Sunday, March 6, 2011
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!