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  • gluten free

    Just wanted to get thoughts on the occasional inclusion of gluten and/or grains in an otherwise clean diet. In other words, if someone has been grain/gluten free for three weeks, then eats a piece of bread, how much have they undone? How long does it take to rid the body of the effects of gluten? Setting aside individual tolerances (and everything else equal) how long after consuming gluten would you consider yourself to be gluten free?

  • #2
    I believe Dr Tom O'Bryan claims it takes between 3 - 6 months for someone with intolerance to stop making antibodies after gluten exposure. I've also heard statistics that gluten intolerants ingesting gluten remain at an elevated risk for death for about 6 months. I'm relying on my memory here, so this could be off. Sean Croxton interviewed Dr O'Bryan twice for Underground Wellness and covered this topic well.

    Some people heal faster than others. The last time I indulged in stupidity and ate wheat on purpose I developed Dermatitis Herpetiformis. Dumb of me--I deserved it. When I realized what I'd done I stopped the wheat and will *never* do it again. It only took a few weeks for it to go away, but I was also working in a panic to reduce inflammation and heal my body from my stupidity. For other people it can take over a year to get rid of the autoimmune problems and other glitches caused by gluten.

    To get over the addiction to gluteomorphins that some people experience can take more than a week. I've even read accounts of it taking a month before cravings finally stop.

    For a person living on a healthful diet and who has an intact gut lining and robust gut flora, I suspect everything goes back to a healthy norm much faster than for those who have spent years ingesting the SAD.

    The real answer is it depends, but I think a good approximation is 6 months.

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    • #3
      I have heard anywhere from 3 weeks to three months to undo the resulting impact of a single gluten exposure.

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      • #4
        Thanks liss! This is exactly the type of information I was looking for. Does the amount matter? In other words, using my previous example, if a person eats any amount of anything containing gluten they could potentially produce antibodies for 3 - 6 months?

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        • #5
          Dboxing, I don't know how it applies to non-celiacs, but it takes as small an amount as 1/8 of a teaspoon in celiacs, according to some studies.
          Most people don't realize how much energy it takes for me to pretend to be normal.

          If I wanted to listen to an asshole, I'd fart.

          Twibble's Twibbly Wibbly

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          • #6
            I recently learned gluten can stay in the system for up to 6 months.

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            • #7
              Dr O'Bryan claimed anything that's over 20 parts per million gluten could potentially trigger a response in someone who is sensitive. The amount can be tiny. He warned that it's not wise for such people to use shampoos or other cosmetics that contain gluten because inhaling it could be a problem. I cannot verify that his statements are accurate, so take them with however large a spoonful of salt you feel is appropriate. Whether you want to subscribe to this level of obsessive/strict gluten avoidance is up to you. If you're facing super ugly stuff in your immediate family (MS, rheumatoid arthritis, other life-destroying autoimmune disorder) you might want to strive for that level of perfection. If your situation is less dire, then less paranoia is probably a healthier path.

              Having said that, I do believe it's wise to err on the side of caution and avoid the stuff to the best of your ability.

              I strongly recommend checking out the Underground Wellness podcasts with Dr O'Bryan. If you have (or potentially have) Hashi's or other gluten-related thyroid issues, you might also learn much from Sean's interview with Dr K.

