Gluten and wheat free: After being wheat... - Endometriosis UK

Endometriosis UK
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Gluten and wheat free


After being wheat and gluten free for three months, and eating a really well balance diet, I decided to give up (as I've got my op at the weekend), I actually have felt really well. How very strange .

9 Replies

It might take time for the change in your diet to manifest itself but perhaps it's an indication that all your efforts have made your body more healthy and balanced. I sometimes have wheat/gluten, meat, sweets, a glass of wine here and there with no issues. I have also been on an endo friendly diet for 3 months and feel much better overall.

Good luck with your op and let us know how you get on. x

Hi Sheri26, I tried the gluten/wheat/dairy/soya free diet too recently. I ended up having to re-introduce milk into my diet just for my cereal of a morning though as I can't cope without breakfast of a morning and my body was refusing any food later in the day as I had got so hungry I felt sick with anything I tried. I was much better once I started my usual cereal again though. I still avoided any gluten/wheat and as much dairy as possible (apart from breakfast). After 6 weeks, I gave up last week when I was admitted to hospital as my pains were so excruciating. I was not given the option of gluten/wheat free food whilst in hospital and so I ended up having to eat a sandwich for lunch each day instead. I have to admit, I hadn't seen any imporovement in my symptoms whilst following the gluten/wheat free diet and I completely lost any motivation to follow the diet after being in hospital. I have been eating normal again this week and last and there hasn't been any increase in pain (since being on morphine then other painkillers) so I think I have decided that this diet isn't for me!

Has anyone else had the same problem as me? It seems everyone who has tried the gluten/wheat free diet feel 100% better except for me!!

in reply to vkjames04

I am same as you. I followed the diet for 2 months and had absolutely no change in pain...

in reply to vkjames04

I am allergic to wheat, and was diagnosed with that allergy last june. I have been allergic to legumes (including soy) for about 10 years now. I don't feel better endo wise at all after removing the wheat from my diet.. On the plus side, my allergies have gone down tenfolds.

That's how I feel, and on my recovery I want to eat whatever I fancy, still feel no different , binning the diet to, sorry girls. Xx

I went gluten/wheat free over two years ago just because it caused too much bloating and made my stomach hurt when there was too much gas in my system. From what I've read about gluten it is something the body only tolerates and that level of tolerance varies from person to person. Some people don't do well on it at all. The theory (not mine) being that we're not really designed to eat grains in this fashion (ground up into bread and cakes that is). I then found out I had a hiatus hernia and gastric reflux was a problem and so staying gluten free has helped that a little and I do mean a little. In all other respects I have found that not eating gluten has made no difference to any other problem or pain. Not the abdominal pain, back pain, chest pain, other stomach pain, knee pain (both), shoulder pain (left only) and hip pain (both) all are as bad as ever and I can't find a single thing that helps any of it bar not moving very much (standing/walking for around 10 mins causes immense back pain) and swallowing as many painkillers as I can safely. I do wonder if there are other things I can try - e.g. stopping dairy but I'm really reluctant as I love milk - it feels so soothing slipping down. I don't drink caffeine and my alcohol consumption varies from nothing at all for weeks to a few glasses of wine with food, it's very, very rarely excessive but I will admit there is the odd time. Then it sends me to sleep. Not drinking makes no difference to my pain and problems and I've tried it for months to really give it a good go. I have read that decaf coffee can still cause problems due to an enzyme and I've yet to try giving up dairy as I said but I then really struggle to know what to drink. Water sits coldly in my stomach so can only sip at it, cannot drink fizz or fruit juices as the fizz causes bloating and the juices are too acidic. I don't touch much in the way of sweet things - bananas as they are meant to be good for stomachs and the wine is all I do eat that's sweet really. Well, bar the occasional section of chocolate from the bar my husband is gobbling up. Sorry - that probably doesn't help! That's my experience of giving up gluten/wheat anyway.

The endo diet - is more than just eliminating all foods that encourage estradiols - it's a mixture of finding out which foods and drinks suit you best. Figuring out those which within minutes cause you to have pain and also trying to reduce the amount of oestrogen friendly foods.

Unllik Coeliac where the body simply cannot process Gluten and it must be avoided, removing gluten foods for the endo ladies is a matter of preference.

I still consume Gluten, but I certainly do avoid many drinks and foods that do cause me pain quite quickly after scoffing them.

It's trial and error - so if Gluten in the diet is something you can tolerate without causing an increase in pain and discomfort then its entirely up to the individual whether they cut back or cut it out all together.

