Monday, November 7, 2011

Angry Intestines And Gluten?

So, my intestines have been unhappy lately. Not projectile-vomit/explosive diarrhea unhappy.

No, they've been "swell the abdomen up like a balloon" unhappy. So I started paying attention to what I eat before it happens.

It isn't onions (tho they do cause the odd problem). It isn't garlic, which is good--I think I'd die if I couldn't eat garlic anymore. It isn't processed cheese, or even cream cheese (one causes sticky teeth, the other a different set of problems...)

Nope, the thing that always seems to show up in the meal right before the hugely distended abdomen is wheat.

Which really sucks. I love wheat. Maybe I need to cut back for a while. Maybe I need to cut it out forever. I dunno. Right now it's mostly the sticky-out tummy that I'm noticing. Well, and the gas... But that doesn't mean there isn't more going on inside, too.

But... Without wheat (and other tasty gluten containing foods like seitan) what do I eat? My favorite cookies are made with wheat. And brownies and cake and bread. Totally bread.

Sure, maybe it's not gluten causing the problem (never get bloaty when I eat seitan, so...), but something about the wheat itself. Or maybe it's the combination with something else I'm cooking. I dunno.

I've been hoping it's something else for a while now. I don't want to give up the wonders of tasty baked goods. Sure, there are alternatives, but they almost all taste like crap. Oh, and they cost too much, too.

So what does it mean? It means I should be doing some kind of elimination diet. I should be cutting out everything with gluten in it, and seeing if the magic expando-stomach goes away. Then I should add foods back in until it comes back. More or less.

What will I really do? Probably keep nomming the bread, cake, cookies, and all that other fun stuff until something happens to make me. With my only noticeable problems being abdominal bloating and gas, it's just not worth it to cut back on things I love. 'Specially when it could just be an ongoing stomach bug. You know, like a parasite.

Now, if I end up seeing a doctor at some point and getting blood work that shows that I'm short on all the nutrients I know I'm eating, I'll change something. Until then, I'll just avoid tight shirts after stuffing my face with a pound of pasta. Which is probably a good idea anyway, huh?


  1. There are some seriously good cakes you can make with rice flour. I have an awesome lemon cake that is supposed to be made with rice flour even if you're not gluten intolerant. The New Laurel's Kitchen also has some oat cookie recipes that are terrific (again, they're *supposed* to be made with oats and dates etc.).

    One of my friends became gluten intolerant in her 30s and just feels so much happier and healthier avoiding most gluten. It eventually did get pretty bad for her-- a lot of the symptoms she was getting were similar to some kind of cancer, and after that scare (and some very unpleasant tests) she was happy to find out it was just gluten. She eats a LOT of Asian food now.

  2. I know it isn't as bad as I'm making it out to be (okay, so maybe the beer and whiskey thing could cause me long-term problems but...).

    I just... For the last however many years when people say "you don't eat meat?" and go off on their list of "do you eat"'s that are mostly still meat before asking "Well then, what can you eat" my answer was always bread. Lots and lots of bread. It's one of my most favoritest foods (I share more than just parents with my mother's dog, it turns out).

    Honestly, it kinda kicks my brain into scarcity mode. I know how to cook and eat without animals. That's easy. But how do I make my favorite stuff without wheat? I guess I'll be eating more asian food, too. I just like the odd pile of bread and pasta and good fresh pizza to go with it, ya know?

    Also--I'll check out the cookbook when I'm back in the states. Good thing I don't have a nut allergy, I'd be down to beans and rice.