Are You Allergic To Wheat And Gluten? You Just Might Be…

by Alexander Morentin on June 27, 2008

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Go Ahead, It’s Gluten Free!

GLUTEN: WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?
Gluten is the protein part of wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten is found in a wide variety of foods; especially processed foods. Here’s the problem: Many people are allergic to gluten and don’t know it.

In our society, we are bombarded with grains. They are everywhere. Grains, especially processed grains, have become the main staple in our diet. Many people don’t even eat fruits and vegetables on a regular basis anymore.

The major allergic reactions to gluten are inflammatory responses. Symptoms such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, as well as aggressive behavior are common. Wheat and gluten can also cause irritability, lethargy, and is a major contributor in the epidemic of obesity.

MY FIT LIFE
When I eat wheat, especially processed wheat, it makes me feel extremely tired. At times, I will notice that I become more aggressive. I will get irritated at situations that normally wouldn’t affect me. Many of my clients and friends have reported similar reactions to eating wheat.

As mentioned above, grains are used in many processed foods. The following terms found in food labels may mean that there is gluten in the product:
• Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Hydrolyzed Plant Protein, or Vegetable Protein
• Flour or Cereal Products
• Malt or Malt Flavoring
• Modified Starch or Modified Food Starch
• Vegetable Gum
• Soy Sauce
• Malt Vinegar

Also, any of the following words on food labels usually means that a grain containing gluten has been used:
• Stabilizer
• Starch
• Flavoring
• Emulsifier

I have seen many people come off of gluten and they have experienced radical changes in their lives. They act, look, and feel remarkably better. People that were once bed ridden now lead healthy vibrant lives.

Some of the positive effects of a gluten free diet include:
• Relief of body aches and pains
• Relief from depression
• Increased energy
• Weight loss

Of particular interest to women: I have found that women who eliminate gluten from their diet find it much easier to lose weight and keep it off. Relief from PMS symptoms has been reported by my clients as well.

GLUTEN-FREE FOOD TAGS
You are going to start to see “” tag’s on many products in the supermarket, especially Whole Foods type markets. It’s like a buzzword right now. This is not a bad thing. Remember, what I have found with people is that if they can cut gluten out of their diet it is much easier for them to obtain a desirable body weight. In other words, you will lose weight and keep it off with less effort. It takes a little time to learn which foods do and do not have gluten in them, but once you do it becomes second nature and it is not a problem at all. It is definitely worth the effort.

Grains that do not contain gluten:
• Corn
• Rice
• Arrowroot
• Buckwheat
• Millet
• Amaranth
• Quinoa

You’re probably asking yourself this question right now:
Is it really worth the effort to cut gluten out of my diet?

The answer is YES!
Let me give you a personal example of how it helped me:
I like to run in 5k races. Here’s the problem, I was limited on the amount of times I could run a 5k every year because my left knee would get sore every time I trained for an event.
At the request of a naturopathic doctor, I cut gluten and corn from diet. I didn’t want to, but I did.
And, it was the wisest decision I’ve ever made.

Today when I run in a 5k, I have zero knee pain. Can you believe that? No knee pain whatsoever!

All this because I cut gluten and corn from my diet.
Note: I completely cut gluten form my diet for three weeks in a row. That’s it. That is how quickly you can see the benefits.

Nowadays, My diet isn’t 100% gluten free. It is almost impossible to remain gluten free in our modern world. However, I am probably about 99% gluten free.

Why? Because I like living pain free, maintaining my energy levels, and being in control of my emotions.

Staying away from wheat and gluten does all of these things for me. :D

What do you think?
Do you have any food allergies? Or, do you think you might have some food allergies that you don’t know about?

Leave me a comment, I’d love to hear what you have to say!

Committed to your success,

Alexander Morentin, C.E.S.
Whole Foods Evangelist
My Fit Life

Food Matters

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

no imageorneryswife (Who am I?) June 27, 2008 at 8:27 pm

Interesting that many of the things listed above as containing gluten also contain MSG, which is another additive that causes many of the same symptoms–fatigue, aches, difficulty losing weight, etc. –for all I know that may be what adds the gluten to the food. Another GF whole grain we really like is Teff, but it isn’t as easy to find. We don’t necessarily stay away from all gluten, but we do find we are happier and healthier without wheat. So, we eat Spelt bread, and don’t bring any wheat into the house.

