I was out at a farewell shindig on the weekend and got to hang out with a group of gorgeous folk that I don’t get to see much these days. As a rule I can expect one of a number of topics to come up fairly rapidly when I’m out and about. They are something like gluten, gut health, symptoms and food confessions (it’s hilarious the number of voluntary food confessions that roll my way – even a cameraman from the news confessed what he’d had for breakfast and why his diet wasn’t optimal).
Anyway I was talking with Emily. She’s a fashionable mum of two, intelligent, witty and refreshingly honest. She said to me that she had always thought those people who were anything ‘free’ were full of it…what a load of baloney…stop all the fussin’ would ya!
Until….the migraine mystery. So Emily had migraines (and we’re not talking pesky headaches that are slight scratches on your ability to have a joyous ‘jump through the fountain in your white pants’ day, we’re talking shut the blinds, gaffer tape the children, bring me the drugs kind of migraines). They were cyclic so you can imagine how much she looked forward to that time of the month.
Emily had been to many doctors and even specialists. She’d been put on really hardcore drugs (she told me the names but they might as well have been Swahili) that wiped her out. She decided, given that things really couldn’t get any worse, that she would knock out gluten and see what happened. Three days later (that’s right ladies, three teeny tiny days) and her headaches were gone. Gone! And her migraines were gone. And I reckon she would have wanted to jump through fountains in white pants because for the first time in much of her adult life she wasn’t plagued with mind crushing pain.
Three times since this great mystery was solved Emily has accidentally had gluten. Within hours her headache appears and you know what follows…
Something that I want to tell everyone again and again and possibly again is that 7/10 gluten symptoms are outside the gut. Stop looking for only tummy problems like bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhoea and instead keep your eyes peeled for skin problems (hello eczema and psoriasis), joint problems (arthritis), memory probs, moodiness, headaches, brain fog, cognition, depression, anxiety, chicken skin, infertility, delayed puberty, peripheral neuropathy and so much more.
I’m not saying that every single person needs to eliminate gluten (although if I didn’t think the judgement would be so harsh and that I’d come across as dogmatic I probably would say that) but if you identify with any of the above symptoms, perhaps ditching the sticky protein is worth a shot.
Good on you Emily – so happy that you’re feeling so awesome.
If you have your own story or know someone who saw an amazing change in their health by changing how they eat, I’d love to hear about it.