Monday, June 14, 2010

Wheat intolerance

Although I generally follow a low carb diet I am not that strict in terms of paleo - I have not been avoiding grains and I love dairy fat - cream and yoghurt.

However I've recently been finding that I do not tolerate gluten well. After bread, pasta, beer I just feel rough - bloating and gas and cramping in the guts. Beer makes me sneeze.

Anyway I went to the doctor and was tested for celiac disease. The test came back negative, but the doctor explained that testing negative for the antibodies that would indicate celiac disease only ruled out that particular disease. The symptoms indicated a reaction to wheat, so she recommended avoiding it for a while to see how I felt. I am therefore making an effort to be gluten free. Easy usually but eating out and snacks when hillwalking or backpacking are more of a challenge.

Rusty had a good post on Wheat Intolerance. Mark Sisson's post on on Grains is also worth reading


Chad said...

I do as you Chris...follow low carb, but not strict paleo. I do like my beer and good European chocolate once every couple of weeks!
I think a diabetic diet--with a little fruit, and as little starch as possible--is a good template to start with, then go from there, eating what YOUR body tolerates.

Thanks for the though-provoking posts as always.

Courtney said...

I also am low-carb and pseudo-paleo. I didn't think I had any food sensitivities but cut dairy out for one month and then gluten for another, just to see what might happen. With dairy, no difference. But with gluten, I found that my "seasonal allergies" went away, I didn't wake up congested any more, and my digestive health significantly improved, which was funny since I thought occasional gas and gastric distress was just normal.

Fortunately, because I'm low carb anyway, cutting out the gluten wasn't a huge deal. I'll still have the occasional beer or slice of pizza or cake or whatever, but in moderation and with caution.

Don Wiss said...

Re celiac testing: a) There are various tests for celiac with varying degrees of accuracy. These days I would expect the doctor to know which is the most accurate. b) If one is not eating gluten at the time of the celiac test the test will come back negative. What is being tested is your body's response to the gluten, which stops when no gluten present.

People can also be sensitive to gluten and not have full blown celiac disease. The doctors are just beginning to accept this.

Of course learning how to eat gluten-free can be learned from the various celiac web sites.

I have been gluten-free for 20 years. Then dairy-free for 15. Then I went paleo 14 years ago. Making through the first two made the paleo step fairly easy. Jumping straight to paleo may make it easier. Gluten-free people read ingredient labels. Paleo people buy only single ingredient foods, so no ingredient lists to read! I do have an ingredient list on my Larabars and on my not completely paleo So Delicious Plain Coconut Kefir.

Here is how I define the paleo diet. I am stricter than Mark Sisson. And been at it longer.

Paleo diet explained

Anonymous said...

Going wheat-free was a lot easier than I expected it to be. Once you escape the conditioning that says bread and pasta are staple foods... and especially if you are already processed-food-free, you just can't go wrong with cooking it yourself, and sticking to your basic meat, veg, rice/potato.

Anonymous said...


You might be interested in the following essay - The Dark Side of Wheat. Very well written.