Gluten…Oh man how sad I am going to be if it turns out that gluten really is evil for more than just the Celiac population.  It is a primary ingredient in much of what is truly delicious, delightful, wonderful, awesome…okay enough, no reason to make this more painful.  But all that aside, my little foray into the world of gluten intolerance via research is proving to be incredibly interesting as well as very overwhelming.  I’m still reading and researching, but will share more of what I am finding in my next post. 

 

For now, it appears that my friend in Oregon may be coming to some of the same conclusions that I am (hence my incursion into gluten research in first place), so here is the latest on that front.

 

JULIE IN OREGON:

Hey Friend-Well, I’m not making any weight-loss progress, but I might be on to some new things with my diet. I’ve been off dairy for a couple of weeks and have noticed minimal improvement in my digestive system.

 

I met with a friend yesterday who has a son with Celiac and went through a lot of hoops to get a diagnosis. Her husband is an internist, so I trust her opinions, but I caution everything since I keep getting conflicting information about everything (soy:good/soy:bad; wheat:good/wheat:evil, etc.).

 

She suspects I might have some gluten sensitivities but suggested I get a food panel done. We made a lovely raw food side dish to go with my supper and a list of to-do’s for me to consider (she went to a raw food cooking school to get a handle on some ideas for her family). Things to do: food panel; consider going off gluten; drink more green smoothies; make my own almond milk (less sugar than store stuff) or switch to just coconut milk, and so on. 

 

I’ve had so many “little” things wrong with me for years, that I never really connected any of them to food, but who knows? Excema, post nasal drip, gas, constipation, lethargy, hmmmmm.

 

I continue to work on my exercise routine to change it up and am excited for running season to start. I signed up for an 8K for St. Patrick’s Day and plan to walk a half marathon in April. I’m hoping that tweaking my diet can also help me with training….time will tell. 

 

ME:

It looks like we are coming up with similar solutions.  I have been suspecting a gluten intolerance with you as well, and have been doing quite a bit of research on the topic outside of just Celiac Disease. 

 

I am finding more and more evidence that gluten intolerance is far more widespread than the medical field may recognize, know, or acknowledge.  And it may well still be the problem even when the tests come back negative.  Even without a positive test or food panel,  it can’t hurt you to eliminate gluten and see how you feel. 

 

While it is a tough diet to institute, I think it is the next step for you.  I would recommend doing it full on for 30 days (it takes at least 15 with ZERO gluten to know anything).  Your blood sugar issues could also be caused from too much carb resulting in too much insulin, creating a vicious cycle.  Your body can and does convert fats and protein into needed glucose, and if you taper the carbs down from all the gluten sources and dramatically increase vegetables (green smoothies, good idea)  and also increase meat and egg type protein sources, you may kill 2 birds with one stone (actually more than two birds). 

 

Meaning, when you get the gluten out, it may naturally lower your carb intake, making your body more efficient at converting the protein and fats, decreasing your need for so much insulin response, and thereby not needing the carb to recuperate!  Aghh, mouthful!  To add insult to injury,  I’d also continue to stay off the dairy for those 30 days…L

 

 I would suggest giving yourself a couple weeks to start infiltrating some gluten free options into the house, and looking at ways to incorporate more protein and Omega 3 fats into each meal.   Not to add too much info, but the omega 3’s are an important part of the picture, especially as the percent of fat you eat goes up (which it will and should).  An optimal ratio for health is 1:1 to 1:2 of O 3’s to O 6’s, and average American is closer to 1:15.  Yikes!  And it affects so much in our system with respect to inflammatory processes, hormones, neurotransmitters, etc.

 

Begin by looking at your typical meals, and finding where the gluten is, and then brainstorm how that same meal would look without the gluten.  If it is meager, then think of other things that could fill the void, and try it out. Play around with this before you start your 30 days.  I think that is the best route to ensure success at compliance. 

 

I have been doing this for the past two weeks as I play with the feasibility of this diet for someone in a busy and athletic  life with kids and family to feed.  I’m also trying to problem solve with some of the obstacles I am running into, and how to adapt to various factors (other intolerances or medical issues, foods for fuel, in a hurry, foods to go, etc).  It’s all fine and good on paper, but when having to put it into practice, there are obvious roadblocks.  That is why I am playing with this myself, as well as the fact that I think this could be one of Craig’s problems too!

 

The more I research and read, the more rampant this appears to be.  I’ve always believed food to be incredibly powerful in our health and wellness (clearly, given my choice of profession, but even more so than is generally recognized in the mainstream medical field).  But the evidence that I am now finding points to foods as even more instrumental than even I originally thought or was taught!

 

Let me know what you think.  I know I just spit out a lot of info here, and I will go into more detail.  Your tenacity and willingness to try new things is going to pay off, I am sure of it!  Press on!