I don't eat red meat - I do eat bread, I also do eat local honey before the hay fever season kicks in as have found it helps my hayfever reaction,

I hardly ever touch chocolate or sugary foods - mine is a more savoury tooth.

I never touch caffiene or alcohol or fizzies or fruit juice. i am very strict on that - because the onset of pain is so rapid after falling off the wagon, evn half a glass of cola at a meal out and I will be in agony before it gets to pudding.

My dairy intake is very low,but I do eat eggs and plenty of vegies .

No one says you have to be a martyr to the endo diet - just bear it in mind when chosing what to buy or what to eat. The only person who benefits or suffers is you.

I lurve a vegie soup at lunchtime - but rather than having croutons - i crumble crisps in to the soup or tear up a slice or two of bread to dunk in it. That's my daily gluten intake.

Life is hard enough to get through without giving up everything you enjoy doing.

Sorry about the long rambling post...!

I understand where you're coming from. I bought Carolyn Levett's book and found it very interesting and useful but for some reason I've never cooked a single recipe from it! I don't believe that diet alone is sufficient but eating healthily makes a difference to how our bodies cope and this is how I approached it. Instead of viewing it as a diet based on restriction I viewed it as a chance to experiment and I have really enjoyed it. I haven't cut out all the 'forbidden' items (even though I sometimes say I have). I still eat things with gluten from time to time, drink green tea and sometimes regular tea, butter here and there, cheese sometimes, red wine a few times a week, sweets or chocolate as a treat at the weekend and dare I say it...CRISPS! I occasionally eat meat but it is always organic at the very least and preferably grass fed. If I'm out for dinner I relax that rule. For me it's about keeping things in moderation and not getting uptight about it all.

The gluten issue is definately not one size fits all. I hear there is a high incidence of women with endo who are also coeliac. I am definately not coeliac. I have also read somewhere that up to 80% of the poulation is either gluten intolerant or, the other end of the scale, gluten sensitive. I admit I might be gluten sensitive so I cut it out for a while to give my body a rest. I will return to eating gluten but I will watch how much I consume. Before, I could easily have 2 slices of toast for breakfast, 2 slices of bread at lunch as a sandwich and then pasta in the evening with maybe honey on toast in between. That's too much for me in my view. Moderation is more my approach.

What the whole endo diet idea did for me was introduce me to vegetables and fruit which were sorely lacking in my diet. I had fooled myself into thinking that I had a healthy diet. It was ok but too much meat and not enough veg. I went very hardcore on the endo diet at first to force myself to find good healthy veg recipes and it worked. I love cooking so I found it a fun challenge to create meals within the 'rules'. Once I was up and running I reintroduced some of the more regular items. But the real 'rule' for me is the quality of the food I eat. To minimise toxins and known endocrine disruptors the majority of my fruit and veg is organic. Likewise, to avoid growth hormones and antibiotics I eat organic meat. It also matters to me how the animal is fed and grass fed is best. I don't eat meat as often as I did...mainly due to the fact that oganic, grass fed is expensive!

My take away (and I'm not talking about the curry house down the road!) from the endo 'diet' is moderation on suspected endo trouble makers, buckets of fruit but especially veg and quality of food. I've also introduced other things into my diet like coconut oil, dandelion tea (good for liver), mint tea (digestion), nutritional yeast if I'm not eating too much meat etc. Strictly speaking I am not on an endo diet, I'm just eating in a healthy manner that feels right for me.

I also don't feel that my diet is enough to bring about real and lasting change. It is just an element that can be supportive along with other things. I get acupuncture, I take Chinese medicine and I've just subscribed to an online course in yoga specifically designed for endo. There are other things I plan to gradually introduce.

The good results are...I lost over a stone in 5 weeks, I have more energy now, I look better, I feel stronger, my skin is less dry, no bloating, no wind, no acid reflux. With regard to endo? at just 3 months I feel it's too early to say and I'm in it for the long haul. Even though I have some bad endo issues I think the diet has made me better able to cope with the symptoms and they don't drain me as much as before.

Good luck with your op and I wish you a speedy recovery. Have a Big Mac for me!!!! (actually...I'm planning on treating myself to one soon!) x

I totally agree with what your saying, I don't really drink, love my veggies, happier eating chicken, maybe once a week I eat beef. I drink a mixture of teas, I drink aloe Vera gel juice twice a day. Like a bit of aero mint. Might skip the Big Mac and go for a KFC , can't beat a hot wing xx

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