Recently, gluten-free has become the newest fad. Not completely sure who in the right mind would deprive themselves of such a great thing, but it's happening. It's happening for a variety of reasons, many may find themselves with a diagnosis of Celiac Disease, Gluten Sensitivity, or even a Gluten Allergy. Others on the other hand may just be jumping on the bandwagon and indulging in the newest health kick. If you are anything like myself you have been suffering from chronic pain for years, in my case suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) specifically. One day as hope was nowhere in sight and I was crippled by the excruciating pain I did some research and came to the conclusion that a gluten free diet may in fact be beneficial to me. With this being my last and only hope, I deprived myself of something that I though I never would, gluten.
As early as a few days I felt a difference in my overall well being: the pain, fatigue, brain fog, headaches, (the whole deal). In fact as the days went by I started forgetting how bad of pain I was ever in...making noticing a difference quite difficult unless given much thought. For three years, I was entirely gluten free, meaning no cross contamination and no cheat days; it was all or nothing. One day, due to my other dietary restrictions causing a limited assortment of foods for me to eat I decided to try to eat gluten again. Looking back, I don't know what I was thinking. I guess you can say I got so used to having such minimal pain that I forgot the huge difference gluten truly made. Not even a day passed and it was like day and night. The complaints about pain started, the constant desire to lay in bed and not move was crippling to my well being, the nightly prayers to not wake up the next morning made a reoccurrence. Overall, my health went down hill and pushed me into a relapse, full force Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) started attacking my body all over again.
So, why is it that gluten is so detrimental to a chronic pain patients health? To keep it simple, gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and some oats. Many have heard of a gluten intolerance: when one has gastrointestinal issues after eating gluten. For many, gluten can surpisingly cause all over pain. Studies have shown that many people had a sensitivity to gluten in which the body saw gluten as a foreign pathogen and released inflammation to fight it. An inflammatory response can be painful on it's own but even more painful is the widespread chronic inflammation that can occur over time from this type of gluten sensitivity.
I went from being in severe pain 24/7 to almost no pain at all with such an easy fix, if it worked for me it can work for you too. Going gluten free cannot hurt, although talking to your doctor and seeing a dietitian before making this decision is recommended to ensure you are getting the proper nutrients. If it has the potential to make a huge difference and your life a whole lot less painful, why not. So, what are you waiting for? Go clean out your pantry and go food shopping, have fun with it and here is to bettering your health!