eating with food allergies

Eating with Food Allergies: Be "One of Those People"

drwangenThis article, while directed at people with food allergies, is for everyone who has specific food requirements (not just those with life-threatening allergies), and for their friends, family, and co-workers. Whether your food choices reflect morals, religion, health concerns, or just taste, they are your choices and you should feel empowered to eat what is best for you.

How many times have I heard the words: “I don’t want to be one of those people”? A friend of mine just said that to me today. She has food allergies.

She really likes how she feels when she doesn’t eat her food allergens and she feels like crap when she does eat them. She is fairly committed to not eating them.

However…

She confided to me that when she was at someone else’s house recently she ate something that she knew she shouldn’t eat. And then what happened? She felt awful for the next few days. And the next words out of her mouth were, “Of course I had to eat it. I don’t want to be one of those people.” I said, “You mean one of those people who cares about their health enough not to sacrifice it?”

Hmmmm… That gave her cause to pause a bit.

Isn’t that exactly what you are doing when you decide to eat whatever is put in front of you? You are punishing yourself. And why do people punish themselves in this way?
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(image thanks to myglutenfreelife.org)

This article is about going gluten free without a test supporting a diagnosis. This represents a major shift in policy from the old “don’t go gluten free unless and until you have a biopsy-confirmed diagnosis of celiac disease” to “if you have digestive symptoms and have tried lots of other things, including testing, go ahead and try going gluten free”. 

This major shift is a very positive development and we hope that many more physicians communicate it to their patients. 

It is very important, when going gluten free, to not just replace foods you normally eat with gluten-free versions.  A review of your diet is very much appropriate.  Many gluten-free products have fewer nutrients than their fortified gluten versions – including many breads and baked products.  But shifting away from baked products and adding more vegetables, especially non-starchy ones, can provide a better nutrient mix than you were eating with gluten.

Finally, this article mentions that there can be several reasons why you would feel better off gluten that may be addressable without going gluten free.  Proper testing can really help in these circumstances. 

My clinic, (the IBS Treatment Center) has been a leader in this area for years.  It is great to see leading researchers adopt our position on going gluten free.  Let us know if we can help you improve your health.

Click here to read the article in its entirety from Boston.com.

Image thanks to myglutenfreelife.org