Friday, December 21, 2007

Is Gluten-Free the Way to Be?

Over a year ago, I went to visit a naturopathic doctor near my house to discuss my Lupus. She did some tests and stuff, and then she put me on a gluten free diet.

Now, as someone who took chef training and loves food (ESPECIALLY carbs), this was initially very difficult for me. However, similar to my father, I have the kind of attitude whereby I'm willing to try almost anything at least once if it is supposed to help my condition.

The Gluten-Free world was so foreign to me. Before speaking to my naturopathic doctor, I actually didn't have any idea what gluten free was, nor was I sure if I've even heard of it at all. When I went to different stores, I quickly became privy to the fact that gluten free was an EXPENSIVE venture. But again, what's a couple extra bucks when it's supposed to help you?

I noticed results in just a few weeks. I noticed my almost daily stomach aches had tapered off. I felt more energetic and "alive". I'll admit, I had my weak moments when a donut from Tim Hortons was ABSOLUTELY necessary, but for the most part, I was a pretty good girl.

The downside would have to be the weight loss. Ok, I know what you're thinking. Why would I be complaining about losing weight?? Well, I'm not a very big girl as it is. I'm 5'6, and I weigh about 118 pounds. Losing weight when I'm 118 pounds isn't ideal for me.

Unfortunately, after being gluten free for about 8 months, I became quite ill and was hospitalized. At that point, the gluten free thing had to pretty much go out the window, as I lose enough weight just being hospitalized as it is. I haven't restarted the gluten free thing, but perhaps I should.

For specifics on my gluten free diet, click on this link to a later post in my blog: http://flowonlupus.blogspot.com/2008/01/details-of-my-gluten-free-diet.html

3 thought(s):

natasha said...

hi! i was actually looking for some books about autoimmune diseases and lupus and saw one that mention going gluten free, and then when i searched, i found your post...did you notice improved energy without the gluten? i think i am going to try it. i found a couple of books that look amazing that talk about different chemicals and specific foods that are extra bad for us lupies... The Autoimmune Epidemic: Bodies Gone Haywire in a World Out of Balance--and the Cutting-Edge Science that Promises Hope
i am picking that up, and if you haven't been there yet, there is a site called butyoudontlooksick.com that has fantastic info and messageboards about a ton of different conditions.

be well!
natasha

Miz Flow said...

Hi Natasha,
I actually did notice improved energy while going gluten free. It wasn't only the energy, but the constant nagging stomach pains that I attributed to the medication I was taking also subsided.
To start my diet off, my naturopathic doctor recommended this powder drink mix that I drank everyday for about 2 weeks. Kinda yucky tasting, but it was meant to "wash my insides out".
I shall definitely keep my eyes peeled for those books...I'm always interested in learning more when I can.

Good luck with everything, and definitely keep in touch where your diet and health and everything else is concerned! :)
--Flo

George Manlove, DC said...

Hi Natasha,
There is plenty of good science to explain the connection between gluten sensitivity and autoimmune disease. All proteins are made up of chains of amino acids, something like beads on a string. A section of amino acids in gluten matches a section of the part of the outer cell in some people. This is a genetic thing and can be tested. So if you have this gene, and if you become sensitive to gluten, then there is more of a chance that your immune system will start attacking your own cells. People can have the genetic marker and never have a problem is they never develop an allergic response to gluten. If you digest proteins properly, they should be broken down into amino acids, kind of like taking the beads off the string. But if you don't digest them well AND IF the proteins from wheat get through the barrier of the small intesine wall and into the blood, your immune system will react to them as foreign protein and mount an immune response. Once triggered this response can last for months in people with the genetic susceptibility. Autoimmune diseases that have been linked to gluten include hypothyroidism, Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS), rheumatoid arthritis, MS, some cases of schizophrenia, and many other neurological disorders. Just Google gluten and ... and you will find lots of scientific research on each of these. There is a lab that does the genetic testing called enterolabs and you can order the test on their website. If you have the genetic predisposition, then family members may also be affected AND you really need to stay off gluten. Re: weight loss, there are lots of other sources of carbs such as rice and starchy vegetables, but maybe there is some other issue.

 
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