It All Started with Going Gluten Free – the Wrong Way

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Going Gluten Free The Wrong Way

I’ve had digestive issues my whole life.  There were times it was worse than others, then during the summer last year, things took a turn and I finally had to stop ignoring my issues and figure it out.  

I was inspired to do so by all my food blogger friends who live with allergies and blog about it.  I read many stories and realized that I have similar issues that many of my friends have.  So I thought, let’s cut out gluten and see what happens.  Little did I know that my entire food world was going to drastically change, forever, (I know, a bit dramatic, I needed some horror music to go with that).

First, I need to say I did NOT do this the right way.  If you found this and are considering going gluten free – DO NOT do what I did.  Please see this as a warning of how to avoid going gluten free the wrong way. 

 I was diagnosed with IBS over 20 years ago and was told it was a permanent condition and nothing could be done, just avoid eating certain foods.  I was also given the option to go on some medication permanently – which I refused to do.   I was trying to control it with food and was not doing that too well.

After reading lots of my friend’s blogs dealing with allergies, the main one being gluten, I thought I should give it a try and stop eating gluten to see what would happen.

I got instant relief from my symptoms, so I bought some gluten free products from the store to try out.  One of them was very tasty.  Glutino made some nice snack foods that I tried.  I would instantly get a reaction when eating them, but I didn’t know at the time what was causing this.  It totally confused me SO I stopped eating any packaged foods.

After being gluten free for a few weeks, I went to a very nice plant based vegan restaurant where everything on their menu was gluten free except for two items.  Hooray! After feeling so deprived for a few weeks I was excited for this treat.  We had a lovely meal, then after dinner I had three IBS attacks that night!

OMG, this means I’m having more issues than just gluten.  I was soooo sad.  I was also afraid of this, as I was terrified I was going to end up taking all these crazy food allergy tests and be allergic to the planet.

So this is what I mean by going gluten free the wrong way.  I was not working with a doctor yet so I didn’t have a plan.  I eventually found one by starting with a referral to a traditional doctor, couldn’t determine how much this would cost (long story about insurance and doctors not saying what things costs), and ended up finding a doctor who specialized in IBS and am now working with a family doctor who is a naturopathic functional medicine doctor.

There are many problems with going gluten free without a doctor, but the main one is that once you go gluten free, you can’t be fully tested for Celiac disease.  You see, there are a few ways that one can have issues with gluten.  You can be gluten sensitive where you’ll have GI issues, or be completely intolerant of gluten (Celiac disease) and actually damage your small intestines if you eat it.  

You can’t be tested for Celiac disease if you’ve stopped eating gluten!  You have to have gluten antibodies (which comes from eating gluten) in your system to be tested for celiac disease.

During my path, I also found a great book that helped me come up with a plan in the beginning.  You see, my first doctor wouldn’t give me a plan until my test results were back, 30 days after my appointment!  I was still having attacks and not knowing why, and was desperate for relief so I was forced to get back on google again.  I read the book The Autoimmune Solution: Prevent and Reverse the Full Spectrum of Inflammatory Symptoms and Diseases.  Finally some explanations to what was going on!

Going Gluten Free

The doctor who wrote this book, as I’ve learned many doctors do, suggests to do a 30 day food elimination diet.  I decided to clean out my cupboard of all foods that had chemicals and gluten.  My cupboard went from packed to almost empty.  For 30 days I was only going to use the items on the bottom shelf.  The items in the middle shelf were on hold to see if I could eat them after I got my test results back.  I followed a Paleo AIP diet for 30 days and it really helped me.

I finally got my blood food panel test results back.  I am indeed sensitive to gluten and also diary, soy, eggs, cane sugar, two GF grains – amaranth and millet (two of the most commonly used GF grains in a lot of GF food products), bananas, pumpkin, pineapple, crab, lobster, shrimp, brown rice, spelt, and green peas.  Seriously???  @#$%!!!

GF-Fridge-Door

Here is my fridge door before GF/allergy clean out and after GF/allergy clean out.  The wine ending up being consumed, probably as a result of learning about my food sensitivies. 

Side note:  I’ve also learned that wine is considered a toxin and many health books say we shouldn’t drink it.  I do notice a huge difference if I have two glasses of wine, I’m very sad to say. 

So here’s what happened at the nice vegan restaurant I went to and got sick from.  Turns out I had some gluten free bread that was made from amaranth AND millet.  I only had two tiny slices but I’ve learned the quantity won’t matter, even the smallest amount can give someone a reaction if they are allergic or sensitive to it.  I called the restaurant and asked them for ingredients for everything I ate that night and the only allergens in the food were the amaranth and millet.  So I know 100% that’s what caused my issues that night.  I’ll never forget that dinner as I learned so much from it and this is what made me find a doctor.

I would hope if you start this journey with a doctor, you will be given a plan to help immediately give you some relief and not make you wait the 30 days like mine did.  I ended up switching doctors so my new doctor is pickup up where my previous one left off, and we are doing new testing now for other things like hormones, toxicity, and adrenal functions.  I’ll be posting about those as well.

I hope this post has helped you if you’ve been wondering about gluten like I was.  I had no idea the path this was going to put me on.  But, the good news is, my sinus allergies IMMEDIATELY disappeared without the diary and I no longer have abdominal pain.  I’m still repairing my gut as it’s a long process, but so far so good.

 This is not a sponsored post.  These links are NOT affiliate links.

Talk to you soon!

 

Christina

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Christina Peters

Christina is a professional food photographer in Los Angeles.She also teaches food photography classes at her studio, www.mdrphotographyclasses.com and has a how-to blog, www.foodphotographyblog.com
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Comments

  1. says

    I actually came to look for something else on your website when I found this post. Thanks so much for sharing, as I have experienced similar food related allergies and have held off having actual allergy testing done since I have a good idea of all the food items that cause or aggravate inflammation (I have rheumatoid arthritis).

    • Christina Peters says

      Hi Razena, I found that getting the allergy testing showed some allergies I had no idea I had, like the two gluten free grains I can’t have. That would have taken me a long time to figure out on my own so you might consider getting the test done to see if there’s more info you can gather. Good Luck!

    • Christina Peters says

      Hi Razena, I thought I had figured out some of my allergies but was shocked to see what came back on my test results. I know some people think this is useless and to just listen to your body, but I’m all about getting as much info as I can. It could be interesting for you to get a food panel done, just to see what comes up.

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