I have been gluten-free for 11 years.
It was something that wasn't super hard for me to do (although I STILL miss a good pizza crust!), because I have a son with food allergies, so I was used to reading labels on everything and continuously researching. This just added another food to our household that we would start to eliminate. I started to feel better almost immediately after going gluten-free- so it was worth the extra work- and saying goodbye to that chewy pizza crust!
So....what is gluten anyway?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. There are two types of gluten-sensitive people: those with Celiac Disease (CD) and those with Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS). According to celiac.com, "Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS) is a syndrome that occurs in individuals who do not have celiac disease or wheat allergy, but experience symptoms similar to those with celiac disease after consuming gluten."
Our wheat in the United States is not what it used to be, it is not your grandma's wheat! If it is not organic, chances are it could have been sprayed with Roundup (glyphosate) which is a known carcinogen- and I don't think that anyone wants that in their bodies. It also can contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which have been linked to a number of health problems.
When I think about foods, I look at if they are calming (alkalizing) or stressful for the body. Foods that contain gluten can create inflammation in the body, among other things. And guess what...inflammation is at the route of most diseases.
There are a lot of people that are now gluten-free, and there are a lot of opinions on why someone should or shouldn't be gluten-free. I am not gonna debate ya on that! I am merely sharing my story and why I am gluten-free, and why it has helped me.
I stopped eating gluten because I have an autoimmune disease- and I was having a terrible time with inflammation. People who knew me long ago can't believe that I have run 2 marathons! I used to have severe, debilitating back pain. I also had terrible stomach issues all of the time from gluten. I was always bloated, had gas, and felt sick after eating. I would get terrible migraines and sinus infections. l was on several medications for pain, migraines, sinus infections, inflammation, and anxiety. After going gluten-free- all of those symptoms went away (including all the prescriptions!)
It was a pretty easy decision for me to make to go gluten-free because I felt so much better when I did not eat it- and I have not had it in over 11 years. I felt better- so that is enough for me! If you are thinking about going gluten-free or have been wanting to try it- I would encourage you to do your own research, talk to your doctor and see if it is something that could potentially help you feel better.
There are a lot of resources out there now for people who are gluten-free. There are also a lot of products that are now available that make it easier to be gluten-free. When I first started out 11 years ago, there weren't nearly as many options.
Here is one book that I found interesting about the effects of gluten. I also have put together a few fee summer GF recipes that you can check out here.
If you have any questions about going gluten-free or about my experience, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me. I would be happy to chat with you about it!