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Grappling with gut feelings on going gluten free? | Jenna Verhoeven

Gluten. Going on a gluten free diet. Love it, hate it, Switzerland about it – either way, we all have an opinion.

One of the most common questions I hear in clinic is, ‘should I be cutting out gluten, should I go on a gluten free diet?’. My response, in conjunction with looking at all other body systems and their health history is, ‘how does it make you feel?’.

50 shades of gluten intolerance

These days there seems to be a ’50 shades of gluten intolerance’, a scale where most people sit. Please bear in mind, this is not referring to Coeliac. Coeliac, in my clinic, is a no ifs, ands, or buts; no gluten for you (said with “Soup Nazi” vigour).

Everyone else sits on the 50 shades scale ranging from; ‘I could eat a pizza, sandwich on a white loaf of bread with a side of pasta, and wash it down with a beer and not be bothered in the slightest’ to, ‘I’m not coeliac, but just looking at that fresh dinner roll makes me look 8 months pregnant’. In between there are those of us who, if we eat one sneaky slice of cake we’re okay, but if we then had a sandwich as well as cake, we get stuffed up sinuses and a touch of vertigo for a couple of days.

How does it make you feel?

So, I ask back to you, dear reader, ‘how does it make you feel?’ If you’re not bothered by it, keep doing what you’re doing. There’s no point removing something from your diet if your body seems happy with what’s going on. Going on a gluten free diet because it’s flavour of the month is like getting bangs when it really doesn’;t suit your face,

Do you get a bit bloated and gassy when you eat wheat? Then maybe it’s time we reassess your diet and symptoms and pinpoint what’s going on. If you have an inflammatory disease within your body, such as Hashimoto’s or Grave’s disease perhaps you should chat with your primary health care physician, or Naturopath, to assess whether going gluten free may help with reducing inflammation. Folks, if after eating gluten you are in pain, suffer fatigue, are losing weight or have difficult bowel habits; perhaps you should seek medical advice pronto.

What is your gut telling you?

It’s truly about knowing your body. Listen to what it’s telling you. Be receptive of the messages it’s sending you. Don’t subscribe to something because Dr Oz or ACA has suggested it; follow health habits that work for you.

Don’t be ashamed if you ask for ‘no toast’ when out for Sunday brunch, or if you check that the gravy on steak is gluten free. Equally important, don’t be ashamed to eat gluten proudly if it does your body no harm. You don’t owe any one any explanations, just be your glorious gluten-free or gluten-y self!

Want to bust your bread bloat?

Throughout the rest of this month I will be dropping blogs on gluten free diet alternatives. Make sure you’re signed up to the newsletter or follow my Instagram feed to get updates as they drop.

Not sure if the bloat you get is gluten intolerance? Been struggling with unexplained fatigue for months with no real cause? Maybe it’s time we have a chat, let’s connect! Book your Naturopathic appointment here. Have a burning bloaty question? Get in touch.


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