Interesting article.
TM

no imageDarlene Norris (Who am I?) June 28, 2008 at 4:24 am

I hadn’t thought about gluten being a problem. My husband is a diabetic, and we’ve gotten him off his meds by eating a healthier diet. But he’s needs to lose weight, he has a degenerative form of arthritis which is debilitating, and he does get irritated over things easily at times. We eat many of the gluten-free grains on your list, but we do eat wheat products, too. I’ll need to try this out and see if it helps. Thanks for a good article.

no imageMark McCullagh (Who am I?) June 28, 2008 at 5:09 am

Great “food for thought” 9sorry about the pun).

I have known quite a few people who went gluten free with good results as well.

I have also heard that whole wheat (very popular these days) is very hard on the digestive tract.

What about bran buds?

no imageAlexander Morentin (Who am I?) June 28, 2008 at 11:06 pm

@ oneryswife,
Great job on staying away from wheat and not bringing it into the house.

MSG is a whole other subject.
Suffice it to say that MSG is known as edible nicotine because of its highly addictive qualities.
I will definitely discuss MSG in a future post.

thanks.

no imageAlexander Morentin (Who am I?) June 28, 2008 at 11:29 pm

@ Mark,
Severe cases of gluten intolerance, also known as celiac disease, can cause severe gastrointestinal problems. Symptoms vary from person to person; ranging from mild to severe. Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley, and rye.

Also, I had not heard of bran buds before, so I looked them up on the internet.
According to the manufacturers, they contain wheat, which means they definitely contain gluten.
They also contain high fructose corn syrup, which is horrible for you, and they also contain BHT which is a harmful preservative.

If I were to eat cereal, I would eat organic whole grain oatmeal (no instant packs).
It does contain gluten, but it is a “lesser evil” compared to other cereals which are processed, contain harmful preservatives, and are fortified with synthetic man made vitamins.

no imageotmar wittine (Who am I?) June 29, 2008 at 4:22 pm

just givin you a shout out to say that you are stirring up alot of interest out here…gonna have to get a copy or 10…here’s to the continued sprading of the knowledge

John February 25, 2009 at 4:17 pm

So is it really better to eat white bread after all? I’m gonna have to confirm this and then get after my mother for having denied me of it for so long… :)

Alex March 26, 2009 at 4:26 pm

I m really just figuring out about my food sensitivities .. I cant have milk products or tomato products and no wheat … Ok LIfe sucks . Im always irratible Im agressive and filledwith hate . I cant eat anything … I cant even drink coffee … no beer damn so well atleast I can smoke weed , but still , with so many ppl ewith wheat probs u d think grocery stores would be more stalked in food s with no wheat alternatives . if they do U have to walk a across town to one place then to anothe r then anothe r.. god this pisses me off … sry I really needed to vent , everyone here acts so non challant about this wheat thing but , LIFE SUCKS

Amy Savoie October 6, 2009 at 10:55 am

I am just starting out lifef with no Gluten. I have had inflammation problems for a while now. I was diganosed with Carpel Tunnel, but had the surgery, but no relief and the symptoms have worsen. I have had all the serious tests, but nothing. Alot of things are pointing me to this. Has anyone else had anything or heard of anything like this??
Thanks

Ronel de Lange November 16, 2009 at 11:00 am

My daughter loves eating wheatbix for breakfast. The last two weeks her skin has been coming out in a terrible rash. Could that be from the gluten. Please advise.

Alexander Morentin November 16, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Hi Ronel,
Your daughter is definitely having a reaction to something.
Some people will break out in a rash when they eat wheat or gluten; it’s very common.

Try eliminating wheat/gluten from her diet and see what happens. You’ll get your answer very quickly.

