So I ran a little experiment the other day. It was during my chocolate addiction week and I figured I could get away with it, since the huge amounts of chocolate didn’t seem to have any immediate consequences… Little did I know!
To tell this story, I must however begin with how it all started. About nine months ago, I went into a gluten-free shop, actually looking for some more interesting grains to add to my home-made muesli. Upon talking to the shop owner, she suggested that I displayed many of the symptoms of someone who was gluten intolerant. I didn’t really want to believe it or acknowledge it but a part of me also felt compelled to research the whole idea of gluten intolerance. I did and I was shocked to discover the close connection between gluten intolerance and Endometriosis. You can watch the video on my thoughts way back then…
So it took me a good few months to finally decide to experiment on whether or not I was gluten intolerant. I ate no gluten for two weeks and then had a big bowl of pasta. The reaction was immediate. I got bloated, got a headache and just felt tired. It was decided. I was gluten intolerant! Now I had the laborious task of trying to eat gluten free, when my diet had so many yummy gluten-filled foods in it!
Well, it has been nine months and I have been 98% gluten free. I account for 2% for some sauces and little bits and pieces within what we ate that contained gluten.
I must tell you that the results have been amazing!
One of the main things that has happened is that I have lost that bloaty, spodgy look, you know what I mean, the plump-but-not-fat look? The most impressive thing that I have lost is the little stomach I used to always have. I mean this is huge! I had honestly tried so many things to get rid of it for years; I even bought the Ab Circle Pro! Nothing worked and I just landed up buying shirts to cover my slightly podgy stomach. I just took it as part of my body or part of having Endo.
I also lost heaps of weight, probably because I couldn’t eat biscuits anymore! I also have better digestion and don’t get as tired as easily!
Little did I know, it was the gluten all along!
So, getting back to my story about the chocolate cake. James and I went out for a nice dinner and I ordered a salad, which unfortunately wasn’t quite enough, so I thought I would treat myself and have some dessert, something I have honestly not had in months! Normally I opt for lemon sorbet. So I ordered a piece of chocolate cake for us to share. It was honestly so delicious! It was moist and tasty and rich and sweet and well… I won’t go on too much because some of you are just starting out on the gluten free thing and I don’t want to make it too hard! I really thought it would be okay and that I would maybe feel a little bloated but that I could overcome it.
Well, about thirty minutes later, I honestly felt like absolute crap! Best word to describe it! My stomach swelled up and I looked like I was pregnant! I got this instant feeling like I needed to go to the toilet. Off I went to the toilet but the bloating and full feeling didn’t go away… it only got worse!
I went home and tried everything I could think of—ginger tea, chamomile tea, omega 3 oil and eating dates to encourage movement! Nothing worked. I was bloated, tired, irritated and sore. So sore! I had forgotten what sore felt like… and this was a loud and expressive SORE! Swelling, pulsing and that overly bloated feeling all came back to me!
I really didn’t think I would have such a severe reaction or I wouldn’t have had the cake! It was not worth all this pain!
It took me two whole days to recover from this one piece of cake and I will never doubt the connection between gluten and endometriosis ever again! The two simply don’t mix well!
I know we are not all gluten intolerant but it has been proven that women with Endometriosis are more likely to experience these effects as we suffer from poor digestion.
You can get a blood test to assess if you are gluten intolerant or you can do what I did and follow the two week test; don’t eat it for two weeks and then add a whole heap and test your results. That means: no barley, oats, flour (unless it states gluten free) and avoid soy sauce and sweets (many are made with wheat flour).
I know it is hard initially and there are many things to tempt us. Biscuits at work were the hardest for me! Thing is, the results I have experienced have been amazing! Unbelievable, in fact! I will never go back to gluten—that piece of chocolate cake proved how important sticking to gluten free for Endo is.
What is your experience with gluten and endo? Do you recognise the response in your body? Does it affect you? Love to hear your thoughts!