Q: I am so frustrated! I went gluten free 6 months ago and I felt great in the beginning: the bloating went away, I lost weight, my skin cleared up, the migraines lessened, and a litany of other symptoms stopped or subsided. But now I’m gaining weight, my skin has been breaking out again, and I’m not feeling as good as I did before. What’s happening to me?
A: This is a common reaction people have after they’ve been gluten free for awhile. Below are five common reasons your body is reacting negatively even if you’re following a gluten free diet.
- Hidden Gluten – There may still gluten in some things you are eating and your body is reacting to it. Double check everything you eat for hidden gluten items such as soy sauce (marinades), prescription or OTC medicines, corn tortillas (many contain gluten), or other items you thought were “safe.”
- GF Doesn’t Always Mean Healthier – Most people use the first several weeks finding replacements for the items they miss most – bread, pizza, pasta, and cupcakes. Just because these items do not contain gluten, doesn’t mean you should eat them. Replacement ingredients such as corn, xanthan gum, soy lecithin, processed sugars, and process flours are not good for your body with or without a gluten intolerance. And if you’re now eating these foods because the package says “gluten-free” your body may be begging you to stop.
- Portion Control – In an attempt to make up for the loss of gluten, many people over indulge in foods simply because they are gluten free. Gluten free doesn’t mean “you can eat as much as you want.”
- Reaction to Processed Foods – Your body may also be reacting to one of the many non-gluten items you are eating which are popular cross reactive foods to people with gluten intolerance or Celiac’s. The most popular one is dairy. Other common cross reactive ingredients are oats, sugar, coffee, quinoa, buckwheat, and spelt. Try removing these items from your diet and see how your body reacts.
- Healing Time – If you’ve been suffering with a gluten intolerance or Celiac’s disease for awhile, your body and digestive tract needs support and time to heal. If you have not investigated a healing regimen with your doctor, you should. Your reactions may simply be a cry for help from your body that it needs more healing support than just removing gluten from your system.
When your body is reacting this way, it’s trying to tell you something and may be begging for help. Give your body the respect it deserves and listen to what it’s telling you. It will thank you for it!
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