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Gluten-Free Diet
Old 02-13-2014, 09:59 PM   #1
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Gluten-Free Diet

About a year ago my beard started developing a bald patch that grew to the size of a silver dollar or two. I went to the dermatologist who said it was an autoimmune issue and wanted to shoot my fact up with steroids but I said I would look at other options.

My DW suggested trying a gluten-free diet and probiotics as some autoimmune issues are caused by food intolerance.

Anyway, six weeks later the beard still has the same bald patch.

But I feel really good! I am not nearly as physically exhausted as I would often be during the day or in the evenings. Also, my whole digestive system just feels much more comfortable.

I love bread and baking but I am hesitant to try eating wheat again after this experience. I'm curious if others have any related experiences.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:05 PM   #2
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I've been gluten free for three months now. I've never felt better. I used to go to bed every night with an upset stomach. And I was always feeling like I wanted to take a nap in the middle of the day. Now I have more energy than I remember having 20+ years ago. And I'm never hungry. When I ate gluten, I was always craving carbohydrates, and even after I ate them, I never felt full.

Gluten was complete poison for me. After seeing how much better I feel now, I think it should be declared a potentially toxic drug, and have appropriate warning labels.
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:02 AM   #3
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I've been gluten-free for over 20 years because of celiac disease. It sounds worse than it is, one just has to carefully read labels. I didn't notice any changes other than my digestive system worked better.
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:56 AM   #4
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There is a fair amount of evidence that some (many?) people are gluten sensitive without rising to celiac disease. If you read Grain Brain you may become so leery of wheat that you will stick with the gluten free or at least reduced gluten diet regardless of whether you notice the impact.
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:06 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by AnIntentionalRoad View Post
About a year ago my beard started developing a bald patch that grew to the size of a silver dollar or two. I went to the dermatologist who said it was an autoimmune issue and wanted to shoot my fact up with steroids but I said I would look at other options.

My DW suggested trying a gluten-free diet and probiotics as some autoimmune issues are caused by food intolerance.

Anyway, six weeks later the beard still has the same bald patch.

But I feel really good! I am not nearly as physically exhausted as I would often be during the day or in the evenings. Also, my whole digestive system just feels much more comfortable.

I love bread and baking but I am hesitant to try eating wheat again after this experience. I'm curious if others have any related experiences.
Don't give up on your baking, just move to gluten free recipes. There are many out there just by Googling.
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:55 AM   #6
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I've been gluten-free for over 20 years because of celiac disease. It sounds worse than it is, one just has to carefully read labels. I didn't notice any changes other than my digestive system worked better.
I've will have been gluten free for 17 years this August, like Walt for Celiac disease. I had some other symptoms besides bowel issues that went away. Easy bruising. Since I was a boy I was usually covered in bruises, ended after about 3 months off gluten. Another prominent and very uncomfortable symptom was a really itchy occasional skin rash called dermatitis herpetaformis which as I remember took a little less time to be permanently gone.

It took me little while to get the nuances of the diet, but then it was easy. I formerly loved really good bread, and New England pizza. I tried a few gluten free substitutes and they were terrible, so I went cold turkey and just do not eat any gluten containing food. This also made me low carb, since I liked the weight loss and ditched almost all roots too. It isn't hard, if your former symptoms hurt like hell, or itched you to death.

It does make eating out tricky, so I only go to places that I feel very secure, which are almost all more expensive than for example most ethnic food. Ditto travel, I would not like to be "doing Italy" and spending half my time in the bathroom.

Ha
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:13 AM   #7
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It does make eating out tricky, so I only go to places that I feel very secure, which are almost all more expensive than for example most ethnic food. Ditto travel, I would not like to be "doing Italy" and spending half my time in the bathroom.

