I want to begin with saying, I do not have celiac disease or any other major health concern as any of my reasons for going gluten free. However, I have heard many testimonies from my circle of friends that urged this decision. What originally sparked my curiosity was some research I did about my persistent cough that my doctor’s cannot seem to get under control or find the cause of. I’ve been on every allergy medication that exists it seems like, but the persistent cough is still there. I’ve noticed that the persistent cough is sometimes worse after eating things such as dairy and gluten. Going dairy free will be in another post. 🙂 During my research, I found several sources that said people have reported symptoms that seem like seasonal allergies, and persistent coughing like mine, that have improved dramatically or have gone away completely, with the elimination of gluten. With the desire to lose a few more pounds and absolutely not being able to get any lower than where I am at now, I also wanted to test any potential weight loss benefits.
What better time to try going gluten free than with the beginning of a new program? My PiYo challenge group, which I introduced here, began today. I wanted to start my gluten free (and dairy free) journey as I started this program. I wanted to share with you my personal top 10 reasons for going gluten free. 🙂 Please do not take any of these reasons to be medical advice, because I am no health professional. 😉
Reason #1: All of my “trigger foods” contain gluten.
Like most people out there and despite my weight loss journey, I DO still have those certain foods that are not very healthy and typically cause me to binge. I like to call these types of foods “trigger foods”, because they open the door to my cravings for more CRAP. A few of my trigger foods are breads, pizza, chips – these can be found gluten free but most of the time they have gluten. Putting the idea in my head that I cannot have gluten completely erases my totally mindless eating that I usually do with these trigger foods.
Reason #2: I recently went gluten free for 3 days during the 3 Day Refresh program, and I had so much energy!
Having more energy is reason enough to do almost anything (well, ALMOST – LOL). During the 3 Day Refresh, I didn’t have that “full” or “bloated” feeling I typically get after eating a bunch of gluten. I also would wake up before my alarm clock wide-eyed and ready to GO! Ask my husband, that is definitely not the norm. I typically struggle pretty badly to get out of the bed. It may have been something else about the 3 Day Refresh, but the possibility that it could have been gluten made me more excited to try going without!
Reason #3: Allergies – enough said.
I have had allergies my entire life. I’ve been on every kind of allergy medicine known to man, it seems. I have constant sniffles as well as a persistent cough after eating certain foods. I still have these symptoms after my sinus surgery, just less severe as they were. From what I’ve read, an allergy to WHEAT itself may be more to blame for these symptoms, if related at all. But since wheat has gluten in it, I will be able to put this theory to the test!
Reason #4: I sometimes battle anxiety and irritability.
Another potential side effect of a gluten sensitivity that I have read about it anxiety, depression and irritability. I can think of several times that I have had pizza or something with gluten and then had a random bout of anxiety hit me. Eating a heavy gluten meal also makes me very sleepy and irritable. Related? Possibly!
Reason #5: Gluten can cause inflammation in the body.
According to this site, gluten causes gut inflammation in at least 80% of the population. Another 30% of the population develop antibodies against these gluten proteins in the gut. The majority of inflammatory diseases start in the gut with an autoimmune reaction that progresses into systemic inflammation. No thanks, I’ll pass on that.
Reason #6: There are over 300 symptoms and diseases medically and scientifically linked to gluten.
According to this site, there are over 300 symptoms and diseases medically and scientifically linked to gluten. Symptoms such as migraines, stubborn weight, foggy brain, depression, mood swings, skin problems, dry scalp, insomnia, sexual malfunction, back pain (YES, ME!), muscle soreness and bone deterioration can be linked to GLUTEN. That is unreal… why more doctors aren’t telling patients this beats me. I guess *most* would rather push a prescription on us than tell us how we can heal our woes for free.
Reason #7: Brain function is better when you go gluten free.
To further explain, gluten can greatly impact brain function among those with celiac disease, according to this site. There have even been studies that show gluten intolerance can cause symptoms of ADHD, ADD and Autism. If you feel very foggy after eating gluten, you may want to ask your doctor.
Reason #8: Humans do not fully digest wheat.
What?! In doing my research for this post, I came across the fact that humans don’t fully digest wheat. That was news to me! Apparently the indigestible portions of wheat will begin to ferment inside our bodies and will produce gas. I found further information on this site.
Reason #9: Gluten sensitivity can cause hormonal imbalance.
Not to get too scientific on you, because I am definitely not a scientist… but the molecule in gluten that can cause hormonal imbalance is called gliadin. I will let you read more about that here because I don’t want to potentially mis-type something and want you to have the correct information. 🙂
Reason #10: Going gluten free can reduce acne and other skin problems.
According to this site and many more, acne can be caused by gluten. I suffered terribly in my teenage years from acne, and still have the occasional breakout now in my adult years. Acne is a result of blood sugar problems and chronic inflammation, and since gluten sensitivity can cause inflammation, it makes sense that it could cause acne.
I hope that my top 10 reasons for going gluten free helped you in some way. Like I said before, a lot of this research was for my own personal purposes, but if it helps someone else realize you MAY have a gluten sensitivity, then it was worth the share. Always remember, before making any big dietary changes, always speak with your doctor first.