Rosana Bernat November 30, 2009 at 9:43 pm

I have to say that I am starting on this gluten free diet thing since I have celiac disease. It is hard I mean I am changing my whole life and people do not make it very easy. I have been looked at like I am crazy when I got out to eat like I am doing something wrong for asking. It is hard for me to know everything that has gluten but my body knows it as I have suffered many nights because once your body gets rid of it, it hits you hard if you even get a little. I found out that chillies has a gluten free meal list they will print for you if you go to eat there. Does anyone know any more places that will do that? Also does anyone that has celiac disease have a problem with coffee and liqure like I do? I swell very bad aswell when I have gluten and I am just happy to know what it is because I am tierd of being looked at like I am crazy at the doctors office and being told it is 50 different things and given all those meds that make you feel like crap. All I can say to people is study it know your stuff, because doctors do not know much about it. I would just like to say that I have refused the test of my small intestine, bacuse I know what it is now and it runs in my family. I am tired of all the test, I feel like a human pin cussion latley. I just think that it sucks doctors do not know much about it, and most stores sell nothing you can eat.

marie December 29, 2009 at 10:35 am

This article was very informative and really answered my curiosity about gluten.

butterfly December 29, 2009 at 1:35 pm

I have lupus and I noticed one of the drawbacks to gluten is inflammatory response. It may be worth my while to stop consuming gluten as well. I wonder if it would help with my joint pain and help me get these extra pounds off my thighs!

Alexander Morentin December 29, 2009 at 3:26 pm

Hi Butterfly,
Wheat and gluten definitely has been known to cause inflammatory responses in people.

I know a woman who was bed ridden for 8 months prior to seeing me.
We made some simple adjustments to her diet including getting of of gluten and plant oils. She became vibrant in healthy in a matter of weeks. It was amazing!

I highly recommend removing gluten from your diet.

Tina January 31, 2010 at 6:47 am

Hello,
Thank you for the information. I went to the doctor with digestive problems and my doctor told me I am allergic to gluten. I asked what to do and eat. She said I would have to research for myself. Well the grocery stores have some but not a huge variety.
Thanks again for the info. I do feel better not eating gluten so far and have started loosing weight without a lot of exercise it is something.

Alexander Morentin January 31, 2010 at 3:42 pm

Tina, I’m glad you are having success with your gluten free diet.
My sister-in-law told me that there is an app for iphones that has gluten free recommendations. Haven’t seen it myself, but it seems like it would be helpful.

BTW: One of the side effects of a gluten free diet is achieving and maintaining a desirable bodyweight quicker and easier than you ever imagined possible. Pretty cool! :-)

Kara Stiller March 7, 2010 at 11:22 am

I was just diagnosed with Celiac Disease 3 months ago at the age of 21. I have suffered symptoms ranging from hormonal issues, GI problems, liver dysfunctions that caused a sporadic 12 pound weight gain about a year ago, chronic joint pain ( avid runner here!), and irritability/border line depression. I have been Gluten Free or at least trying to get there since I received my diagnosis. It has been a long 3 months but I can feel it getting easier. I just discovered this site and I believe that a “whole foods” lifestyle will be the safest and most sensible way to approaching my new Gfree lifestyle. I’m still learning and going through the motions however I feel like this is the best way of eating/living for me.

I still have about 5 pounds to lose before making it back to my post-symptom date, but slow and steady wins the race. I’m 5 foot 1 inch tall so the weight gain was a crack on my self confidence, but hopefully after getting to my original weight and health status, I can take it further and get to my ideal/happy weight of 120 pounds :)

Thanks so much for everything on this entire site! I love to learn new things everyday!

Katherine March 21, 2010 at 6:02 pm

you are so right about the wheat. Both my brother and I have MS, and when we eat any wheat or dairy we feel worse with the MS. He’s already in a wheelchair but has not gotten worse since being off of wheat. For me i’m ok as long as I stay off of wheat, the day after i cheat and eat any wheat i’m tired my feet and legs are numb so thanks so much for sharing doctors don’t believe any of this and think i’m crazy

Leah March 27, 2010 at 12:12 pm

This article was very helpful! I am only 31 and have lived with fibromyalgia since I was 20. My symptoms have gotten more severe with extreme joint pain, skin irritations and horrible IBS symptoms. In addition, I have tried cutting calories and working out on a regular basis but have had trouble losing weight-I feel bloated all the time! A friend of mine said that I would benefit from a gluten free diet and so now I am going to try it. I have asked many doctors if they thought my rashes and stomach problems were due to food allergies and all of them said they were not and just gave me medication that did not help.
I want my energetic self back and want to start enjoying life again! I am really hoping that I start to feel better and I feel that more fibromyalgia patients should be informed about a gluten free diet!

