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Reply To: Gluten anyone?

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Here’s my gluten elimination and reintroduction story.

I tried an elimination diet at the age of 21 because of issues I was having with chronic pain and fatigue, as well as stomach pain. The elimination diet was overwhelming successful, and I decided that gluten was the culprit. I had tested negative for CD, but was convinced that gluten intolerance was a bigger issue than just CD. It was nice to be able to blame something relatively simple–gluten–and I looked forward to turning my health around.

Things were up and down for several years. I believe that I did eat healthier because of eliminating gluten–more home cooked meals–but I still had plenty of problems. It’s a long story about how I finally gave up on gluten restriction, but the short of it is that I got frustrated maintaining a strict, socially difficult diet, when it hadn’t really resolved my major problems.

So one day I just decided to hit the gluten–hard and sudden. I went to the Pizza Hut buffet, I visited my old favorite Italian restaurant, and I ate burgers at McDonald’s. I was a white flour fiend. It all tasted SO GOOD, and truth be told, I felt much better than I had in a while–maybe just because of the huge stress release of not worrying about what I ate.

I also gained weight, but at that point I was actually too thin, so the weight gain was welcome. Now it’s no longer welcome!

The only down side to reintroducing gluten was that I still hadn’t solved my original health problems, and I kept looking for solutions. I turned to drug-based solutions rather than diet-based solutions, and these weren’t any more successful in the long run. The side effects became much worse.

Now I’m back to thinking about diet, but instead of worrying about intolerances and eliminating particular foods that I think are harmful, I’m instead focusing on the foods that I think are good for me. I’m also experimenting with macro-nutrient ratios, but in a relaxed way. I find this route much more comfortable than the food elimination route, which wore me down after a while.