Gluten Free “Fad” Diet


Anyone who has to eat gluten free due to a gluten allergy/intolerance or Celiac Disease has heard comments from people such as, “That sucks, ” or “What CAN you eat?”  Often times people who do not understand these conditions think people who eat gluten free are just being difficult or trying the next fad diet. There is nothing more troubling than seeing the “deer in the headlights look,” of your food server when you try to explain your gluten free needs.  You know that this meal is going to be a “roll of the dice,” whether you have a reaction or not.   Aaron (my husband in the pictures above) gets this reaction (big sigh) often.  This can cause real problems for people with gluten allergies or Celiac if they are not taken seriously.  These people need to eat gluten free for their health.

Most people do not know what gluten is.  Gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley.  Gluten gives bread dough elasticity, helps it rise, and gives it a chewy texture.  About 1% of the population is diagnosed with Celiac Disease, which damages the tiny finger-like protrusions that line the small intestine, which absorb the nutrients from food. This serious disease can have a variety of symptoms, including fatigue, foggy head or lack of mental clarity, diarrhea, fertility problems, joint pain, bloating, abdominal pain, and even require hospitalization for some when exposed.  People who suffer from a gluten intolerance or allergy may have the same symptoms only less severe.  There is not treatment for these conditions. The only treatment is to eat a gluten free diet.  For these people it is not a matter of some “fad”  gluten free diet to aid in weight loss, it is their health.  Those that go untreated also have a greater risk of intestinal cancers due to the chronic inflammation.

My husband, Aaron has fought his gluten intolerance for almost 15 years.  He has experienced fatigue, lack of energy, foggy head, and chronic psoriasis.  Many people go through years and years of searching for answers before they are diagnosed.  Here is his story in his own words.

   “Unfortunately, like many people, my journey was a long-drawn out one.  Starting in my early twenties, I started to have trouble with scalp psoriasis, which then very slowly started to spread to other parts of my body.  Along with this I was experiencing fatigue, lack of mental clarity and focus, joint pain, and off and on intestinal issues. 

      Over the years, I repeatedly saw a variety of doctors for these odd symptoms with little to no satisfactory results.  Ironically, I was tested twice for allergies, psoriatic arthritis, and was sent to a cardiologist to make sure the blood flow to my brain was sufficient.  During the last of my several trips to a dermatologist for my psoriasis, I asked him the specific question, ‘Is there anything I can do in my lifestyle, such as change something in my diet to improve my symptoms?’  I was given an emphatic ‘NO,’ and prescribed yet another topical corticosteroid ointment.  It was at this point I realized that you truly have to be an advocate for your own health.  Not to discount the medical profession, but after over a decade of searching for solutions to my issues, I started pursuing my own research and solutions. 

      Several months into my research I ran across a site called ‘True Health Labs,’ that specializes in medical laboratory tests that you can order online and have your blood draw or sample collected locally.  I spoke with the clinic director and after describing my symptoms, he said, ‘The first thing we have to check you for is gluten intolerance.’ He informed me that 80+% of skin issues stem from intestinal inflammation.  I was skeptical at first, but figured at this point, what did I have to lose and went ahead and ordered the test.  Within two weeks I had my results and the director was ‘right on the money.’  We then proceeded with a couple other tests to evaluate where my health was and proceeded with a gluten free diet. 

      Within a couple months my psoriasis started to clear and my mental clarity and energy level improved tremendously.  I finally felt human again.  This was such a relief after years of going to doctors and having them tell you that you are just fine and knowing that you are not.  Psychologically, this was also a large improvement to my health, knowing that I was not crazy. 

      This has given me a much greater awareness of my body and my health and knowing what my body ‘approves of.’  If anyone else is struggling with similar symptoms or health issues I would strongly encourage you to at least investigate if this could be a part of the problem.  It can do real damage to your body and is not worth living with. “

It is unfortunate that Aaron had to suffer so long and has to be so careful with his diet, but eating gluten free has changed our diets for the better.  For the last 2 1/2 years,  as a family, our diet consists of many fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. We no longer eat processed foods “out of a box.”  We have also added Shakeology to our diet to help supplement the fiber, vitamin B, zinc, and iron that our diets may be lacking due to the lack of whole grains.  To find out more about this nutritious meal replacement visit http://DebGress.AutomaticCEO.com/go2 or check out the “Shakeology” tab.

If you think you might have Celiac disease or gluten intolerance see your physician.  Do not stop eating gluten before going or you may get a false (-) diagnosis.  The majority of cases can be diagnosed with a blood test.

Please comment, share your experiences, and ask questions below.  We can learn from each other.  If you would like to learn more about True Health Labs or the doctor who helped Aaron with his diagnosis please contact me.

The content in this blog is not meant to treat or diagnose any medical condition. Please see your physician.