Starting Gluten Free
It can take two weeks or longer for remaining traces of gluten to leave your body. So give yourself enough time to really feel the benefits. Who knows, maybe you’ll notice an intolerance you never knew you had. lf so, request an allergy test with your doctor and make sure you continue to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Because it is difficult to test conclusively, many people will be diagnosed based on a wide variety of screenings and observations. The most common symptoms are gastrointestinal problems (or gastrointestinal distress) such as diarrhea, flatulence, gas and bloating. Other symptoms may include joint pain, fatigue and headaches but many other peripheral symptoms may also lead to a celiac disease diagnosis or non‐Celiac gluten sensitivity, such as gluten ataxia.
Keep in mind that currently there are an estimated 250 or more symptoms related to gluten intolerance or celiac disease symptoms and many of these symptoms may overlap with other diseases and conditions. While you will often see celiac disease symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, fatigue and joint pain mentioned as the most common celiac disease symptoms, keep in mind that such symptoms can occur with dozens of other diseases and ailments as well. Always consult a medical professional rather than attempt to diagnose yourself. ln some cases, these may manifest as silent celiac disease symptoms and go undiagnosed for years.
The most accurate way to identify and diagnose your gluten intolerance symptoms is to use an elimination diet, a strict diet in which you completely eliminate gluten and gluten‐associated foods for a significant period of time, then use careful record‐keeping and observation to compare your symptoms before the elimination period to your symptoms after the elimination period.
You can eat just as unhealthy on a gluten free diet as you do while eating whatever you want. You might spend a little more money, but you can buy gluten free beer, gluten free bread crumbs for deep frying a leg of chicken, or even gluten free pizza crust. Many restaurants are now listing gluten free options on their menus, and Betty Crocker even has a line of gluten free baking mixes! But remember, the fad part of this diet comes from cooking and eating fresh fruits, veggies and meats at home. lf you’re going to try it out ‐ try it out right.
Article by Karen Trosino