Sunday, March 6, 2011

DAY 154 - Free: Not Just Gluten-free

This isn’t really too deep; I just want to say that while I have been gluten-free for 2+ years, there is a freedom that comes with being gluten-free that is more than a simple food choice.

While never having experienced symptoms that I could connect to my consumption of gluten (a class of proteins found primarily in wheat, rye and barley), I have had a lifetime of mild to moderate digestive tract problems. Only through the good fortune of having chosen a professional life as a doctor, have I been fortunate enough to learn that gluten sensitivity is both a common problem, and one that is often not recognized. 2+ years ago I finally ordered testing on myself and learned that I am gluten sensitive.

For those who are gluten sensitive, or have the more serious form, celiac disease, the advice of experts is that we eat no gluten whatsoever; none.

Over the last two years, and with some frequency, conversations with patients and others, have lead me to be told that is isn’t really possible to avoid gluten, living in our culture. I am also often told how bleak a gluten-free life would be. In most cases, the individual filling me in on his views, states them as though they were universal truths. Nowadays, after listening carefully, I state that I have been 100% gluten-free for more than 2 years, and explain that it has not been a major challenge in my life, that I continue to eat large amounts of delicious food, and that I am happy to be able to make this change which is predictably improving and protecting the quality of my life.

I like the fact that no single food owns me! I also like being free; free to be healthy!


  1. Congratulations Chris on what you've discovered and "thank you" for sharing this with all


  2. Thanks for sharing! I, too, am gluten-free (at least insofar as wheat...most whole grains contain a certain degree of gluten), and enjoy food very much. Kudos!

  3. Dr. O'Bryan,
    Thank you so much!
    Thank you for your work in teaching us all!
    Dr. Young

  4. You are so welcome, Jenn!
    And thank you for sharing your voice and experience.
    Dr. Young

  5. Could it be? A couple of years ago, during a food experiment, I was diagnosed with lupus after re-introducing wheat into my diet for a month. It took me awhile to figure out what was going on since I associated the intolerance with celiac and I didn't have those symptoms.
    I am now mostly wheat-free, and don't know if you would recognize me anymore. I lost 40 pounds since I last saw you in person.
    There are no markers of inflammation and they say I don't have lupus anymore.

  6. Chard Lady,
    YES is could be! In fact, it probably IS!
    Celiac does not have a specific nor limited set of symptoms. Gluten sensitivity can cause almost any kind of symptom.
    Your story is quite valuable and could be of enormous value to others.
    Thank you so much for sharing!!! Together, we are healed.
    Dr. Young