Gluten Sensitivity: Symptoms and Necessary Dietary Changes
I’m trying something new in terms of diet. This doesn’t mean I’m going on a diet, per se, but that I want to change my eating habits so I feel better... Allow me to explain.
For some time now, I’ve noticed an extremely uncomfortable feeling in my stomach after I eat certain foods. These foods include, but are not limited to:
- Frozen pizzas
- Potato chips
- Fast food
- Anything deep fried
- Refried beans
The discomfort I mentioned relates mostly to bloating and gas, although this doesn't quite seem accurate, because these words do nothing to describe the real symptoms. By bloating, I mean severe abdominal pain and swelling, the kind that makes me feel like my stomach is protruding several inches further than normal. It’s an intense feeling, like marbles are rolling around in my gut, and nothing I do provides relief. On these nights, I end up having to go to bed early and force myself to sleep. When I wake in the morning, that terrible feeling is usually gone, although sometimes it’s so bad that it lasts several days.
These symptoms are so intense that I’ve begun to wonder if I have a gluten intolerance. According to Natural News, symptoms of this condition include:
- Gastrointestinal, stomach, and digestive problems, including bloating, abdominal cramping, and constipation
- Headaches and/or migraines
- Chronic irritability and sudden, irrational mood shifts
- Neurological issues, such as dizziness, difficulty balancing, and peripheral neuropathy
These symptoms have struck a chord with me because I can say I have experienced all of them, except fibromyalgia and neurological issues. Lately, I take three aspirin every day to deal with my headaches, I have unexplained moodiness, and I am tired after every meal. It’s gotten to the point where I try to only eat in the evenings because I need to stay alert throughout the day for work. As for stomach issues, mine seem to be endless. Sometimes the bloating is so bad that my blue jeans don’t fit.
I Feel a Change Coming On
Before I get carried away here and diagnose myself with celiac disease, I need to state my point: I want to change my eating habits to prevent further bouts of these symptoms, which seem to resemble gluten sensitivity. I wish I had the words to explain how poorly I feel after I eat. Right now, the most critical issue at-hand is not whether or not I have a gluten intolerance, but what I can do to make myself feel better without starving to death.
So, the solution is to change what I eat. Instead of convenience foods, I want to opt for easy-to-digest items like yogurt, fruits, and vegetables. I’m pretty sure breads are out of the question, and I know deep fried and fast foods are off the table. In place of French fries, I need salads and/or apple sauce, while nuts and seeds can replace the potato chips I so love.
I won’t diet to lose weight, which is absolutely ridiculous. My hope, however, is that by changing the way I think about healthy eating, I will stick to a regimen that doesn’t rip apart my stomach. The symptoms I often experience should be enough to change my attitude toward food. I hope this is true, and that I can find a way to eat in a way that benefits my body rather than hurts it.