I was diagnosed with “Gluten Sensitivity or Intolerance ” after many years of just suffering through my symptoms. My symptoms weren’t the “typical” gluten intolerance” systems. Yes, I did have the bloating after eating but it wasn’t too bad. In fact, I just thought that it was normal. I did however suffer from chronic headaches. These headaches were always on the left side of my head and ranged from very aggravating to ”migraine-like” where I was confined in bed for a time.
The only reason I even thought about asking to be tested for gluten sensitivity was because I did some research on the web to try to figure out what was causing these headaches. I had been tested for everything else it seemed and the only other option was going on daily medication that “might” help. I did not want to take medication every day if I could help it. I thought that there must be something else…
So what is all this rambling about…you know your own body best. If you think that you might know what the problem is, listen to yourself and find a doctor that will listen to you and will order the tests.
So now I am trying to learn what to avoid. Yes, there is the more common sources of gluten like breads, pastas, cakes, pies, etc but more surprising to me are the more hidden sources of gluten. Now that I have (nearly) eliminated gluten from my diet, I am definitely more sensitive to recognizing the symptoms when I do eat any food with gluten.
I have found that when I plan out my meals and eat at home, I don’t have a problem eating gluten-free. The problem arises when is when I am in a rush, out of the house and have let myself get too hungry. Then I just grab what I can to calm the ravenous monster in my belly and then suffer later. Here are a few items that surprised me by containing gluten.
1. Meal Replacement Bars such as Clif Bars, Kashi Go-Lean, Power Bars, etc. Most of these contain some sort of gluten so you need to be sure to check the labels carefully for gluten.
2. Soy Sauce – I love sushi and wasn’t sure what was causing my head-aches after eating it. Here is the answer: soy sauce is made primarily from soybeans, but it also contains wheat. Opt for Tamari sauce instead – it tastes just like soy sauce, but it’s gluten-free!
3. Pickles – if they are made with malt vinegar then they are not gluten free.
4. Bottled Salad Dressings, Jarred sauces, jams, and gravies – always check the labels and its another reason that it is best to make your own.
5. Lipstick and Lip-balm - okay, this isn’t a food, but gluten can be used as a stabilizer in some cosmetic products. I haven’t found this to be a problem for me but it can be for some.
Celiac Central is a great resource for learning more about living gluten free whether you have celiac or not. I react badly to foods that contain gluten and do not want to develop full-blown celiac so I am trying to learn all that I can but I have a long way to go.
Now its your turn, what surprising foods have you found that contain gluten?