Do you struggle with gluten intolerance or a minor wheat allergy? Sometimes, a minor diagnosis can be majorly frustrating, especially when your doctors disagree. My wheat allergy denial creeps up on me about once a month. After abiding by my gluten free diet for almost 30 days at a time, I become symptom free. And that’s when the devil on my shoulder starts to question whether wheat is really an issue.
My Wheat Allergy
My wheat allergy is not cut and dry. Luckily, I have do not have Celiac, nor do I have a high level allergy that causes distress (like my cilantro allergy.) My allergic to wheat is more subtle, with symptoms much like a gluten intolerance. At first, the doctors classified the allergy as a cross reaction to my severe grass allergy. After all, I have been eating wheat my entire life and luckily, I have been safe.
But I have also suffered from severe IBS for my entire life. Until the GI doctor recommended that I remove wheat from my diet.
Gluten Free Foods Helped
Following a wheat free diet would have been more difficult 5 or 10 years ago. Thankfully, however, the gluten free lifestyle has offered an added advantage to the wheat allergic: If the label says gluten free, then I can usually eat the product. (Yes, I always double check the labels.)
Once I began eating the gluten free foods, I noticed a substantial difference in my symptoms. The IBS symptoms decreased (no, they didn’t go away!) quite a bit. I noticed that my skin was less itchy, and my migraines were less frequent.
But yet, I still had doubts about my ability to process wheat. As I said to my husband, “I have been eating wheat my whole life.” And his reply was just as simple, “Yes, and you have been sick your whole life too.”
And becoming gluten free had extra benefits too. I was less tired, probably because I wasn’t spending all my excess energy on being sick. While on a wheat free diet, I was more energized, and I was more focused.
Doubt Creeps In
But then, about once a month, the doubt creeps back in, and I wonder if it’s possible that wheat can be the culprit. I drift back to my old ways, and I break up with my gluten free lifestyle. I have a sandwich, or a roll, or a cookie. And then, only 24 hours later, I am once again stuck in the house, unable to leave due to my debilitating symptoms. Eating wheat has had a serious toll on my body. The IBS has returned, the migraines have returned, and the dreaded foggy-headed feeling has returned.
So I Go Back to Gluten Free
And these are the days when I go back to my gluten free diet. I remind myself that sometimes it’s a struggle to stay on the wagon, and my fight against all things bread-like and cake-like will continue.
In the end, it’s the bad days that remind me how far I have come. It’s a reminder that my wheat allergy is real, even though I don’t always remember how uncomfortable a few bites can be. There are many other people like me, who are straddling that line between an allergy and gluten intolerance, who sometimes forget that we have some level of control over our own symptoms.
Being gluten free may have its struggles, but I am always grateful for the life that I have been given. I am grateful that my allergies have minor symptoms, and I pray for the day that there is a cure for life-threatening food allergies and Celiac Disease that affect so many.