Many of us suffer through years and years of feeling bad and never do anything about it. Lots of us think it's nothing serious and it's probably just normal to feel sick and tired. Maybe we just assume everyone feels this way.
But it's not true! We can and should feel good!
So if you are tired a lot, if you have difficulty mustering the energy to do the most mundane tasks, such as going to work, and have no motivation to do anything else at all, it might be your diet.
Also, if you have gastrointestinal problems, such as bloating, diarrhea, cramping, or constipation, you should know that's not normal. You might want to think about changing your diet.
In the most extreme cases, these symptoms can mean you have celiac disease. It wasn't too long ago that nobody had ever heard of celiac disease. But it's actually quite common.
Basically, celiac disease is an auto immune disorder that attacks the small intestine when gluten is present. Over time, the person can start losing weight, or show other nutritional problems, because they are unable to absorb the nutrients they need, despite eating. Many people have an intolerance to gluten but do not necessarily have celiac disease.
Sadly, gluten is one of those things that seems to be in everything we eat. Of course most of us know gluten is in wheat, but it's also hidden in things like some ketchup and some ice creams because gluten is often a common ingredient in food additives or fillers, things like like "modified food starch."
People who have celiac disease who have stopped eating gluten have experienced almost immediate relief! Many say they have started feeling great for the first time in their lives when going on a gluten-free diet. How wonderful!
The problem is, many people are walking around with celiac disease and don't know it. What's worse is a lot of doctors don't diagnose celiac disease because the symptoms are so vague. Doctors sometimes think the symptoms are the result of something else and mistreat the symptoms.
Furthermore, many people don't have full-blown celiac disease, but rather simply a lesser form of intolerance to gluten. These people would also feel much better by cutting out gluten.
The good news is, if you are feeling bad, all you have to do is experiment with cutting gluten out of your diet. It certainly can't hurt.
Another good thing about going gluten free is that it is a lot easier now than it used to be. It wasn't too long ago that you would have to go to specialty stores to find gluten free foods or order them online.
But now, haven't you noticed all the gluten free products at the grocery store? Many restaurants now even offer gluten free menus.
So the main thing about going gluten free is cutting out wheat. For those with celiac, that means also cutting out barley and rye.
So get in the habit of reading those labels. Some people say oats are also considered gluten, others say they're not.
There are lots and lots of yummy substitutions for gluten! The most common are corn, potatoes, rice, quinoa, almond flour, pure buckwheat and all kinds of beans and peas. Yum!
In addition to finding gluten free products at the store, there are lots of gluten free cookbooks on the market. You'd be surprised at the gluten-free international dishes and desserts you can make that aren't that hard at all.
One great idea is to cook up recipes on the weekend to eat for lunch and dinner the coming week. That way you won't be tempted to eat gluten-laden fast food....although some fast foods are gluten free.
So if you've noticed you feel sluggish and experience stomach discomfort, even acne in some cases, you may have a gluten intolerance. Try going without it and then see how you feel.