I received a newsletter from Sophie’s IBS Tales where she discusses how some IBS patients have had success treating their IBS by switching to a wheat-free diet. Some patients have completely eliminated gluten from their diets while others have just cut out wheat. Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley and oats. One of the patients said that she had been tested for Celiac Disease, which is where the body cannot tolerate gluten, but she did not test positive. Even so, she cut gluten out of her diet completely and is having remarkable results.
I was somewhat startled as I was reading some of the symptoms these IBS patients suffered from before going wheat free – one of them was chronic headaches, which is something I have 24 hours a day and can’t seem to get rid of. One of the patients also states that she had suffered from skin problems, particularly Rosacea, before cutting wheat and gluten out of her diet and this is also something that I have.
I remember a couple of years ago when I was going to the Fibro and Fatigue Centers they did a LEAP test to determine what foods my body was allergic to. Wheat was one of the foods that my blood had a high reaction to.
I do have a lot of IBS problems and I’m starting to think maybe I should give this wheat-free diet a try. I should have tried it a long time ago but the thought of giving up bread, pasta, cereals, etc. is not something that will be easy for me. I love bread and bread products.
Here is what one IBS patient had to say on IBS Tales:
I have had trouble with chronic diarrhea and trouble gaining weight all my life, as well as headaches. (Well, the trouble gaining weight went away as I aged.) I even had trouble gaining weight when pregnant. I also had skin problems (rosacea, for one), energy highs and lows and low blood sugar. Also, lactose intolerance. Keep in mind that I am a health nut eating good, wholesome foods with lots of fiber, taking supplements and I am physically active.
As I entered my 50s I started having problems with what seemed to be rheumatoid arthritis (symmetrical pain in my hands and feet) and then leg cramps, but I tested negative for rheumatoid arthritis. My doctor really was little help. This summer my cousin told me she tested positive for celiac disease and that since it is hereditary I should look up the symptoms on the NIH website. (I had been told by my dermatologist that I should get tested as well.) I put off looking at the symptoms (not wanting to imagine avoiding gluten) and boy was I surprised to see all of my symptoms listed, including the symmetrical pains in my hands and feet, leg cramps and inability to gain weight in pregnancy.
Although I tested negative for celiac I went on a gluten-free diet anyway. What a difference! Normal bowel movements every single day, all the pain is gone, my energy level is consistent and I feel great. There are so many great gluten-free products in my grocery store that it is just a minor inconvenience, but well worth it. After six weeks I tried a bagel to see what response I would get and it wasn’t pretty. It has been about three months now and I feel wonderful. I have also noticed my waist has returned after disappearing when I turned 50.
Here is another patient’s story:
I have completely eliminated wheat from my diet for the last 10 months. During this time I have not had a single IBS episode and I have not suffered acid indigestion/GERD – conditions I had for many years. I find staying away from wheat to be very easy. I am not the least bit tempted by pasta, pastries, bread or anything else that I once thought that I could not live without. What is even more remarkable is that I have lost 15 pounds – 167 to 152 – in those 10 months. I don’t think that the weight loss was caused by calorie reduction alone; I still eat plenty of junk food like chocolate bars and corn chips, just no wheat.
My IBS condition seemed hopeless and depressed me terribly. It was not just the pain of the episodes but also the nagging fear that one would happen without warning. What a difference going wheat-free has made for me.
Have you switched to a wheat-free diet with positive results? Let us know your story!