Ha
Actually, Italy is just the place to visit, if you have celiac. The celiac gene is found throughout Europe, but it's most prevalent in Italy and so everything in Italy is labelled. Italians understand celiac disease better than most and a gluten free diet is quite easy in Italy.
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:18 AM   #8
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Actually, Italy is just the place to visit, if you have celiac. The celiac gene is found throughout Europe, but it's most prevalent in Italy and so everything in Italy is labelled. Italians understand celiac disease better than most and a gluten free diet is quite easy in Italy.
Thanks- I guess I was just thinking about all that bread and pasta.

Ha
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:21 PM   #9
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Actually, Italy is just the place to visit, if you have celiac. The celiac gene is found throughout Europe, but it's most prevalent in Italy and so everything in Italy is labelled. Italians understand celiac disease better than most and a gluten free diet is quite easy in Italy.
Agree with this. My wife has celiac disease so has to eat gluten free. She used to travel internationally a lot on business and she says that Italy was the best place to visit. Although New Zealand comes a close second.

Since my wife eats totally gluten free then for the most part I do too. I can't say I noticed any difference in my health because of that.
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:11 PM   #10
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So what would it take to find out if gluten is causing someone non-specific type problems? Some people just reported 'feeling better, more energy' - who wouldn't want that?

I do know of people who had severe bowel trouble that was cleared up by going gluten free (I believe they were diagnosed as celiac). But for others. do you just need to try it and see? How long of a test?

BTW, there are now some beers that go through a process that supposedly removes almost all the gluten, and taste like 'normal' beers. The typically sorghum-based gluten free beers range from pretty awful to 'not-bad'. If I couldn't drink real beer, a 'not-bad' beer could do in a pinch.

But there is some controversy over this, some people claim they still react to whatever is there. Others seem to be fine with them.

-ERD50
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:15 PM   #11
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So what would it take to find out if gluten is causing someone non-specific type problems? Some people just reported 'feeling better, more energy' - who wouldn't want that?

I do know of people who had severe bowel trouble that was cleared up by going gluten free (I believe they were diagnosed as celiac). But for others. do you just need to try it and see? How long of a test?

BTW, there are now some beers that go through a process that supposedly removes almost all the gluten, and taste like 'normal' beers. The typically sorghum-based gluten free beers range from pretty awful to 'not-bad'. If I couldn't drink real beer, a 'not-bad' beer could do in a pinch.

But there is some controversy over this, some people claim they still react to whatever is there. Others seem to be fine with them.

-ERD50
Lots of really great dry hard ciders out there too, if you crave something beer-like but can't do gluten.
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:25 PM   #12
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But for others. do you just need to try it and see? How long of a test?
DH and I went gluten free for a month during December. I basically followed the Gluten Free diet that Dr. Agatston (the cardiologist who does the South Beach Diet) suggests to check this out in his book:

Amazon.com: The South Beach Diet Gluten Solution: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed, Gluten-Aware Plan for Losing Weight and Feeling Great--Fast! eBook: Arthur Agatston, Natalie Geary: Books'

After the 30 days was over, I slowly added gluten back in. In both the case of DH and I, we found that we were not sensitive to gluten. We didn't feel any different off gluten than on gluten. Nonetheless, I felt it was a useful exercise and was glad that I did it.
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:12 PM   #13
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I can't tell you how many times I've heard someone in an Italian class say, "I'd like to visitItaly, but I can't because I have celiac." They want to visit Italy because their nonni were italiani and they have celiac ... because their nonni were italiani. Look for "senza glutine". By law everything is labelled.
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:57 PM   #14
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Many people who try a gluten free diet also end up reducing their carbohydrate intake significantly while on the diet. This complicates trying to assess the impact of gluten elimination.

If you are very sensitive to gluten, eliminating it should have significant benefits that you will notice within a few weeks. However, if you are not gluten sensitive, but you still reduce your carbohydrates during the experiment, you will likely still see higher energy levels and possibly weight loss.

The benefits of a low carbohydrate diet are significant, but should not be confused with a gluten free diet. Realistically though, if you eliminate the typical sources of gluten - bread, cereal, pasta, etc, and don't replace these ingredients with gluten free equivalents, you can't help but switch to a low carb diet without specifically trying.
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:58 PM   #15
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But there is some controversy over this, some people claim they still react to whatever is there. Others seem to be fine with them.

