By Alane Palmer, ND, CNC
Everything changed for me around age 10. My health was, all of a sudden a challenge for me. It felt like my stomach was totally out of control and I did not know why. Now, you are talking way back in 1973 so gluten intolerance was not known about. Two things I remember occurred that year. First, we moved from one town to another ,and it did cause me a lot of stress. The second was that I had all my shots going into 5th grade which was the same year we moved. Something changed, something was triggered, but no one knew or understood what it was.
I spent my junior high, high school and college days always worried about my stomach. The littlest thing would set it off, and I would have agonizing loose stools and cramps for hours and hours. I remember going to my senior prom and starving myself the day before, and the day of the prom in fear I would be humiliated because of an upset stomach. I started to fear food, but I had no idea which food was making me sick. I ate a typical American food diet. Plenty of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on whole wheat or white bread, noodle casseroles, hot dogs, fries, pepperoni pizza, cookies, Hershey bars, etc.
I started working in the field of natural health in 1992. I was fascinated by using supplements instead of medications and how food can trigger symptoms in people. Around the year 2000 I met a doctor that finally had the answer for me. I saw her, and she diagnosed me with an autoimmune thyroid condition. Ok, but then she said, “you know, Alane, you really should be gluten free.” Just like the vast majority of my patients, I asked her WHY? I do not want to stop eating normally , why do I have to. Her answer made total sense to me. She said there is autoimmunity in my family and it gets carried down throughout the generations. I may be gone through my early childhood just fine and then IT happened. The stress of the move and the many vaccines I received that same year must have triggered and autoimmune issue in my body which causes e the body to act autoimmune whenever gluten is eaten. The truth about gluten for me is that every time I ate gluten, it triggered my immune system to attack my gut which caused the loose stools and cramps. It also caused pain and fatigue which I had not associated with gluten yet.
So, now I eat a 100% gluten free diet, and I try hard to keep the gluten free grains to a bare minimal. The truth is that many people have autoimmunity and they do not know it. And every time they enjoy a whole wheat sandwich, wheat pasta, a bagel etc they are triggering their immune system to attack . The symptoms may differ from person to person.
I asked my mom a few months ago that if she knew I had a gluten allergy would she have known what to do in the 1970s. The truth is she said , “you would have starved!” as back then there was very little information about gluten.
People that need to be gluten free have so many options! I enjoy quinoa pasta when I feel the pasta urge; I make Paleo pizza crust when I need pizza and have grown to love eating roasted veggies with a side of protein. I eat what I need to so I never go back to having those stomach pains and living in fear of food.
The truth about gluten is that there are too many people suffering needlessly with health challenges when all they may need to do is avoid the gluten protein in their diet. We can test you for a gluten allergy, autoimmunity, and teach you how to enjoy the gluten free lifestyle!
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Medical disclaimer: Nutritionally Yours is not a medical clinic. Testing cannot be used to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. All test results are to be used as educational materials and as a guide to help support your overall health and wellness. Always discuss health concerns with your medical doctor. We have a nutritionist, naturopath and a medical doctor on staff to help you feel your best.