When Going Gluten Free is Not Enough…

Even the fastidious gluten-free foodie, who is meticulous about every bite, may find that one day, the symptoms rear their ugly heads again.  Or maybe now, even on your gluten free diet, are still having complaints about your digestive health, weight, hormone imbalance, and itchy skin.  Do you still have an extra 10 pounds to lose? Irritability? How about bloating, diarrhea, constipation, or fatigue? Perhaps your gluten free diet isn’t cutting it! It’s not helping the way you were told it would… here is some food for thought.

Likely you have looked into eliminating something else from your diet, hoping for improvement. After all, we now know there is a high probability that someone will have additional food sensitivities if they are diagnosed (formally or even self diagnosed) with gluten sensitivity. 

100 gluten free

Many of my clients approach me apprehensively, with despair and disappointment that their gluten free diet, although helping to some degree, has left them with the symptoms they so deeply wished had disappeared by now.  On a voyage to elite health, or at minimum, in hopes of attaining well functioning body again, going gluten free just wasn’t enough. And it may not be the complete solution for you either.  I did recently record a podcast addressing this, I think you’ll find it helpful and fun to listen to.

Commonly, gluten-free sufferers beat themselves up over supposed mistakes. Carefully tracking their food sources, reading labels, asking questions.  Eventually, you end up always assuming you have been eating gluten in some way, shape or form you cannot account for. We become certain contamination of some unknown sort is to blame for the ongoing symptoms. 

The truth may be that its time to re-evaluate your diet and start listening to your body. 

Here is a brief list of common foods that may be making your  symptoms worse:

  1.     Grains
  2.     Dairy
  3.     Beans
  4.     Nuts
  5.     Eggs
  6.     Sugar
  7.     Chemicals and food coloring
  8.     Sugar Alcohols
  9.     Alcohol
  10.    Coffee and/or Caffeine
  11.    Food additives like nitrates, food coloring, etc

Looking at this extensive list you may think, “what’s left to eat?”  Fear not, there are ways to discover the unique culprits that offend you, and still eat well. 

Start with a clean gluten-free diet.

It’s not uncommon to hear me lecture on the repercussions of a gluten-free bad diet.  Don’t go eating packaged food full of junk, and think you’re doing yourself any favors just because it is labeled “gluten-free”.  While gluten free junk food may not provoke inflammation directly from gluten, the insidious ingredients are still damaging to your body and brain. Fortunately, many foods that are naturally gluten-free, such as vegetables, fruit, plain nuts and seeds, gluten-free whole grains, and animal proteins, are very healthy. If you already have a well-rounded, clean gluten free diet, but still suffer, consider the next step, and elimination diet.

1- Try An Elimination Diet

It is called an “Elimination Diet” because you remove certain foods and food categories from your diet. During a period of two to three weeks, you eliminate the foods from your diet that are the most likely culprits of sensitivity symptoms.  An elimination diet is used to learn whether or not certain foods may be causing your symptoms or making them worse. If they are, the diet also can become a way to treat these
symptoms. This type of dietary program is designed to clear the body of foods and chemicals to which you may be allergic or sensitive.

According to current research, food sensitivities can cause or contribute to a vast array of problems including: fatigue, anxiety, depression, insomnia, food cravings, obesity, recurrent colds and other infections, chronic nasal congestion, postnasal drip, fluid in the ears, Meniere’s syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, gallbladder disease, high blood pressure, arrhythmia, angina, acne, eczema, psoriasis, canker sores, hives, muscle aches, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, migraines and other headaches, numbness, asthma, frequent urination, teeth grinding, bedwetting, and infantile colic. Most of the above disorders have more than one cause, but food sensitivity is relatively common and a frequently overlooked cause.

 Get out of your food rut

The main rationale behind the diet is that these modifications allow your body’s detoxification organs, which may be overburdened, to recover and function efficiently again. The dietary changes help the body “clear” various toxins that may have accumulated due to environmental exposure, foods, beverages, drugs, stress, alcohol or cigarette smoking. It also helps reduce overall inflammation throughout your body.

Daily repetition of the same foods is thought to be a major contributor to the development of food sensitivities. The benefit of an elimination diet also forces one to consume a diverse diet. This is typically healthier because you are more likely to get a comprehensive intake of valuable nutrients. 

The most common food proteins that can cause intolerance are cow’s milk protein and gluten
from wheat, rye, and barley. A modified elimination diet may just remove dairy and gluten and any other specific foods that may be craved or eaten a lot. 

After the Elimination Diet

After the three-week period, you’re likely to have experienced an improvement regarding your symptoms. After your elimination period, you can carefully and methodically add foods back into your diet one at a time to see which foods may be triggering symptoms.  If you’re interested in an elimination diet, please contact me and I can guide you through it.

2- Find a Reliable Food Sensitivity Blood Test

Eliminating your reactive foods are a catalyst to healing up leaky gut. It also simplifies your need for an elimination diet.  I could, and will someday soon, write an article on the science of food sensitivities, food allergies, and the testing options you have for them. For now, trust me when I advise you to find a practitioner that is well educated in food sensitivities and gluten sensitivities; not just general food allergies.  You’ll not only save money, and time, but you’ll see real results after eliminating these IgG reactive foods that pop up as positive.

3- Go 100% Clean Paleo

Yes, this whole article was in hopes of convincing you that Paleo may be the way to go:) Okay, maybe part time Paleo will do the trick for you, but you’ll have to test it out.  I fully advocate a Paleo diet to anyone who is willing to try to heal and improve their body and mind in any way.  By eliminating all potential allergens,  gut irritating foods, and over stimulating indulgences- the success of your efforts are simplified and increased by 10 fold!

When you try to eliminate one thing at a time, the results often take so long to experience, that those tend to fall weary of the “reintroduction weeks” and do not continue the self-testing/reintroduction protocol. If you’re not sure what a Paleo Diet is, please read here: https://www.tiffanydalton.net/paleo-101/

Try a 21 or 30 day Elimination challenge, whether it be Paleo or just the top 10 irritating foods I listed in the beginning. Committing yourself to identifying a food source that is contributing to your demise will be the best choice you’ve ever made for your long term health and happiness.

My 21-Day Cleanse: releasing on Jan 1st!

If you are looking to refresh and renew for the new year this all inclusive cleanse will do the trick!

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