Going gluten free has made me even more defensive than usual.
Why? Well, there’s all sorts of debate about this whole gluten thing. Most people will agree with the fact that there’s a percentage of the population who has a major problem with gluten. These people cannot eat the stuff without getting really sick. They have celiac. Since it’s diagnosable and has an official name, most people are OK with acknowledging that it exists.
Where you start to lose some of the believers is when you talk about gluten intolerance. This is not something very official. A lot of people have self-diagnosed themselves as having an issue. Other people (like me) have had medical professionals tell them that they “probably have an intolerance and should avoid it” or that their antibody levels are off and their celiac results may be a false negative. A colon biopsy can give you a definitive answer but… that means you need to go and get your colon biopsied. Uh, no thank you.
Here’s what I know.
If we’re out at a restaurant or something and I eat gluten by accident (say forgetting that sometimes flour is used to help bind meatballs), I’m bloated like I’m six months pregnant before we even get in the driveway. I feel sick and lethargic and I don’t want to talk to anyone. Sometimes my stomach aches and burns and twists so that the only thing I can do is curl up in a fetal position and sleep. After a few hours, I start to feel better but it can take days for the bloating and the overall feeling of grossness to leave me.
Call it whatever you’d like, but it happens when I eat foods containing gluten. That means I’d rather avoid the stuff so that I can function like a normal human.