results changed.

My Test for Gluten Intolerance

I decided to do a test for myself by eliminating all sources of gluten for a period of time. Some say that one month is sufficient. No problem, I could do that easily, because there are lots of alternatives to gluten – but they are EXPENSIVE! That was another reason that I didn’t want to be gluten free! Also, I am a bit of a rebel, as you may have detected from reading on this site. I don’t wear any clothes with identifying designers, and resist being like others whenever possible! I really believed that gluten intolerance was a new fad. ?

After four and half months, it seemed liked there was no change in how I felt. But one day, after 4.5 months, I had to go to a store where I had to walk up 20 steps. I’ve had a weird condition practically my entire life where walking uphill or up stairs makes my heart race…. and I do have a fast resting heart rate (I’m taking medication for this). This day, however, when I walked up the stairs I noticed that I wasn’t getting out of breath. Hmmm…. that’s strange – but not bad! Then I went on my normal walk around my very hilly neighborhood, and again something strange happened.  I didn’t have to stop multiple times to catch my breath. I was cautiously optimistic… Could it be from cutting out gluten?

Since I was really wanting bagel, and I decided to have one.  So, I did the bagel test. What happened? I was stunned.  After about a half hour, my heart started pounding. It wasn’t going faster, just beating so hard I could feel it in my back, my stomach and even around my kidneys. My head felt awful- not exactly a headache, but like it was throbbing like I was holding my breath under water.

OMG! These weren’t like the symptoms they talked about from being gluten intolerant! It took a day for them to go away, and I went back to being gluten free. And my new ability to walk up hill returned. Believe me, I was not happy about this being related to gluten. It’s MUCH easier to live a life where you eat anything you want and don’t have to be careful about what you put in your mouth!

So now, six months later, I’m doing tests to see if I react from having a little bit of gluten- NOT like eating an entire bagel, but the amount of gluten in soy sauce. And I’m considering trying out dairy free – which I think is a LOT harder than being gluten free! I’m PRAYING I don’t have any discernible reactions to dairy!

Symptoms Gluten Free Did NOT Change

Many people report that they lost significant weight from cutting gluten out of their usual diet (I don’t mean restrictive eating). But of course, they didn’t report back years after to say whether they MAINTAINED weight loss (only 5{5b8e831512cf0c284f7edae7fc403e9a09e5b1736c5b1d60e4451a29dc064ebe} maintain weight loss). As you know, that’s the Diet Industry’s normal claim: THEY lost weight…..( Sure, but they gained it back!!) . And, I did NOT go gluten free because I wanted to lose weight or expected to lose weight.

As for me, I didn’t drop an ounce of weight. My joint pain has not abated. I still have allergies to dust and mold, cats and dogs. And yes, I still have heartburn, although it is a bit better.

Most important to me is that I’m making sure that I don’t feel like a “victim”…. poor me. A negative mindset causes stress and makes EVERYTHING worse in your life.

quote about not feeling sorry for yourself

Should You test yourself for Gluten Sensitivity?

If you have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis or Hypothyroid, I definitely encourage you to do your own test to see if you have gluten intolerance. Perhaps your doctor never did the blood test for Hashimoto’s, which is the autoimmune disease of your thyroid gland. Not too many doctors do this test even if you have thyroid symptoms.
Check all the things you have in your home to see if they have gluten in them. Soy sauce, salad dressings, soups and many other items you have may add gluten as a thickener. Rye, barley and spelt grains all have gluten. If you’re going to do the test, make a commitment to yourself for the amount of time you will test – a month at least.
My suggestion is to write down symptoms you have- no matter how crazy they seem, so you can compare yourself after the test to see if its changed.

IF you have noticed that you feel better in any way, you’ll have to decide for yourself whether it’s worth it to you to stay gluten free. It’s better for your health to avoid things you react to, but not always easy- especially when you go out to eat with others. Parties can be challenging. Your friends may think it’s just a fad- but if they care about you, they’ll help you out.

Finally, there are good tasting gluten free breads, cakes and recipes that you can enjoy- and even fool your friends by offering them your food. And if you’re NOT sensitive to gluten, I’m happy for you!

Please share your comments below-  And if you liked this blog, please subscribe to my newsletter (and get my free expose) where I’ll keep you informed about the the things the Diet Industry Does NOT want you to know!

You can make your own Mindset

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