Oh, hi. I’m Tianna, a mother and blogger on Babbling Panda and I’m a contributing author at
I have been “gluten intolerant” for over a year now. Although the official title given to my condition is gluten intolerant, my stomach is extremely sensitive and picky and I consider myself Celiac. According to my doctor, all of my health problems over the past few years could possibly be traced back to a gluten sensitivity all along. I felt sluggish, bloated, constantly tired and my stomach was often slightly upset after eating. At the time, we contributed it to being a new mom and eating too fast or over-eating at meals. Last June, my family went out for dinner and I contracted severe food poisoning that lasted over a week. I took medicine but symptoms persisted. I had to go back to my family doctor for a second diagnosis, which ended up being “severe gluten intolerance”. The food poisoning had stripped my gut’s lining and destroyed its villi.
The hope at the time was that my gut would heal itself if I avoided gluten. But after six months of avoiding gluten, nothing had changed and I began to see that this would be my new lifestyle. Whenever I tested myself by eating a little gluten my stomach was still extremely sensitive, and remains that way to this day. I knew I would have to avoid gluten, but there were things I didn’t think of and was never told that may link to being gluten free. Here are my top three.
Three things the doctor may not tell you when you become gluten free:
1. You may become lactose intolerant
I began to experience problems when I drank milk as well. All I could think was, “ANOTHER food allergy?!” One day, I was speaking with a girl that has been Celiac for ten years and happened to mention my new problem. She enlightened me that it is linked. Most of the sites I have looked up claim it is a temporary condition that will resolve itself, but for the past year and a half I can only stand the equivalent of two glasses of milk. I try to drink milk alternatives such as soy milk, avoid cheese whenever possible and dairy heavy desserts, such as pudding. The woman I was talking to has been Celiac for ten years and counting and still avoids milk products. The reason you will have to limit dairy is the protein in milk, casein, is very similar to the properties of gluten. Whether it is temporary or permanent, it is not a new allergy, but is, in fact, linked to your gluten intolerance.
2. Malt vinegars and certain caramel colourings may bother you
Watch labels for malt vinegar as one of the ingredients! I accidentally ate some when I ate chips with malt flavouring and paid for it for two days. The other one I mentioned, caramel colouring, is a very controversial topic on the web. I encourage you to google it and see what you find, but I can tell you that it bothers me.
3. Strawberries may bother you
Yes, strawberries. Sounds ridiculous, I know, since strawberries are a fruit. I was finding that strawberries were making my stomach hurt and I googled it, sure that I was being incredibly ridiculous. Turns out there is something to that. In fact, it’s in the name! STRAWberries….they are grown or dried on STRAW, WHEAT or OATS. As a result, there can be different levels of cross-contamination. Isn’t that sad? Next year I am going to grow my own in my balcony garden; not having strawberries is just plain wrong.
I hope that this helps you in your journey to becoming gluten free and healthy!! I wish I had known these things when I first became gluten-free.
Also, if you need a quick lunch idea that doesn’t include any of these ingredients, I have found a yummy alternative and posted it on my blog: Babbling Panda Sandwich Alternative.
Cheers and Happy eating.