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Gluten Free Guerrillas
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New here and a few questions!

Hey, so I've finally plucked up the courage to find all you guys :)

I have a particularly sensitive gut, not stomach, more the intestines. I've found that reducing dairy (no milk, but cheese and natural yoghurt are okay in small amounts) helps reduce the gas and bloating I get a few hours after eating. I now have soy milk and yoghurt, coconut or almond milk. That out of the way has exposed other health issues that I'm dealing with.

Recently I've been paying more attention to similar symptoms; the wheat I eat. I've found if I eat out (not often, perhaps once a month) and have pizza, even the thin one I feel awful about an hour later; gas, bloating, dizzy, tired. However indian with naan bread is okay as is Mexican with wraps. So I looked it up and it suggests a wheat sensitivity / allergy. Now here's where it gets interesting; if I bake bread at home, maike my own chapattis (roti), make any cakes (I usually sub in a bit of almond flour), or make my own pizza bases; no issues. I can have bought wraps (all types), flatbread (lavash), wholemeal (seeded) loaves, and naan breads they are all fine. Bought pizza and white bread do not sit well - so I don't get those often.

I've only heard of gluten intolerance, or allergy, does a sensitivity exist? Or is it something else? Like to do with the process used to make bleached white flour as opposed to wholemeal / natural (that I use). Could it be the fortified stuff?

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Hi there, as far as I know, if you're sensitive to wheat/gluten you're sensitive to it in any format. I'd have a look at additives, it may be that you're sensitive to the additives that are put in some highly processed foods, and white bread is definitely very highly processed. Personally, I can't have anything that contains gluten (I'm not coeliac), no dairy, soya or alcohol either. I've also found I can only eat a limited amount of nuts, especially peanuts. The way I worked out my intolerances was by using the elimination method, and from what I've read/been told, that is really the only reliable way of working it out. Eliminate whatever you suspect from your diet for several weeks, see how you feel and then reintroduce it, and see what effect that has. And you need to do it one food at a time. Good luck working it out!

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Thanks for your advice :)

Well every few weeks is when I go out to a restaurant or have white bread (or similar products) so I'm pretty sure it's that as I'm almost 100% fine when I don't do either of those!

I have bad days if I've had soya milk too often which can sometimes be after a few weeks so I switch it with other non dairy milks and switch back to soya and it's fine. I have read there's research into exposure tolerance with soya, so switching food sources is always good anyway. I have bad days when I have my endometriosis flare up; during that time most foods irritate it. My other foods that my gut isn't keen on is lamb and chilli peppers.

Quite often I don't eat foods I know my gut doesn't like so figuring out which ones bother me is relatively easy as I'll have it (usually at a friends or out) and I know in a few hours once it reaches my intestines. But the bread thing has confused me as it's only certain types; I shall look into additives; It's all good if I'm making it or if, although when I make it I use real live yeast, perhaps that makes a difference if most other ways of making it is by dried yeast? By the way come to think of it I'm okay with the store fresh bakery olive bread, sourdough boule, or fruit bread, the stuff that you know they've just made, places where I get my fresh yeast!

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It does sound like additives maybe a culprit. I generally feel much better if I keep to fresher less processed foods as well as avoiding food that I'm intolerant to. Soya is a common allergen/irritant as it's very difficult for the body to digest unless it's fermented, like in soy sauce, so if you have food intolerances, it's likely that soya will cause problems.

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Hi Farahziya,

Like you, I react to some things, but not others. For example, I react to 'normal' wheat products, but I am fine with 100% spelt products, assuming no cross contamination issues. I also react to some wheat derivatives such as maltodextrin, which is often wheat derived, but rarely labelled as such. It is possible to be sensitive to different components of the wheat, not just the usually mentioned gluten. It does not look as if gluten is the problem here. For myself, it is some component of modern wheat, but not ancient strains of wheat. Genetically, they are different. There is also a theory that it maybe pesticide residues in modern wheat which I understand is sometimes sprayed with pesticide as an aid to drying it off before harvesting.

Commercially produced bread does contain additives to extend shelf life such as calcium propionate, and emulsifiers, which you would not have in your kitchen cupboard, so this could be a possibility too. Although if you go to an authentic pizza place where they make their own bases, they are unlikely to use any additives.

I agree with Julesboz on the elimination diet, it can be tedious, but the best way to be sure is to carefully eliminate suspects and then reintroduce them one by one and keep a diary of what you have eaten and what happened. You should be able to narrow it down.

Like we keep saying on this forum, it is trial and error, and what works for one may not work for another.

Best wishes,

BW

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There have been some scientific studies on the damaging effects of additives such as emulsifiers on the gut, other additives such as cellulose and various gums can also badly affect some people.

It is possible to have non-Coeliac gluten sensitivity, but it sounds more likely to be the additives. You may be lactose intolerant if you are ok with some dairy products. You could try lactose-free milk and yoghurt if you want to avoid soy.

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