I’m going to start out by saying that I feel great. If I had to make a lifelong decision to continue or discontinue this based on how I feel right now, I would never eat gluten again.
I’m now going to go on to say that I cannot give full credit for how I feel strictly to being gluten-free. Let me explain why.
To give up gluten I have had to change the way I eat. Bread, pasta, tortillas, cereals, crackers, granola bars, and many other foods that were a regular part of my diet are no longer an option for me. This means chocolate cake and Combos and macaroni and cheese. The lack of these foods left a gaping hole that had to be filled with something. I have chosen to fill them with healthier alternatives mostly because it’s really the smart thing to do and I like being smart but partly because I think it may be impossible to sustain my guacamole habit indefinitely. That being said, I’m not substituting pasta with gluten-free pasta, instead I am substituting it with salad. I’m not substituting any of the above listed items with a gluten-free alternative, instead I am purposely substituting gluten filled foods with healthier foods. Forfeiting gluten may make me feel better. Forfeiting gluten and cutting back on sugar and fat and adding fruits and vegetables and other good-for-you foods is going to make me feel a lot better. And it is.
This is not to say I am never going to make macaroni and cheese with gluten-free pasta. I’m just not making that the default substitute. I am not dieting. I am eating healthier.
I am also going to put out here the list of symptoms common to gluten sensitivity that prompted me to start this journey to begin with and how two weeks gluten (bread, wheat) free has affected them. This list of symptoms is available through a simple google search and I have compiled them from a variety of sources which I have listed all the way at the bottom of this post. I have not included the many symptoms I was not suffering with or only occasionally experienced, only those that could be considered chronic.
I’ll just leave this here then. Until next week.
bloating, gas and/or abdominal pain, ‘rumbling/gurgling’ stomach – easily 75% improvement. So nice not to be in pain or feel miserable after, and in-between, every meal.
bone or joint pain – easily 80% improvement. Still hurts to touch my knees but I’m also still suffering from back issues, however, I can get up from a chair without having to brace myself for the pain or hobble for the first half dozen steps or so after sitting for a few minutes. I can also walk down a flight of stairs without hobbling or holding on to the rail.
irritability or behavior changes – I feel calmer but I’m not really the best just of my own behavior!
fatigue – 100% improvement! I am still ready to drop into bed by 10 pm but I’m no longer exhausted all day for no reason.
tingling or numbness in hands and feet – 50% improvement. This I think is also a symptom of my back issues.
discolored teeth or loss of enamel – no improvement – not sure this is a reversible thing.
depression and anxiety – I feel calmer and less prone to easy mood changes.
headaches – 75% improvement. Very few ‘droning, withdrawal-like’ headaches all the time.
mental fatigue (known as “brain fog”) – 90% improvement. I no longer feel like thinking requires herculean efforts.
easy bruising – too soon to tell, I’m still covered in unexplained ugly black bruises, mostly on my hands and hips/thighs, although less so on my hands now.
acne – major improvement in the look and feel of my skin. Overall skin doing so much better that I plan, if this continues, to speak to the dermatologist at my next appointment about reducing or discontinuing the acne medication.