Getting ready to try being Gluten Free

Getting ready to try being Gluten Free

Hi, my name is Cathleen and I think my 12 year old son and I might need to give becoming gluten free a try. It's not going to be easy because I'm married to an Italian family and EVERYTHING is gluten just about. I have always been a fitness person, someone who is very active and this past year I have put 30 lbs on that I can't get off.

But for me, I have noticed that after I eat things I know have gluten in them, I feel really really bloated and uncomfortable. I am constipated often and will go a couple days without using the restroom. I feel low energy and my mind doesn't feel clear. So I'm thinking that gluten may be the problem after talking to many people.

I do not have medical insurance therefore can not go get tests, but I'm told that if I try being gluten free for 6 weeks, I should be able to tell if my body changes with the way I feel.

As for my son, he has the same issues except sometimes he's constipated and sometimes he has diahrhea.

Any advice?

7 Replies

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  • Ironically many people say that gf pasta if cooked right, is as good as normal, so give it a try. Unfortunately by not having a confirmed tested diagnosis you might be giving up nutrients which are certainly better obtained through 'normal' foods. There are lots of other reasons why you could be having the symptoms you do, from b12deficiency, thyroid or another foodstuff completely. Mine seems to be milk.

  • Hi,

    as I'm not a doctor I can't advise you, but can tell of my own experience.

    Following major abdominal surgery I started to experience intense gnawing pain between my naval and right side under my ribs, a constant feeling of nausea and unable to sleep at night because of this .

    Medical treatment in the UK is free but unfortunately doctors are reluctant to provide testing or even give positive advice. It can take four weeks for an appointment to see a doctor and 3 to 6 months for referral to a consultant, and then six months between each follow up appointment.

    I did eventually see consultants who arranged many different tests which all came back negative. This by the way, this was over a period of over 4 years and in the end I became so desperate I went on a gluten-free diet of my own choosing . It was like somebody had flicked a switch because the effect I felt was immediate . It has now been found I am HLADQ 2 positive which points to me being coeliac although again my consultant ( despite agreeing a gluten-free diet is the best way forward ) is reluctant to perform a biopsy.

    Now this is what may be relevant to you , If I make mistake and eat something which contains gluten I experience bloating followed by intense nausea and then the pain which I described earlier, plus a general feeling of unease ( anxiety ). BTW when I started a gluten-free diet I lost 4 kg within two months which I have since regained. Following a gluten-free diet is not a bad thing so long as you eat a healthy balanced diet. Do bear in mind there are many many products which contain gluten but this is not necessarily stated on the packaging.

    K

  • I have stopped eating gluten based products. I had the same issues as you and your son. It is hard but all working better. No bloatedness and things are beginning to get on track. I have had a test but came back negative, which I believe happens to lots of people.

    Go ahead and try it, it is worth it in the end. I know that the Italians love pasta, so do I! You can but GF pasta, not quite the same, and I really miss yummy cakes but I do feel better.

    Go for it

  • I try my hardest to be gluten free and I do feel better. I buy only potato bread and on occasion have a slice of pizza. Many restaurants do offer alternatives for gluten free and that is helpful. I eat more fruit and vegetables which is better selection for fiber -good luck!!

  • Hi!

    I had the same issues for years, but getting really acute last summer. My biggest problem was that because of the bloating and inflammation, I completely lost my Apetite. A doctor recommended trying the diet after being diagnosed negative for Coeliac disease. After one year I feel like reborn and I am trying to be as 'clean' as possible. But it is true that after few weeks, if the gluten is causing the problems, your symptoms will fade and you will figure out if this works for you or not. Still, if you are not seeing a doctor I would recommend to try to go completely gluten-free for few months, get some time for your body to heal from all that is causing pain, and then try whether you could reintroduce some of the foods back. Because the gluten containing grains are really good for the body if they are not the main cause of harm. I finally learned how to get nutrients from other foods, but I still miss the wheat. For me unfortunately this didn't work. I get the same reactions after a very small exposure to gluten, so I stopped bothering.

    Another important thing is to take probiotics, which is naturally fixing the gut problems altogether.

    ***As far as the Italian family goes... you would be probably surprised, as I was when I travelled to Italy first time since I had this food limitation, that they are the leading scientists for Celiac and gluten related conditions and in Italy even the Jam is labelled 'senza glutine'. And it is very common to get gluten free pizza and pasta in almost all Italian restaurants. Since I have this problem, I am really looking forward to travel to Italy :)

  • As you are in the US, perhaps have a look for the book "Gluten Freedom" by Alessio Fasano (a celiac specialist, originally from Italy).

    Stick with fresh food as much as you can, as the ready made gluten free supermarket foods can be very expensive and not very healthy. You could also have a look at Italian recipes using polenta, chickpea and buckwheat flours.

    It can be useful to keep a food diary to check on the effects of what you eat. It is possible to have a problem with wheat as a whole rather than just the gluten.

  • Hi,

    As gym freak myself I feel your pain. I was at 17 stone as a gym going budding bodybuilder but over 18 months lost 3 stone and could not put anything back on. Same symptoms as you have but with I had to go to the toilet straight after I ate. So I was basically expelling all the macro and micronutrients straight away.

    A friend of my girlfriend pointed me towards going GF as she could see the signs of a Gluten intolerance.

    Literally within two weeks of going GF I was not needing to go to the toilet after meals, my stomach was settled after a month and four months down the line I've put on 21 pounds and I'm hitting the gym with loads of energy and feeling great.

    Sounds like you have a gluten issue so what's 6 weeks? Give it a go.

    Hard with the Itailian side but there's some great GF pasta on the market and all the fresh food from the med diet fits well.

    Good luck.

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