Thursday, August 1, 2013

Gluten Intolerance, Celiac, Gluten Free Days 4 & 5

by M. J. Joachim

Gluten intolerance is a body’s negative reaction to gluten. It is the broad title in an outline, where various, more specific reactions categorize themselves according to their responses to gluten. Celiac, which is one way our bodies might negatively react to gluten, falls under the category of gluten intolerance. It is a specific reaction demonstrating how our bodies might negatively respond to gluten, if we can’t properly digest and are intolerant of this substance in our diets.

For this reason, not all people who have gluten intolerance will have Celiac, but all people who have Celiac are gluten intolerant. This is important because gluten intolerance affects each person differently. There are hundreds of symptoms related to gluten intolerance. Celiac is diagnosed when one of those symptoms presents itself, namely when the villi in the intestine flatten out and don’t work properly to absorb and digest nutrients.

Gluten intolerance has such a broad range of symptoms, because when our bodies don’t absorb nutrients properly (or at all), our bodies have multiple ways of letting us know something isn’t working right. Thus, diarrhea, skin rashes, stomach upset, headaches, muscle and joint problems, flatulence, anemia, heartburn and a host of other health problems are likely to present themselves if we are gluten intolerant.

Gluten Free – Day 4

I found myself much less on edge and anxious this day. I was naturally calmer and more relaxed. My emotions seem to be calmer and less reactive. This was important because my son brought home pizza and donuts, two things I clearly can no longer eat on a gluten free diet. It was hard, especially when the aroma of such “normal” food made its presence known. I remained true and ate some gluten free nut and rice crackers instead.

As if that weren’t enough, when I checked my Farmer John’s Polska Kielbasa and Polish Sausage on the GF Overflow site, with plans to thaw them out for dinner, I discovered they were not guaranteed to be gluten free. I thawed them out and served them to the rest of my family anyway, opting to have leftover steak as my meat course instead. (Personally, I think I got the better end of that deal.)

Gluten Free – Day 5

I simply feel much better. I’m not nearly as fatigued (much different from just being tired). Eating is more enjoyable now, especially since I know it won’t hurt afterwards. I’m not starving all the time; consequently I’m not eating all the time. Prior to going gluten free, I considered myself a grazer – someone who nibbled throughout the day. Since going gluten free, I eat when I’m hungry and don’t have a desire to snack or munch very much in between meals. 

Another thing I’ve noticed is that my joints and muscles don’t hurt as much. Part of feeling fatigued so much took a toll on my entire body. There were days when it truly hurt to move, and clearly I had no explanation as to why. Common sense is telling me that if gluten intolerance affects my whole body, it could have something to do with contributing to unexplained muscle and joint aches.

The gradual decrease of pain and elimination of multiple, minor health concerns makes it much easier to continue with my gluten free diet. Understanding the significance and importance of what I’m doing is a byproduct of this effort, which is why I checked out a few books from the library on the subject. The information above is able to be shared because I’m approximately half finished reading, “Healthier without Wheat, A New Understanding of Wheat Allergies, Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance.” It is written by Dr. Stephen Wangen, The Gluten Free Doctor. 

Thank you for visiting Effectively Human.

M. J. 

Also, I hope you’ll check out my latest article on our Effectively Human site, Book Review:  A Gift of Hope by Danielle Steel. This book shares a new and interesting perspective about homelessness, a subject closer to home than most of us realize.

Thanks again. Best of the day to you all!