Gluten Free Living

Gluten free has become one of the latest buzz words in the health and fitness industry. How do you know if you have a gluten intolerance or have Celiac Disease? Today we will touch on some of the basics of being gluten intolerant and how to eat gluten free. Even if you aren't "allergic" it is still beneficial to limit the amount of gluten you eat on a daily basis. Living gluten free does not mean you have to live without your favorite foods. I have lived gluten free for about six years. It has been a long process of figuring out what was making me sick, what foods contained gluten, and how to be able to eat at a restaurant without getting sick.

It all happened one morning on my way to the airport. I woke up, grabbed my bags, a piece of Ezekial bread toast with peanut butter, an apple, and a cup of coffee. My mom and I were off to LAX. About an hour into the drive, I started to feel very anxious, nauseous, and desperate to get to a bathroom. I was unable to get on the plane that day because at that time I thought I had the stomach flu. The nausea, fatigue, anxiety, and many other symptoms became a daily occurrence. I felt miserable and unable to have a normal social life. I was determined to figure out what it was that was making me feel so horrible. Later on a came across a magazine article that had a woman standing behind a table of food, foods that were thought of as healthy. I read the article and it seemed as though I was reading an autobiography of my own health issues. The article was just the tip of the ice burg. It was the beginning of my journey to live gluten free and fabulously healthy. As I did more research, I learned about all of the health issues that come with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance and all of the benefits of living without gluten. This wasn't something that could just be ignored. After I gave up gluten 6 years ago, my health gradually yet drastically improved.  I lost 35 lbs, my hypothyroidism corrected itself without medication, my anxiety is diminished, my skin irritations cleared, and I feel more energetic than ever.

What is Celiac Disease? Celiac disease is a condition that damages the lining of the small intestine and prevents it from absorbing parts of food that are important for staying healthy. The damage is due to a reaction to eating gluten, which is found in wheat, barley, rye, and cross-contaminated oats. A person becomes malnourished no matter how much food he or she eats.

People with celiac disease are more likely to have:
 Gastrointestinal symptoms include:
Because the intestines do not absorb many important vitamins, minerals, and other parts of food, the following symptoms may start over time:
  • Bruising easily
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Growth delay in children
  • Hair loss
  • Missed menstrual periods
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Muscle cramps and joint pain
  • Nosebleeds
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
  • Unexplained short height

Once you find out that you have an intolerance or simply want to cut down on gluten, what can or can't you eat? First you must avoid wheat, barley, rye, and some oats. Those are the obvious offenders, however, gluten is hidden in a lot of other foods. For example ketchup, dressings, soy sauce, BBQ sauce, etc. Thankfully many restaurants and grocery stores are catching on. There are two great blogs that are featured on our page that have a lot more information and gluten-free recipes.

If you are having these symptoms you may have a gluten intolerance or Celiac Disease. Ask your doctor to test you for food allergies.

*PLF Daily Tip*
Cut out gluten for 2-4 weeks and see how you feel. After cutting out gluten have a meal with gluten and see if it makes you feel good, bad, or no change at all. Try making gluten-free meals throughout the week. It is important not to overdo wheat products and get a variety of grains in your diet.

1 comment:

  1. This helped me so much! thank you for the post.


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