Is Gluten Intolerance Even A Thing, Or Is It All In The Head

About a week back, an online acquaintance took issue with this writer’s lament. I miss gluten. I miss bread even if it does give me indigestion, and I miss crackers. My tormentor told me in bold terms that unless I have Celiac Disease – which I don’t – there’s no reason to be gluten-free.

This person also took apart the paleo diet claiming it’s all a hoax, sham, etc. All of those issues were unrelated.

Almost two years ago now, for the second time, I removed gluten from my diet (all grains, legumes and sugar, actually) in an attempt to rid myself of the symptoms that were making my life miserable:

  • Bloating
  • Migraines (down the right side of the head)
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Painful joints (MSG was a contributor here)
  • Phantom sunburn
  • Bumpy skin all over the arms and legs

Once before in my life, in an attempt to isolate a food intolerance I did essentially eat what is known as the paleo diet, and all of this that I had been living with for a while went away in addition to my blood pressure dropping. I had no idea that it was all related.

Well, it is. And contrary to those who roll their eyes, including medical professionals busy trying to prove that whatever causes these issues has NOTHING to do with gluten or wheat, and probably is more that people are eating healthier options, a name has been put to this phenomenon: Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity.

The reality is, according to a number of doctors and articles on WedMD, there does seem to be a relationship between cutting the gluten out of the diet and that specific set of symptoms disappearing. There are those in the field who desperately want this to be a placebo effect occurrence, but those of us who have been through this will tell the world it is not.

At this point, understanding how it is all related is in its infancy and doctors may not all be on the same page when it comes to diagnosing the issue. Available tests are limited, and not all of them will diagnose the issue correctly other than to rule out celiac disease. However, patients reporting that they feel a lot better without grains is accepted by a number of physicians.

Because at this point, the science is not settled and the jury is out on what exactly is the root of the symptoms listed above. Gluten? Something else? Don’t care. Not going back to all of that if it can be helped. And if that means not eating grains, so be it.

 

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