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              • #8
                I just got glutened and it F-ING BLOWS after you've been off it for enough time. You realize how horrifically tired it makes you. Granted, I am gluten intolerant, but not a celiac--it doesn't even cause horribly bad digestive issues for me, just skin issues (dermatitis herpetiformis) and this tiredness. I know it takes me around 2-7 days for the DH to stop itching and for the visible inflammation to die down, and I estimate the inflammation of my GI tract takes at least two weeks. And that's just what I can feel. Imagine the symptom-free damage that's going on down there! So I don't think there's any way to measure but if you're at risk for intolerance I would totally avoid it if I were you. There are so many people that are symptom-free and then don't realize they have any issues until it's discovered in blood work or an obligatory colonoscopy later...and sometimes it's too late!
                I don't own a scale and don't care to!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ilikesubtitles View Post
                  I just got glutened and it F-ING BLOWS after you've been off it for enough time. You realize how horrifically tired it makes you. Granted, I am gluten intolerant, but not a celiac--it doesn't even cause horribly bad digestive issues for me, just skin issues (dermatitis herpetiformis) and this tiredness. I know it takes me around 2-7 days for the DH to stop itching and for the visible inflammation to die down, and I estimate the inflammation of my GI tract takes at least two weeks. And that's just what I can feel. Imagine the symptom-free damage that's going on down there! So I don't think there's any way to measure but if you're at risk for intolerance I would totally avoid it if I were you. There are so many people that are symptom-free and then don't realize they have any issues until it's discovered in blood work or an obligatory colonoscopy later...and sometimes it's too late!
                  I don't know how sensitive I am to gluten. My issue is that I have joint pain and problems and I'm looking for the source. Disclaimer, I've put my body through hell. Football, track, boxing. However, I can't really trace the all joint issues to an acute event. In other words, I dislocated my left shoulder so many times that I had to have surgery, so I can see why it might hurt. But my right shoulder hurts also, and so do my elbows and wrists, and knees. And, I've lost all the "spring" in my knees. At least 6-8 inches off my vertical jump.

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                  • #10
                    I've been GF for about 2.5 years. My wrists stopped hurting when I cut out the rest of the grains and the sugar and started eating more fat.

                    Are you asking because you ate gluten, or are you asking because you want to?

                    Nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers) can also affect the joints.
                    Most people don't realize how much energy it takes for me to pretend to be normal.

                    If I wanted to listen to an asshole, I'd fart.

                    Twibble's Twibbly Wibbly

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Twibble View Post
                      I've been GF for about 2.5 years. My wrists stopped hurting when I cut out the rest of the grains and the sugar and started eating more fat.

                      Are you asking because you ate gluten, or are you asking because you want to?

                      Nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers) can also affect the joints.
                      I don't make gluten a regular part of my diet. My guess is, for social reasons or by mistake, I probably get a small amount a couple of times a month.

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                      • #12
                        A couple of times a month is definitely enough to keep the inflammatory reaction going. I'd try going two or three months without it and see if it helps. I'd suggest 6, but most people think that's insane for a trial.
                        Most people don't realize how much energy it takes for me to pretend to be normal.

                        If I wanted to listen to an asshole, I'd fart.

                        Twibble's Twibbly Wibbly

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                        • #13
                          Going off gluten fixed my joint pains and my asthma. Within days, seriously. The last niggling traces go if I stay grain free for a week or so.

                          If I eat gluten it takes about a week to get back to normal. But that just outward symptoms, I know there are other things going on, so I try my best to stay 100% gluten free since I know how badly it affects me.

                          I like this blog http://glutendoctors.blogspot.com/
                          Gluten intolerance and hypermobility syndrome http://www.cfids.org/pdf/joint-hypermobility-guide.pdf

                          Eat food. Mostly real. Enjoy life.

                          Health, energy, wellbeing, vitality, joy, LIFE! Health At Every Size

                          "Do not ask what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
                          Harold Whitman

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                          • #14
                            A someone who can't digest fruit at all, I've been trying to introduce some bread back into my diet. I was doing almost no carb for a while, and honestly, it sucked. I just didn't have the sustained energy.

                            You should look at sourdough bread and rye/pumpernickel. Fermenting of sourdough can greatly reduce the amount of gluten. Also, rye/pumpernickel are made with rye flour, not wheat. They're related, but contain much less gluten (almost none).

                            I've been experimenting with a piece or two every few days, and it's made a pretty big difference. try not to go above 75 grams. The only time my stomach got into trouble was when I lost control and went to town on a whole large pizza. Even then I thought it was the tomato sauce more than the dough that caused problems.

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                            • #15
                              When I feel like a slice of bread I try and limit myself to bread made with einkorn.

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