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Going Gluten Free!
(The below piece has been written by our guest author Rashmi. Its her personal account of how Gluten Free diet has helped her with her Fibromyalgia)
I avoid gluten – though I do not have Celiac disease. Why do I do that? Well – definitely not because it is currently fashionable to do so – I do it on medical advice. I am a Fibromyalgia veteran of over two decades. Unfortunately, it is one of those conditions that need to be managed and cannot be cured. I met a Rheumatologist for the condition and one of the first things she asked me to do was to avoid Gluten.
Dr. Humeira Badsha, one of Dubai’s leading Rheumatologists is an advocate of gluten free eating to manage auto immune conditions like Arthritis, Lupus, Fibromyalgia etc. She says “ I have seen an improvement in most of my patients who have gone gluten free. There is a definite link between gluten and Arthritis”.
This was a revelation to me. I loved my phulkas, parathas, puris, breads.. well you get the gist! My mind rebelled at the idea of avoiding all the delicious food. At the same time, a small inner voice piped up – reminding me of Dr. Badsha’s words. I discussed this with a friend and decided to give gluten up as an experiment. My son wisely suggested that I put a time limit on it – so I decided to try it for 3 months.
That was 3 years ago! The effects were so spectacular that I couldn’t find a reason to go back to eating gluten. My stomach felt lighter – no signs of Irritable Bowel Syndrome that used to be the bane of my life; my burping marathons disappeared, skin cleared up, inflammation levels came down a bit..
I do have my cheat days when I sneak in hot phulkas with baingan bharta or yummy homemade alu parathas with butter.. but they are few and far between. It was very tough initially – but with time – it became easier and the cravings are gone!
As always, when I started the process, I turned to Dr. Google for help. I read copious amounts about the good, bad and the ugly of gluten. I learnt to appreciate the distinctions between gluten allergy and gluten intolerance. I read stories of people who have to avoid gluten at all costs if they have to stay alive! I also read stories where people were following the diet as it was made fashionable by Hollywood celebrities. I spoke to doctors and nutritionists to get their view on the topic. I struggled with the to be or not to be questions ! “ Should I make my whole family gluten free?” ( No – I didn’t !); “ What will I do when I travel? Being a vegetarian is tough enough!” ( It is not difficult. I managed a Switzerland holiday); “ Does this mean that I stop eating out at all?” ( No – I was surprised at the choices offered )
Luckily – you don’t have to read through so much stuff! Stay with me for a series of articles that would hopefully demystify gluten and help you decide!