Carshena Watkins May 30, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Last Summer I had my gallbladder removed. Since then I’ve had many stomach problems. Last week I went to my family doctor, she did blood test which came back normal. I’m happy about the results, however my stomach still hursts. Feels like I’m having another gallbladder attack. I was placed on an acid reflux medicine, I don’t feel like I have acid reflux. My friend suggested that I may have an allergy to wheat and gluten. Do you have any solutions? I’m also 70lbsoverweight. Thanks in advance, Carshena

Alexander Morentin May 30, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Avoiding wheat and gluten will definitely help you lose weight.
Cut it from your diet and see how your body reacts.

I’m not a fan of acid reflux medication. Much of the time the pain is caused by not having enough acid in the stomach… not too much.

One thing you can try adding to your arsenal is digestive enzymes. Most people have a huge problem digesting their food properly, which can lead to stomach pain. Digestive enzymes help beak down the food that you eat, so you can absorb and utilize the nutrients that they contain.
I know many experts who state that everybody needs to take digestive enzymes in our modern world.

Linden Sage June 5, 2010 at 9:25 am

Hi, would you change your wording a bit to avoid confusion. What you’re talking about is not allergies, but sensitivities, or intolerance. It is impossible to have a true allergy and not be aware of it. Thanks

Morgan June 17, 2010 at 7:05 pm

I was wondering if it could be possible that I may be allergic to gluten and now know it? Also what are some symptoms that you get after eating gluten?

Amber October 20, 2010 at 11:43 am

I had tiny EXTREMELY itchy blisters on my left foot for many years. I had been seeing a dermatologist for years with no relief. After doing online reasearch it turns out I have dermatitis hepitiformis which is caused from gluten. I went gluten free and within a week I no longer had blisters!
I have also lost 6 lbs without even trying.

janet maddox March 26, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Need to know what I can eat if I’m allergic to gutin ? Please any suggestions would be great. Especially for breakfast too ! So I can’t eat any bread at all . Like white bread or flour tortias

Alexander Morentin March 26, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Hi Janet,
There are plenty of foods you can eat that don’t have gluten.
You need to do some research, because gluten does find its way into the strangest places. For example: Most soy sauce contains gluten.

For breakfast: There is a gluten free oatmeal. It’s delicious. I think the maker is Bob’s RedMill.

Luckily, there are a ton of gluten free cook books on the market. Do a search on Amazon.com.

Vegetables and fruits are always a great place to start. Especially leafy green veggies. :-)

Alexander Morentin March 26, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Hi Kara,
Sounds like you’re doing an awesome job.
Keep up the great work! :-)

Keep us posted on your journey.

Take care,
Alexander

Renata Franklin April 15, 2011 at 6:47 am

I have thought for many years that I was batteling food addiction but as it turnes out, I just might be allergic to gluten. Every time I eat lots of carbs I am tired, irritated, and I have difficulty using the bathroom on a daily basis. I thought things would never change without some sort of medical intervention but this post has changed my perspective on what could be wrong with me. I once began the HCG diet and noticed a dramatic change in my life just from cutting carbs out of my diet so this totally makes sence. Now, how do I live a gluten free life? Are their any books on this subject that can help me? Thank you so much for this post ;)

Liz May 5, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Nowadays I think i am allergic to gluten. Because i think this, after my breakfast in the morning of either toast, oats or wheat biscuits, my stomach hurts ! And for break i have sometimes a muesli bar and same pain in my stomach soon after. Am i allergic to gluten?

Alexander Morentin May 12, 2011 at 10:57 am

There are many people that are allergic to gluten and many many more that have a gluten intolerance.
Some say that as many as 70% or 80% of people in the world have a gluten intolerance.
The grains available today are much different than they were 100 or more years ago. Hybridization and genetic modifications have increased people’s sensitivity to gluten.

I will say this… if a food is making my stomach hurt… I will stop eating it. :-)

Alicia July 30, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Hi!

I have hashimotos disease (hypo-thyroidism). For the last two months I have gone gluten free to try a healthier approach rather than taking medicine. I haven’t done 100% gluten free because this week I cheated (it was my birthday week) and I had a slice of pizza one day. Another day I had 1/4 of a cheeseburger and a crepe with nutella and banana. Other than that, I’ve been really good…sometimes not having any gluten for up to three weeks at a time. I have fresh juice at least once per day and for carbs I eat rice or potatoes. I eat some meat but not too much. I live in Dubai so I have access to a lot of things made with lentils (soups, curry, etc.).

