So for several years, I’ve noticed my body doesn’t particularly enjoy large amounts of wheat-based carbs. I don’t react well to blood sugar spikes, and I rarely eats bagels for this very reason. However, in the past few weeks, I’ve noticed a completely different reaction occurring in my body. Last week, I had a bowl of Lucky Charms cereal for breakfast. Every year, my office celebrates St. Patty’s day with Lucky Charms for breakfast and beers in the afternoon. I never eat sugary cereal, so I figured it would be okay to treat myself. Within about 15 minutes of eating the cereal, I felt dizzy and fatigued. I felt like I might fall asleep at my desk. I had trouble forming cohesive thoughts. It was NOT a normal feeling.
I mentioned these symptoms to a coworker, and she pointed me to an article from The Wall Street Journal on gluten intolerance. Evidently a new study conclusively proves that people who’ve tested negative for full-blown celiac disease can still have serious, ongoing issues with gluten intolerance. One woman even described the exact symptoms I was experiencing: dizziness, confusion, fatigue.
Some experts think as many as 1 in 20 Americans may have some form of it, but there is no test or defined set of symptoms. The most common are IBS-like stomach problems, headaches, fatigue, numbness and depression, but more than 100 symptoms have been loosely linked to gluten intake, which is why it has been so difficult to study. Peter Green, director of the Celiac Disease Center says that research into gluten sensitivity today is roughly where celiac disease was 30 years ago.
Last week I decided to drastically cut down on gluten as an experiment, and I began to feel a bit better. But on Wednesday, I received a large shipment of individually-wrapped Biscoff cookies I’d ordered a few weeks ago. I was planning to keep the cookies at my desk for a portion-controlled treat. I couldn’t resist having a few of the cookies, figuring I could likely tolerate small amounts of gluten. I didn’t feel the entire afternoon. Lesson learned!
So needless to say, I’m going to be pretty strict with my gluten intake for a few days, in addition to getting officially tested. Hopefully the stomach cramps will subside enough for me to resume 5K training. I haven’t run since Saturday, so I need to get back on track!