Andrea B. from Long Island City, NY was also a winner.
Thanks to everyone who participated* in the Therapy Soup Gluten-Free Challenge and who entered the drawing to win one of two copies of The Antianxiety Food Solution by nutritionist Trudy Scott. Special thanks to Trudy Scott and her book publisher, New Harbinger.
We’d like to share just a few of the stories and comments some of you included in your entries.
From C.S. in Farmington Hills, MI: I tried a gluten-free diet for a month last year to test food allergies as I had been have trouble with nausea every time I ate. It did not completely eliminate the nausea (as a mold intolerance was partially to blame) but I noticed considerable changes in my mood and mental state. The first 2 weeks on the GF diet I felt about the same as I had. By the end of the third week, however, I noticed considerably less depression, this weird brain-fog I had disappeared, my thinking was much clearer, and my ADD symptoms also disappeared.
One other thing that was completely unexpected, I no longer wanted alcohol. I never considered myself having trouble with drinking as it had never affected anything important. But my normal Friday-night stop by the liquor store on the way home from work just disappeared. I didn’t notice until I was home eating dinner and I felt something was missing. Once I realized I didn’t have any liquor I just shrugged my shoulders and went with the flow. I didn’t drink that whole weekend.
All these neurological symptoms I never realized I had them or didn’t realized they were as bad as they were. I don’t know how I really functioned before. I’m not gluten-free right now but I did cut back. I’m strongly considering going gluten-free again as even a little seems to bring back many of the neurological symptoms that disappeared while on the GF diet.
From Kari in Denver, CO: I was diagnosed 6 years ago and was very hungry and bitter for the first two years. I lost f 40 pounds I didn’t know I had to lose, but I began to feel better and my spouse said I was in a better mood more often than not. I feel blessed to live in CO where being GF is very accepted and much easier to dine out than anywhere I’ve been since the diagnosis. Traveling can be a challenge, but I have learned to bring snacks and things to help when I get stuck eating just salads and grilled chicken.
From E.J. in Rocklin, CA: I was tested for gluten sensitivity and the results were negative. I just knew that couldn’t be right because I had too many of the symptoms such as bloating, nausea and abdominal pain.
In addition, I have several food allergies. I also have relatives with Celiac Disease, so I am familiar with the symptoms.
There were numerous days I didn’t eat anything because it felt like food was my enemy, slowly killing me, but not eating made the symptoms worse. It was very difficult to find any medical help because western medicine couldn’t ‘fix’ my symptoms with a pill.
Depressed and physically exhausted, I started researching on my own. I put myself on a gluten free diet. Slowly, I started feeling better. That was 8 years ago.
Everyday is still a challenge, however I have found things that work for me. Every morning I take a ginger capsule and every night I take a probiotic capsule. I am extremely careful with what I eat and have eliminated corn, corn products and sugars. I think the… link people are missing is the difference between the food people ate everyday 50 years ago and the junk eaten now is – chemicals & GMO. Pretty scary world we live in now. Even the food we need to sustain life is tainted, quite possibly forever. Sad
From Kristi, Somewhere Out West (no location requested): I had been largely wheat-free for several years when a practitioner suggested I go gluten-free. I was feeling okay–not great but good enough–and pretty happy with my diet and did not want to restrict it any further. (I was off of several other foods as well.) We did some testing and found I had moderate gluten sensitivity, so I grudgingly went off what I was still eating: oats, barley, kamut, some rye crackers, occasional spelt.
As I replaced my gluten-based bread products with gluten-free bread products, I noticed no difference at all to my digestion. And some of the G-F products, many of which had added starches, sugar, yeast, gums, etc. (things I hadn’t been eating), made me just as bloated if not more so. So I really noticed no benefit to my digestion/elimination from going gluten-free.
HOWEVER, about six months later I realized I wasn’t having the episodes of depression that I had been. And I remembered the last time I had a crying jag was after eating a bunch of gluten/white flour/sugar products several days in a row (at the holidays). So now I’m off gluten for my mental health and generally feeling better for it.
While this is mostly a good thing, I’ve gone through a period of having a lot of feelings of deprivation and “food fear.” I can manage okay on my own, but when I’m around people who are eating “regular” bread products, pastries, etc., I feel a sense of longing and just want to be able to eat what they do.
It activates an old story from my childhood of “I can’t have what I want” and feeling jealous of others who do have what I want. I’ve also become really paranoid about eating certain things because I’m afraid of how they MIGHT affect me.
It’s one thing to deal with a bloated stomach or indigestion, but when there’s a possibility that two or three days later my moods might get “highjacked,” that’s another thing entirely. To suddenly feel depressed or hopeless and not know why is crazy-making. I don’t know whether it’s a real feeling or one that was brought on by something I ate. And since I still don’t know all the foods that may be having a negative impact (it can be very inconsistent), I end up feeling very helpless.
Feeling stressed and in that victim state is not good for mental health either! In fact, I think that kind of worry and stress is worse for my physical and mental health than the “bad” food. So I’ve been trying to ease up on my restrictions, not worry so much, and just enjoy my food. This is definitely a work in progress.
I think so much of our health issues are aggravated–or even caused–by how we think and feel about things, because that impacts how we receive them into our bodies. If we eat something we’re afraid of, how can we possibly digest it? While I do think that there are many foods these days that are not really beneficial for human consumption, I also believe that having a good relationship with the food we eat–and with food in general–is critical and may be the key to our good health.
*Please note: We set up an automatic response to your entry-emails which apparently didn’t work properly. We then decided to reply to each individual entry, but there were too many, over 100! However, even if you didn’t hear from us, rest assured we did receive all entries that were emailed to us at goodtherapy at optonline dot net and the drawing was done randomly from these entries.
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Last reviewed: 10 Dec 2012