However, I’m not sure I feel better. Many days I have a slight headache and my mind is hazy. I sometimes get tired early in the day. Since I have allowed myself to have gluten here and there, I can tell the difference and I swear that I feel better the day of and day after I allow myself some gluten.

Is it possible that 100% gluten free isn’t that good for you?

Charmaine Timmons September 27, 2011 at 10:16 am

I just got tested and found out the I am allergic to the following foods apple,avocado,basil,bay leaf,blueberry,cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, swiss cheese, chicken, clam, coconut, garlic, gluten, haddock, lamb, cow’s milk nutrasweet, oregano, safflower, scallop, sesame, sole, black tea, turkey, walnut, wheat, bakers and brewers yeast and yogurt, I also have an overgrowth of candida. my question are is there a web site that can help me chose foods that I can eat and help get the candida under control.

Joanna October 5, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Hi,
I have suffered from eczema for years and now I am wondering if it might be in relation to a gluten allergy? I would love you know your opinion.

Shary October 10, 2011 at 11:53 pm

I have the same exact question as Joanna. I too have suffered with hand and feet eczema since adolescence. Feet eczema started about 3 yrs. ago. I am going on 5 weeks with terrible hives appearing every where on my body. Just 1 week ago I went to a skin allergy Dr. and found out that I am allergic to wheat & tree nuts at 40 years old! What happen to me?

Alejandra November 13, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Alexander,

Hello! I enjoyed reading your article on how gluten affects the body. For the past 7 years I’ve had issues with joint pain and muscle aches, and even have joint damadge in both my wrists (limited movement) and both my feet because of the inflammation I’ve had over the nyears. I’ve had medical issue since I did a high protein low carb diet in 2004, which lasted about a year. My body has never been the same since, and I suffer from joint and muscle pain – as well as back pain. I now understand that eating too much protein caused my body to be acidic , therefore it had to pull calcium from my bones (since I probably wasn’t consuming enough calcium) to neutralize he acid. This is probably why I felt so much pain. I’ve seen countless of doctors and specialists, but never been diagnosed with anything in specific. However, since then I’ve made some changes and have improved somewhat, but I still feel joint pain, muscle aches, and bloated all the time. I’m curious to know if gluten could be the problem. I’m only 33 years old and my kids depend on me to be well. I want to feel vibrant and healthy like I once did… How do I find out for sure if I’m gluten intolerant?

Alexander Morentin December 4, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Hi Alejandra,
It would be good to cut gluten from your diet for a period of 3 months. See how you’re feeling after that.
For people that have joint pain and stiffness: I’ve seen people make amazing recoveries by cutting gluten and plant oils from their diet.

You might do well by reading my book, Better Living With Whole Foods. It’s a great reference manual that could help you get closer to vibrant health.

Good luck on your journey! And, keep me posted. I’m interested to hear how things turn out for you. :-)

Sandra October 3, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Hi!
I’m on the go most of the time (as is everyone else) and I don’t tend to eat very well. A nutrigrain bar here, a slice of pizza there, however I always have a good dinner. (My husband insists on it)
Recently, I started to REALLY pay attention to how I was feeling after each meal: tired, bloated, heavy, lathargic, basically all those heavy-yucky feelings.
On a whim I decided to stop the nonsense and do a real basic and bland diet, just to see what the affect would be.
My diet included banana’s, applesauce, rice with chicken stock, fruits and veggies(green) and occasionally some meat. Basically no more chips, no bread, no cookies or crackers, and very little other “processed food”…yes…and no fun. But I decided I needed to do it.
Suprisingly, I almost immediately began to feel better. What I noticed most is that I had more energy.
On the 3rd day of this “diet”, I was rushing around in the morning and grabbed a granola bar to eat in the car. After 3 bites I had to put it down. I almost immediately felt my body saying: YUCK! That heavy feeling was sinking back in!
I ended up running to the grocery store on my way to work and purchased a couple “gluten free” granola bars. And I must say the result was awesome! (the taste was good too). I didn’t feel weighed down, tired or any of the other feeling I
had been having.
Since then I am back to my bland and basic diet and feeling great.
Now I realize that this doesn’t diagnose me with an intolerence to gluten, but it seems like all the signs are pointing in that general direction.

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