After months of speculation by my doctor (based on my symptoms), it has been confirmed that I have a gluten intolerance. I am not full on celiac but I’m sensitive enough that my doctor has instructed me to go on a gluten-free diet. Oh yay…
So what is gluten? Gluten is a combination of 2 proteins (gliadin and glutenin) found in grains like wheat, rye, barley, etc. Not all grains have gluten, but most do. And it’s found in a lot of things that taste really good…..bread, flour tortillas, gravy, muffins, cookies, cakes, cereal, oatmeal, beer, pasta, French fries, lunchmeat, imitation crab, fried foods, some candies, salad dressing, soy sauce, etc. Foods that don’t have gluten include fruits, vegetables, beans, dairy, quinoa and rice.
Now let me tell you why gluten-free dieting really sucks (aside from the fact that gluten is in almost everything). There is no room from error. One slice of wheat bread is equally as bad as 100 slices. Gluten intolerance is exactly what it sounds like: your body has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to the pesky little protein. And it can take MONTHS for gluten to get completely out of your system even after you stop eating it.
There are a lot of fad diets and weird food rules out there and one is avoiding gluten. The thing is, if you have a tolerance for it, it’s fine. But most people actually don’t tolerate it well so I guess there is something to those fads. It can actually be deadly to those with celiac. The symptoms can be subtle too and an intolerance can easily be misdiagnosed as something else.
The good news is that by going gluten-free I will avoid a LOT of really unhealthy foods and habits (like eating out). Wish me luck!!