"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." Titus 2:4-5

Thursday, January 19, 2012

What is with "Gluten Free", Anyway?

I don't like fads, and I don't like being associated with one.  So I get a little frustrated that the gluten free "fad" somewhat discredits those of us who have serious issues with gluten, and who have had a significant turn around in health since giving it up.  I am so thankful that the Lord gave me wisdom when I prayed, and showed me what was causing so many health issues in myself, and my daughter.  I thought I would share my story on here just in case it could help someone else.

I don't think everyone should eat gluten free, and I don't think wheat is evil (well at least not to everyone, hee hee).  I do know, however, that the wheat we have today has been hybridized many times over the years, and it is not the same wheat that our forefathers ate for thousands of years.  Hence the gluten intolerance problem in so many people.

My story is as follows.  I suffered from stomach pain ever since I was a little girl.  It was sharp pain up near my ribs, that was so painful that I wasn't able to stand up.  If I would lie down, it would feel better, then when I tried to stand up it would hurt again.  The pain was so sporadic and unpredictable, and didn't seem to be related to something specific.  I never knew when it would show up, so as you can imagine sometimes it would suddenly show up at inconvenient times.  I remember going to a skating rink for my 9th birthday, and having to go home before the skating even started, leaving all my friends to celebrate without me, because the pain was so bad that I had to lie down. 

This went on for years and years, following me into adulthood.  I just learned to tolerate it, because it wasn't all of the time.  I would have many days of no pain, and then when the pain hit, I would lie down to feel better.  It was just how it was, and I really didn't give it much thought other than, "that's just the way my stomach is".

Then in 2008, it actually really started bugging me.  The pain started occurring more frequently, and lasting for longer periods of time when it did show up.  I got tired of it.  I had 3 busy children, and didn't have time to lie around all the time with stomach aches.  I prayed for wisdom.

Honestly, I can't remember how and when the wisdom came to me, I just know God gave it to me.  Over several months time, the term gluten free kept coming up.  I would basically ignore the idea, because cutting wheat out of my diet just seemed way too impossible.  But it kept popping up and popping up, like God was continually putting it in front of my face and saying, "Look at this!".  So one day, I just said, "okay, alright--I will try it for one month and see if makes a difference!  But that's it--only a month."  I honestly didn't expect any results.

Well, a month was not needed.  Within a week, I knew gluten was the culprit.  I could just tell.  I felt different.  I felt better...and well.  That was it.  I never touched gluten again after that...I had no desire.  The first couple of days, it was hard.  I cried with frustration, because it seemed like I couldn't eat anything.  But that part passed quickly, and I felt great afterwards.

The stomach pain....completely disappeared.  It was amazing.  I went gluten free for that reason, but then I was pleasantly surprised by all the other improvements that started happening.  My migraines disappeared.  Depression lifted.  PMS....GONE (and I got that pretty bad).  Bloated tummy disappeared.  It became so apparent that all of these years my body had been battling gluten.

Praise the Lord for the wisdom he gave me!  These days, there are times when I accidentally ingest gluten, usually because someone feeds it to me by mistake, and I can tell.  And I'm reminded again why I don't eat it!

A few months after I quit gluten, I was sitting at the kitchen table with my daughter Annamarie (then 10 years old).  We were supposed to be homeschooling, but she was sitting there crying.  Again.  This seemed to happen every day...she couldn't function and she just cried.  I was so frustrated and asked her what the problem was, and why she was always like that.  She said, "I don't know.  I just feel sick and I always feel sick."

A lightbulb when on in my head at that moment.  I told her that since I now knew that my body is sensitive to gluten, it was highly likely that gluten was bothering her also.  I told her that we were going to cut it out of her diet and see if it helped.  She wasn't excited about it, but she was tired of feeling sick so was willing to do it.

Once again, it was like night and day.  She was a whole new person.  PRAISE GOD for the wisdom yet again!  I thank Him over and over for this.  If I had not known it was gluten, what an unpleasant existence the two of us would have had these last few years!  Now, Annamarie is a happy, healthy 13 year old girl, with a happy, healthy mom!  I am so grateful!

So that is our story.  Like I said at the beginning, not everyone needs to eat gluten free, and most people wouldn't want to!  We are so used to it now that it doesn't bother us, but the beginning can be hard.  I hope this information can help someone that may need to make this change in their diet also.  God bless you as you seek His wisdom.


  1. I'm with you on the "fad" of the GF diet. And I strongly believe that not everyone needs to be on it. Sure, use some of the GF flours to add to your diet, but don't say you are GF if you don't need to be.

    In addition, one of the reasons that I believe this is because my two sons have celiac disease and they require medical follow-ups to check on certain vitamin levels, etc. to ensure their diet is going well. So if you just take yourself off gluten, you could be missing key nutrition, unless you're really eating a super healthy, whole foods diet.

    Personally, I've wanted to try cutting it out because, like you, I've had a lifetime of gut symptoms (but I did test negative for celiac). I just haven't had the willpower yet since I've had to cut out dairy, soy (actually all legumes), and eggs. The dairy acted on me like gluten did on you in the post above. AMAZING results within a week of going off that have only gotten better with time.

    Long response but this subject is very close to me. We live it every day.

    1. Nicole, another symptom I had was severe intestinal cramping, and that was caused by dairy. I figured that out before the gluten issue. But after cutting out gluten, I can tolerate dairy better.

  2. Interesting April. I really should give it a go, and I am shortly (once I get my menu organized so I'm not scrounging - not something I want to do with a new baby in the house). And, it would be so nice to enjoy some "forbidden" foods once in awhile. I'd take beans back before dairy! Just because it really is so easy to go dairy-free but what replaces beans?

  3. Love this! I have been wanting to go gluten-free for a long time, but haven't gotten around to it. I have some major digestive issues and I have a feeling that cutting gluten would clear it up. Thanks for posting your story!