-ERD50
From what I've read sensitivity seems to be wide-ranging. Like peanut allergies in some children, a whiff of gluten will send some people into anaphylactic shock and they have to be hospitalized, others like me don't notice or react to small amounts. So far anyway. Knowing that sensitivity can change, and suddenly, I don't tempt fate on that one.
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Old 02-14-2014, 04:31 PM   #16
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Many people who try a gluten free diet also end up reducing their carbohydrate intake significantly while on the diet. This complicates trying to assess the impact of gluten elimination.

If you are very sensitive to gluten, eliminating it should have significant benefits that you will notice within a few weeks. However, if you are not gluten sensitive, but you still reduce your carbohydrates during the experiment, you will likely still see higher energy levels and possibly weight loss.

The benefits of a low carbohydrate diet are significant, but should not be confused with a gluten free diet. Realistically though, if you eliminate the typical sources of gluten - bread, cereal, pasta, etc, and don't replace these ingredients with gluten free equivalents, you can't help but switch to a low carb diet without specifically trying.
Actually, one of the risks of going gluten free is that the manufactured gluten free products tend to be higher in sugar than those with the gluten. It is very easy to be high carb and gluten free if you have stores nearby that can easily provide you with the products, or bake them yourself. I don't low carb Youngest, and he certainly enjoyed those gluten free frosted cup cakes I got as a Valentine's treat from Trader Joes.
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:17 PM   #17
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I don't completely abstain, but I eat gluten selectively and in discreet intervals. A couple of times a month I have beer and pizza, or the occasional sandwich. If I go overboard I often develop sinus congestion and the sniffles.

My understanding of the gluten-autoimmune connection is that everyone will get some Zonulin signalling from Gliadin, and Zonulin causes gut permeability which is part of the triad of auto-immune causation (genetic predisposition - gut permeability - environmental trigger).
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:46 PM   #18
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My understanding of the gluten-autoimmune connection is that everyone will get some Zonulin signalling from Gliadin, and Zonulin causes gut permeability which is part of the triad of auto-immune causation (genetic predisposition - gut permeability - environmental trigger).
Is that what they call Leaky Gut Syndrome?
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Old 02-15-2014, 12:01 AM   #19
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Is that what they call Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Intestinal permeability is a known phenomenon - I think it occurs to some extent in all healthy people - but if there is too much permeability it can cause inflammation that leads to some certain medical conditions like Crohn's disease.

What is called Leaky Gut Syndrome blames a much wider spectrum of conditions on gut permeability. Inflammation resulting from the bacteria, viruses, toxins, proteins, etc., that are escaping from the gut is the alleged culprit. From what I read there is much dispute over this, and not much in the way of studies supporting it, but it's starting to gain support.

What I was referring to was something in between the two positions. As far as I know, there is no single identified cause of autoimmune diseases, but among the most frequently identified possible causes are bacteria or virus, drugs, chemicals and environmental irritants. Genetic predisposition is often a factor, but not all people who have the genes for an autoimmune disease will be symptomatic. The theory I'm referring to says that you have the perfect triad of causation for an autoimmune disease if there is the genetic factor, coupled with intestinal permeability problems and an environmental factor (illness, drugs, food, environmental irritant). I think there are studies supporting this theory in regard to Celiac Disease.

Considering that many conditions, like Diabetes, are being redidentified as being autoimmune diseases, there may be something to the broader claims in Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Me, I just avoid wheat products because I function much better without them. The exact mechanism behind it is a mystery - but it works for me.
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:34 PM   #20
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...Snip

Considering that many conditions, like Diabetes, are being redidentified as being autoimmune diseases, there may be something to the broader claims in Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Me, I just avoid wheat products because I function much better without them. The exact mechanism behind it is a mystery - but it works for me.
Type 1 diabetes has always been identified as an autoimmune disease AFAIK.
Type 2 is not autoimmune.
Is there some newer info?
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