Living Gluten Free is not something someone does on a whim, that is for sure! It is a path taken for health and wellness issues… for a better quality of life. You see, for those with Gluten issues it is a daily, one snack and one meal at a time, all or nothing proposition.

A mistake people make is thinking that they can simply eat a little less gluten… to “try it out”. Unfortunately, it simply won’t work that way. If you suspect you have issues with Gluten, you will only be able to notice an improvement in symptoms when you are consistently completely Gluten Free for a period of time.

I recommend a period of two weeks as an initial trial. If, after two weeks, you don’t notice an improvement in symptoms, then this may not be your issue. If you see an improvement and then go back to eating Gluten, you will immediately see a return of symptoms if Gluten is your concern.

This is a hard concept for some to grasp. After all, diabetics CAN eat some sugar. Diabetics simply compensate for indulging in sugar by adjustments to their medications. But with gluten it is not like that… it is truly all or nothing.
It is good or bad news, depending on your perspective, that there is no Rx ‘quick fix’ for Gluten (though personally I think abstinence  from Gluten is the perfect solution… it works, it is simple, it is cheaper than prescriptions and has no side effects or complications).

For clarification, Gluten is not a food allergy. For those with gluten issues… Gluten is toxic to them. You wouldn’t be ok with eating “just a little” lighter fluid (simply an example folks, I definitely do NOT recommended that anyone try that!!!)… and the same is true of gluten.

One such occasion for me was while on a recent trip to Cancun, Mexico. Even though my husband is fluent in Spanish, it was challenging to communicate my concern with the restaurant and wait staff there so it was up to me to decipher the menu and make choices from food buffets. I once ordered gazpacho soup with lunch. It is basically cold vegetable soup. As I sipped from my first spoonful, I noticed that the broth seemed to have an element of thickness to it… more than would be found in plain broth. I passed that soup along to my husband to enjoy as I noticed the first signs of symptoms within minutes.

For me, that first sign is often a discomfort in my chest, not unlike if someone were able to inflate a helium balloon within my rib cage. The pressure is quite uncomfortable and even shortens my breaths. Of course that leads to others issues further down the digestive track, but the discomfort caused by just that one bite faded within a few hours. I get similar symptoms when something I eat has been cross contaminated with Gluten during the preparation process. If I eat a lunch that has Gluten in it by mistake I will additionally pay for it by not feeling well for a few days. Life is too short to sacrifice quality of life for a few days or even a few hours.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on living Gluten Free! How long have you been living Gluten Free? Has it gotten easier for you over time???