My gut feeling told me to avoid gluten and it was right!
Wondering why so many people claim they feel better after going gluten free? Actually it is not just a fashion diet to lose weight or to have a better skin. There is another very good reason to avoid gluten and it comes from our guts. Gluten is in fact present in a number of foods that have high FODMAPs, which are a specific type of carbohydrates – Fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosaccharides and Polyols – FODMAP´s, for short. Some of us poorly absorb and digest them, causing bloating, abdominal distress and other unpleasant symptoms. This is why avoiding gluten is also helping people to better cope with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and other gastrointestinal disorders. Researchers at the Australian Monash University made this breakthrough discovery in 2011. They have implemented the lowFODMAP diet that reduces the intake of these carbohydrates by avoiding certain types of foods like wheat, barley, rye, onions, garlic, apples, cow milk, to name a few. It is said to help out IBS sufferers and I am one of them.
After an acute gastroenteritis, I developed a condition called post-infectious IBS, which inhibited me from having a normal life, due mainly to huge weight and energy loss. My symptoms and complaints were quite similar to the ones from both coeliac disease and dairy intolerant patients, problem was I was not coeliac or lactose intolerant. I proposed my doctors to try a gluten and dairy free diet to see how I would feel. They agreed but with reserves as gluten sensitivity is still an unclear condition for many healthcare professionals. I am very glad to have followed my instincts, as after just a couple of days my health improved drastically! When a clearer diagnosis was presented, I then started following the lowFODMAP diet and am almost symptom free!
Going lowFODMAP can be as challenging as going gluten-free, even if we don´t have to worry about contamination, which is one of the biggest challenges of a person with coeliac disease. Nevertheless, we share the same problem and I am glad there is so much information and so many alternatives available for gluten intolerants and gluten sensitive people alike.