Gluten Free and My IBS Is Gone!

by Kate on June 25, 2012

in Health, Healthy Eating, Healthy Living

I remember being about 13 and having what I now consider my first IBS attack. It started with a burger and ended with a very painful tummy. My dad told me then that he had IBS and that I might have it too. So for a long time, I just figured it was genetic and there was nothing I could do about it (in my case…wrong!)

My IBS was never run-to-the-bathroom IBS. I’ve always just tended to bloat HORRIBLY like to the point of unbearable feel-like-I’m-about-to-give-birth pain. And burping. Oh god so much burping–love my fiance for being cool about that one. So recently, in a big internet research binge when I was searching for something completely different I came across an article on IBS and gluten intolerance. Whereas every article about IBS I’d ever read said diarrhea or vomiting was generally present (which for me was never a problem), gluten intolerance tended to just be associated with more of the bloating/discomfort symptoms I’d always had.

I also recently read “The Primal Blueprint” by Mark Sisson (of Mark’s Daily Apple) and had since been gradually trying to eat in a more primal manner–fruits, veggies, and meats predominantly. Mark very strongly suggests that grains are really not all their cracked up to be and that we humans are simply not evolved to eat them and not really meant to eat them. After reading the Primal Blueprint, I wasn’t totally convinced. Whole grains being bad for you went against every piece of healthy diet advice I’d ever read.  But once I read this article on IBS and Gluten Intolerance my mind was made up.

So for the past 2 months I’ve completely cut out gluten and the results have been nothing short of amazing. I used to spend at least an hour after every meal in discomfort. Bloating, burping, trying to pass gas but not being able to…is this getting personal enough for you haha? Now that I’m eating predominantly meat, veggies, fruits, and eggs, I never feel that discomfort. Truth? I cheated once–I ate Pad Thai and felt absolutely awful afterward. It was enough to convince me that I’m onto something. If you have any trouble with your stomach at all, I urge you to attempt going gluten free. Just give it 30 days and see how you feel.

Warning: You may go through a detox phase. I did–I had headaches and felt incredibly tired for about the first 10 days. I also came down with a random sore throat for a few days (flu like symptoms are common with detox). But now? My energy levels are so stable! I feel really good. I feel like I’m less moody as well.

Now, I might also mention that I’d been mostly dairy free for a long time leading up to this and supposedly lactose intolerance and gluten intolerance can go hand in hand (like a package deal, unfortunately) so if you’re still eating both you might try cutting them out together. I still eat yogurt because of the healthy probiotics and have never really had a problem with it. Every now and then I eat full fat grass fed cow cheese, but if I eat too much I bloat.

Even though this may sound difficult, it’s not so bad. You may have bad cravings the first month, but they’ve all but disappeared for me now at the 2 month mark.  I no longer even crave pasta, which I used to eat all the time and never thought I’d be able to give up. Once you start reaching for fruit instead of cookies, your sweet tooth starts to crave the fruit instead (at least that was my experience).

Anybody else have experience with gluten free/dairy free diets? I’d love to hear some other success stories! If I feel this much better now after just 2 months I can only imagine how I’ll feel in a year once I’m totally detoxed.

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*In the spirit of full disclosure, links to products in this post may be affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you decide to purchase any of the products I recommend. Know that I only recommend products that I have used and love myself.

*I am not a doctor, a nurse, or any kind of health practitioner. I’m just a gal with a pretty keen intuitive sense, great research abilities, and curiosity that is easily peaked. Please understand that my advice is really just another opinion and it’s for you (and your doctor) to decide the best course for your health and well-being.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

foodrefashionista June 25, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Like you, I’m lactose-intolerant (even had to stop cow yogurt) and gluten-sensitive. Having a food blog forced me to think about new ways of cooking and alternative flours and so on. I now actually have a more varied and interesting diet than I had before I had to cut out gluten, and no more digestive miseries. Moral of the story: keep it up!

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lightcleansimple June 25, 2012 at 9:13 pm

Yeah I’ve been looking into alternative flours a bit–The one I’ve heard the best things about is almond flour…but unfortunately I ALSO have a nut sensitivity. I can eat them in moderation, but in the amounts in almond flours I just don’t think it would work. They give me a weird auto-immune response–canker sores, acne breakouts, swollen lymph nodes, and sometimes I’ll even come down with flu like symptoms….But that’s another post lol.

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foodrefashionista June 26, 2012 at 6:59 am

Yes, a lot of gf bakers use almond meal because it’s tasty and full of oil so it holds things together. The problem is that it’s very high in calories so I use it very sparingly and not often. There are many flour blends. I’ve been experimenting for more than a year now. Can you tolerate rice? Then you can probably handle white and brown rice flours. Flour blends also usually include tapioca and/or potato starches as well as xanthan or guar gum. Do you know how your body handles these substances?

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lightcleansimple June 26, 2012 at 4:56 pm

I seem to tolerate rice fairly well. I’ll definitely give the rice flour a try…I think I’ll be okay with tapioca and potato starch…but not sure about the gums. Only one way to find out…. :/ Haha Thanks for the suggestion!

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