Don’t (always) listen to your doctor

Gluten is a protein found in grains, such as wheat, rye, and barley. There is a whopping estimation of that as many as 99% of the people who have gluten intolerance, celiac disease or gluten oversensitivity are never diagnosed. There are also many other illnesses linked to gluten. 

When I was still blissfully unaware that my eating habits were, well, less-than-optimal for me, I ate everything under the sun (and factory light). This also meant I was still eating gluten. My doctor checked if I was gluten intolerant with a simple blood test, which came back negative. I distinctly remember her saying that I “should definitely continue eating gluten, there is no indication of even an oversensitivity.”

Now, I love discovering new things, whilst also being somewhat stubborn, I naturally fully disregarded what she had told me and went off gluten anyway. I could almost feel the difference immediately. My energy came back to me, I was happier, my stomach felt better – it was truly like a fog had lifted.


But how did I know gluten was still a problem, even though the blood test came back negative? I later realized I had as many as 6 out of the following 10 signs of gluten intolerance (any one of these could indicate that you are gluten intolerant):

1. Problems with your stomach
If you’re bloated often, have a lot of gas, and regularly have diarrhea and/or constipation especially after eating something full of gluten, it is a good sign that you should skip it.

2. Where’s my brain at?
The dreaded, and highly unproductive brain fog can indicate that you should skip the bread, pasta, cakes and cookies. Same goes for unexplained tiredness after meals.

3. Unsteady?
If you’re regularly having spells of dizziness or feeling unsteady, or just feeling off center, you should consider that it might be due to the gluten.

4. Ouch!
Regular headaches, especially if they are of the world-stopping-migraine variety could also be a sign!

5. “Chicken skin”
Keratosis pilaris, which looks a bit like chicken skin on the back of your arms usually shows that you are deficient in certain fatty acids (and therefore vitamin A deficient). This is most commonly caused by your gut being damaged by gluten.

6. Autoimmune disease
 If you’re already in possession of an autoimmune disease, such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Ulcerative colitis, Scleroderma, Psoriasis, MS or, hey, like in my case Diabetes Type 1, you are definitely more likely not to be able to take gluten very well.

7. Hormones!
Your PMS, PCOS or infertility mean that your hormones are out of whack, which can be due to gluten intolerance.

8. Diagnosis: “chronic fatigue”
“Chronic fatigue” is quite frankly a diagnosis you get when your doctor doesn’t really know what is wrong with you, and what is causing your fatigue. The same can be said for fibromyalgia, which in many cases means the doctor doesn’t know where your pain is coming from. Skip the gluten for a while and see if it gets better!

9. Moody
If you are constantly moody, have anxiety, depression or ADD, this could also be a sign!

10. Joint pain
Swollen, painful joints full of infection doesn’t have to be blamed on the weather. Now you have another reason!

The only way you can really try this out is if you eliminate gluten entirely from your food for a few (2-3) weeks, and then try to reintroduce it. How do you feel, is there a difference between eating gluten and not? Clearly, if you feel better without it and experience symptoms again when you introduce it, you have a problem with gluten.
This is the one place where my beloved 80/20 rule doesn’t apply. At all. In order to find out whether or not you have a problem, you need to cut it out completely. From everything.
This is of course not a fail-free action that heals all that is wrong with the world. But it could certainly be worth a try if you are experiencing any of the issues above.
Now I want to hear from you: do you experience any of these uncomfortable points? Or do you know you are gluten intolerant? How did you find out?
I hope you’re having a great and healthy day! Thank you so much for reading.
Ps. Still unsure? Need more guidance? Contact me!
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