Sunday. The results of gluten/wheat reintroduction

Apple girl!

Well, yesterday (Saturday) everyone was gluten free save for the dinner we had later that evening to celebrate my sweet baboo’s Birthday a little bit late (he graciously put off eating any gluten for two weeks in order to facilitate this testing period).

Diet at the restaurant remained the same for all, save for the inclusion of a wheat meal (pasta/breading); so kids who were used to soda had soda, and those who weren’t had their usual beverage of water. There were no other contributing factors to feelings of wellness at that time which might skew the effects of this particular event (no flu, monthly visitors, etc).

The following people experienced the following symptoms after the meal:

Son #1: Diarrhea, stomach cramps, lethargy, bounce back hunger (he was in the kitchen for a bowl of cereal not that long after eating)

Son #2: Agitated, bounce back hunger (he was in the kitchen for a bowl of cereal not that long after eating)

Daughter #1: Stomach ache, lethargy

Daughter #2: Diarrhea, gas, stomach cramping

Mom: Stomach ache, lethargy, headache, bounce back hunger (I was in the kitchen foraging for protein not that long after eating)

Dad:Claims no issues

Above are all listed as wheat/gluten intolerance flags (save for the ‘bounce back hunger’ which is more of a blood sugar drop, creating artificial hunger).

Is this experiment scientific? No, and seriously, no one should expect it to be. I mean, I like to get into the pool, but that doesn’t make me Jacques Cousteau. I love to blow stuff up with dry ice, but that doesn’t make me the Mythbusters. I like to eat cauliflower ears, but that doesn’t make me Mike Tyson.

It’s one family’s experience living (mostly, save for a couple of snafu’s) gluten free for ten days and reintroducing the stuff as a single, high gluten meal and checking symptoms within the next few hours directly following the experiment for unusual or unexpected situations.

No symptoms were exaggerated or psychosomaticly (artificially) created for the purposes of this reintroduction. As you will see, not everyone behaves the same way, since everyone is a little bit different.

Last year after first reading Dr. Julia Ross’ book, The Diet Cure, we followed the same period without gluten/wheat and then reintroduced, with similar feelings, but mostly of being absolutely tired. The meal then was McDonalds cheeseburgers with buns, and within an hour of the gluten-laden lunch, people had zonked in bed for hours, save for one (son #2).

So, there you have it. Our large (non) scientific removal of wheat and reintroduction to test for issues known to occur to those with gluten intolerance. The conclusion? While we are going to save wheat for perhaps once a week dining, we’re pretty sure it caused discomfort and some issues. The teens claim the diarrhea, headache and other problems are worth it, obviously missing the whole point that if you eat something enough and it continues to build, you’re going to be dealing with even more problems later.

I didn’t set out to find specific issues with gluten. It would have been disingenuous to pull a rabbit out of my hat to make a point. It’s an experiment that I think everyone should try at some point, if for no other reason than to test for food intolerances the most obvious way–through abstinence and reintroduction. It’s cheaper and you see the results with your own eyes. Whether you might be dealing with gluten intolerance, soy, nut, nightshades, eggs or some of the other highly problematic foods in your diet, if you’re not feeling optimal, even while following a healthy, whole foods plan, you might want to see what happens when you eliminate that food group for awhile.

And while none of us woke up this morning Bill Nye the Science guy, you might just surprise yourself.

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  1. Gluten free, (mostly) lactose free at our house. My son goes to his dads where they eat SAD. weekend 1 – vomiting. weekend 2 – diarrhea all weekend.

    I'm just saying… It might not be scientific; but why keep living like that when there are better options?!

  2. How interesting your kids generally feel it is worth it.

    I wish this would of been talked about years ago, but I personally think gluten issues are more rampant these days due to its inclusion in everything. Even vital wheat gluten is in a lot of low carb recipes (coming back after a year of not low carbing). I thought I had celiac as a teen but they would not consider it unless you looked like you were dying of starvation. I was morbidly obese so I obviously couldn't be suffering, it is obvious that I wasn't malnourished (insert rolling eyes). TMI but I was having diarrhea all the time (up to 12 times a day unless I was low carb; hasn't been an issue in a while, I'm happy to say, lol!). Plus I was hungry all the time and a ton of other symptoms that are glaringly obvious. It was ruled out as IBS after testing for everything but celiac/gluten intolerance.

    I was blood tested for celiac last year but I didn't know you had to have it in your system to be an effective test and I had been GF for months at this point. I worry about the long term effects of being intolerant because I know without a shadow of a doubt if I am not celiac then I am gluten intolerant. It is so hard to avoid; gluten is in so much and crossover/contamination is an issue too.

    Sorry for my mega rambling. This has become such an issue in my life and I'm just coming into this on your blog since I just re-found you *Heart*

  3. I just experienced the negative effects of reintroducing gluten/wheat into my diet for one evening, after 2 months without (date night @ fondue restaurant last night, literally only ate 6 bite size pieces of bread) lethargy, diarrhea, headaches and I'm cold??? Will now attempt on removing dairy…yikes, tough one for me. Thanks for all your posts, keep them coming!!!

  4. Michele Chastain says

    I've been gluten free for more than a month now…tonight ate soy sauce (made "crack slaw" from LCF recipe forum) and ended up with the gooey feeling throat syndrome. Wondering now if there are any wheat-free soy sauces on the market…

  5. I am so not at all surprised by these results! Thanks for sharing them.

  6. Gluten is a hidden evil, as I am convinced by my own GI issues that prevail regularly. Good info!


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