After facing stomach issues and digestion problems for the majority of my life, I knew it was time to make a dietary change. After doing research on my symptoms, I went to the gastroenterologist for a wheat allergy testing to see if I had Celiac Disease, an autoimmune condition characterized by the chronic inflammation of the intestine, only find out that my results came back perfectly “normal.” However, my doctor said that I (along with many others) may be “gluten sensitive” and suggested going on a gluten-free diet for about 3-4 weeks to see if I saw any improvements*.
Unlike Celiac Disease, Non-Celiac Gluten sensitivity is very difficult to diagnose because it lacks any sort of medical testing. Celiac Disease is a genetic condition that damages the lining of the small intestine and prevents it from absorbing nutrients. Gluten sensitivity is similar because symptoms are very much alike, however people with gluten sensitivity have no detectable intestinal damage, meaning that their medical testing will come back negative.
After being gluten free for 3-4 weeks, I began to notice a few significant changes in my body. I no longer felt constantly boated and gassy and the uneasy feeling in my stomach gradually disappeared. The most surprising improvement was my skin. My acne actually began to clear up and I no longer had to cover up pimple after pimple.
Most people are flabbergasted when they realize that I can’t eat bread or pasta. It’s not that I “can’t eat them,” it’s that I feel better and healthier when I don’t. For me, going gluten free wasn’t just a dietary change, it was a lifestyle change. I started purchasing more whole foods such as fruits and veggies, exploring new grains such as brown rice and quinoa, and cooking at home, rather than eating out at restaurants.
It’s now been over 2 years since I’ve been gluten free and I couldn’t be happier with my diet! Here are a few great resources that have helped me with my transition to gluten free living.
Gluten Free Blogs
- Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef
- Gluten-Free Goddess
- Edible Perspective
- The Spunky Coconut
*Disclaimer: If you are having any sort of stomach or gastrointestinal issues, please see your doctor before adopting a gluten-free lifestyle.
8/16/2012 at 11:00 AM