Because I Just Can’t Help Myself…Gluten Free Diet Take 2

21 Jul

Okay, I know what you are thinking.  At least, I know what you are thinking if you read most/all of my posts and have gotten a good sense of my neuroses. I thought you were done with diets that cut things out completely, because they turn you into a crazy binge monster!  This is very true.  However, as you probably already know, I also have food intolerances that interfere with my quality of life.  If I think I’ve come up with the next great plan for symptom improvement, you better believe I’ll all in.  I do have dreams of seeing a functional medicine practitioner for proper testing BUT I’m broke as a joke.  Self experimentation remains my tried and true approach toward healthier living.  Here’s 10 reasons why this time will be different:

1. Research suggests that even if it doesn’t fix me immediately, it’s a very good idea for someone with the type of health problems that I have to lose the gluten. Gluten containing grains: wheat, rye, and barley are high in fructans.  Whenever I eat wheat, I am either encouraging nasty symptoms or at the very least, lowering my ability to eat healthier higher FODMAP fruits and vegetables, such as cauliflower.  When it comes to FODMAPS, the does makes the poison. It’s true I will be depriving myself of seitan for the duration of the experiment. If you are anything like me, you are thinking Who wants to eat that anyway? or maybe even more likely What the hell is seitan? Google it.  You’ll see.

2. I am actually going to track specific symptoms to see if there is overall improvement after following the diet.  I will follow a reintroduction protocol to properly explore any connections between gluten and my symptoms.

3. Support! My FructMal ally will be doing the experiment along with me!  She was my inspiration for this endeavor. 🙂 Having a partner in crime transforms the personal pity party into an intriguing topic of conversation.

4. Specificity – I will only be eliminating one category of food: those containing gluten. Yes, gluten is pervasive in the food supply.  However, compared to other elimination diets I have undertaken, this will not be as exhausting.  By focusing on one thing, I can better isolate gluten’s specific effects on my body.

5. Length – I will follow the gluten free diet for 60 days rather than 30.  Symptoms can take a long time to disappear when they’ve been around for so long.  My body needs time to heal the damage I’ve done.

6. I won’t be treating it as a free pass to eat all of the other foods I know make me feel terrible just because they don’t have gluten in them. This was what I did the first time.  I was on an elimination diet roller coaster. I ate a lot of sugary gluten free baked goods, because I could according to that month’s existing diet principles. Fructose is one of my worst triggers for feeling like garbage.  How was I going to notice whether or not gluten was making any difference while dousing myself in foods my body couldn’t digest?  Silly me.

7. I will look for the gray zones.  As a perpetual black and white thinker, I’m prone to missing the big picture.  When I follow a diet and it doesn’t fix me completely, I’m not satisfied.  For example, during my most recent experiment, the autoimmune protocol, my sinuses were a non-issue.  This is HUGE considering I struggle with sinus issues on a daily basis. But I was so disappointed that I still had other symptoms, that I didn’t really appreciate its awesomeness the way I should have.  If I feel better in any capacity, that’s worth an investigation into whether or not gluten needs to be a part of my life anymore.  Why add fuel to the chronic illness fire, eh?

8. I’m not dreading it at all.  I only eat gluten a few times a week these days.  I don’t expect the deprivation to be that bad.  So many of the diets I’ve done have made me feel so sorry for myself.  No chocolate?  No coffee? No tomatoes?  Waaahhh! Wheat tastes good, and it’s convenient, but it’s not my favorite food ever.  I can totally do this.  I mean, I’ve done it before.  Not to mention, I’m kinda loving life right now.  A. It’s summer. ‘Nuff said.  B.  I am working as a clinical dietitian and a nutrition technician per diem.  This means I only work a few days a week sometimes, and I get to switch up the things that I do. Not to mention I’m a nutrition nerd, and I get to apply my passion and knowledge at work finally.  Woot!  When life is good, eating garbage feels less important.

9. Because even if my symptoms remain after this trial, I am still making myself a sexier candidate for autoimmune disease every time I eat gluten.  Eating gluten (in EVERYONE) causes intestinal permeability.  Intestinal permeability = disease conducive.  Period.  End of story. I know you like bread.  Especially homemade whole wheat bread… fresh out of the oven…with butter…that just melts in your mouth…

Don’t try to change the subject!

10. The placebo effect gets a bad wrap, but it’s actually a fairly badass phenomenon. If I only feel better, because I think it will work, so what?  I just want to feel better, even for a couple of months!

I will be starting my gluten free extravaganza within the next couple of weeks (no specific time frame yet).  I still need to work out the details with my ally.  I’d also like to do some more research and planning before diving in, but it will be happening.  I will of course keep you updated.

And, in case you couldn’t already tell, I’m damn excited at the prospect of being a guinea pig again.



One Response to “Because I Just Can’t Help Myself…Gluten Free Diet Take 2”

  1. Randy Cadwell July 21, 2014 at 12:40 am #

    This will be interesting to watch. I know friends who deal with the gluten problem so your research will be watched closely. Way to go Doc.

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