The story of gluten and I is one of unrequited love. I love foods containing gluten: cakes, pasta, bread… However, gluten doesn’t love me back. It always finds new ways to complicate our relationship. And so, I finally decided that it was time to part ways.
Gluten and bloating
For the first years of my IBS journey, I barely ate gluten. The internet (and my doctor) suggested I limit it to ease my IBS symptoms. While I never cut it out completely, I did watch my gluten intake. Although at this time, it mostly caused bloating for me.
Gluten and acne
Once I had started working from home, I, for some reason, started eating SO much gluten. Pasta was my meal of choice, I and ate it almost every single day. Around this time, I suddenly got pretty severe acne. Although I've never had perfect skin, it had never been this bad before.
I tried cutting out dairy, sugar, switching up my skincare routine… Nothing helped. Until I started analyzing the situation and realized that the acne might be related to my excessive gluten consumption.
As a result, I cut out gluten. And lo and behold, my acne went away!
Gluten, my only friend
I was then on a mostly gluten-free diet for about a year and it seemed to work well for me. Until I got pregnant. Morning sickness hit me hard during the first trimester, and food aversions ruled my day. At first, I ate only fruit. Then, nothing but white bread sounded good to me. And so, I got back on the gluten train.
While I was pregnant, we got along without a problem. I had almost no IBS symptoms during pregnancy anyway, and I didn’t get any bad acne from it, either.
But once my baby was born, gluten turned on me again.
Gluten, my worst enemy
After giving birth, my IBS was generally worse than before. And yet, I never thought to blame gluten for it. Until I ingested some bacteria and got really, really ill. Of course, I didn’t know that bacteria were the cause of my sickness, and so I went on the hunt for the trigger.
That’s when my father-in-law suggested that I might have a gluten intolerance. Indeed, while feeling sick, I relied heavily on carbs: rice, potatoes… and pasta, and bread. I started paying close attention to my symptoms and discovered that they were indeed worse after eating gluten.
Of course, it wasn’t the gluten that had made me sick (it must have been some not-so-fresh meat I ate - I ended up taking antibiotics and was fine after), but it definitely further irritated my digestive system. From there on, I decided that I would let gluten go.
Gluten and I aren’t made for each other
I’m not saying that all my digestive problems are due to gluten. I’m not even saying that it’s my worst trigger food. But I’ve learned over the years that it does nothing good for my body. And thus, we must part ways.
Do you have difficulties with setting boundaries and saying no?