Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

straight dope: how bad is gluten, really?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • straight dope: how bad is gluten, really?

    I'd like to hear people's thoughts on this topic with my perspective in mind. I'm a healthy 27 year old male with no history of major health problems. I've been pretty active my whole life and never overweight, possibly too skinny at points do to participation in weight class sports in college, though never emanciaded. I've been lifting since I was 15 so i've always had decent strength.

    I got a full blood panel done and everything was normal with the exception of my thyroid hormone being borderline high, possibly indicating an under active thyroid. I read Chris Kesser's hypothyroid series in which he advocates ditching any gluten entirely. One symptom I've dealt with which lines up with this is dry flaky skin, thought that might be an unfortunate permanent side effect of taking Accutane ten years ago. For all i know it could just be an outlier result and I don't actually have a problem. Maybe i just need to switch soap.

    I'm eating seaweed and brazil nuts regularly now to ensure adequate iodine/selenium, and if ditching occasional gluten means avoiding possible medication in the future I'll suck it up and do it. But, to be perfectly honest, I'm a big fan of the 80/20 rule, and I do enjoy a cold beer, some mac n cheese, and a burger with a sourdough bun from time to time. Especially on a workout day. I always figured it was fine since I've never had any adverse effects (that I've noticed) from eating occasional gluten stuff.

    I'm getting tested again in six months and i told my doc i want to try and get in normal range without meds if I can, which she was supportive of. She said the nuts/seaweed is a good idea, and that i should not eat soy (no rancid soybean oil mayo? Yea no problem), and that gluten elimination can possibly help or more likely make no difference.

    Anyone in a similar boat as me had experience with this issue? I could try and give it up totally for 1 month before my test, but I'd have no way to control for whether or not that actually made the difference.
    Last edited by primal pete; 01-29-2013, 06:05 PM.

  • #2
    Gluten can be quite bad if your trying to heal autoimmune, leaky gut, and lots of other disorders. How bad it is for you is really not something we can guess at. If your working to get things straight without ending up on meds then ditch it completely 100%. Count your 20% in other forms of cheats IMO.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
      Gluten can be quite bad if your trying to heal autoimmune, leaky gut, and lots of other disorders. How bad it is for you is really not something we can guess at. If your working to get things straight without ending up on meds then ditch it completely 100%. Count your 20% in other forms of cheats IMO.
      This...
      It's one of those things where sometimes you don't know until it bites you square in the azz.

      I got bitten, badly... twice.
      I have two chronic medical conditions because of it, and because when I was diagnosed with the first one 15 years ago no one had made the connection between that disease and autoimmune yet. That has only happened in that past 2 years which I found out when I was diagnosed with my second autoimmune connected disease.

      No, that won't happen to everybody, I'm not saying that at all... but you never can know who it will happen to.
      I never thought it would be me that's for sure. =/
      I didn't even think it was possible.
      “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
      ~Friedrich Nietzsche
      And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
        Gluten can be quite bad if your trying to heal autoimmune, leaky gut, and lots of other disorders. How bad it is for you is really not something we can guess at. If your working to get things straight without ending up on meds then ditch it completely 100%. Count your 20% in other forms of cheats IMO.
        Yeah, there's really no upside to it. Lots of us could probably "get away" with eating it but the risks outweigh the benefits by orders of magnitude. So basically +1 to the above.
        The Champagne of Beards

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
          Yeah, there's really no upside to it. Lots of us could probably "get away" with eating it but the risks outweigh the benefits by orders of magnitude. So basically +1 to the above.
          Well, I consider eating/drinking decent tasting food and making social situations easier to be a pretty big upside - one that I feel is typically understated in this community. I'll have to think about this some more, but I'm definitely going to try and abstain for at least a month before my next test and see if that makes a difference/allows me to feel better.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by primal pete View Post
            Well, I consider eating/drinking decent tasting food and making social situations easier to be a pretty big upside - one that I feel is typically understated in this community. I'll have to think about this some more, but I'm definitely going to try and abstain for at least a month before my next test and see if that makes a difference/allows me to feel better.
            Ultimately, you gotta live with the choices you make. Is pasta and bread the only "decent tasting" food? Are social situations that frequent in which avoiding gluten is so hard? I don't find either of those to be the case. But like I said, you gotta sleep in the bed you make, not me.
            The Champagne of Beards

            Comment


            • #7
              Of corse if you go to a paleo forum and ask if glutn is bad you will get the answer that it is unfit for human consumption. But the reality is that billions eat it daily, many of the longest living culture eat grains as a staple. People love and enjoy their breads and if you are one of those people with no major autoimmune disease then partaking in the occasional pasta dish or slice of pizza will have zero ill effects on you whatsoever.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hmm. I'm remembering just how much I liked gluten foods and how integrated they were into my life. It took some really stark consequences before I could motivate myself to give it up. I've often wondered if I could've done it prospectively, without such "encouragement". I say try to do it for a month and assess. At least then you'll have some indication of what it's doing for you. And if you go back to it, then wind up in more dire circumstances down the road, you'll have already shown yourself that it's possible to do without.
                6' 2" | Age: 42 | SW: 341 | CW: 198 | GW: 180?

                “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.”
                ― Søren Kierkegaard

                Comment


                • #9
                  The more I read, the more I become convinced that gluten is a common denominator of many, many autoimmune conditions and many other diseases that we think of as genetic. Often the conditions don't erupt until decades of exposure. I have never had issues with gluten. I will never include it in my diet again

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I completely cut out gluten; have since had a few mishaps which bring: sleep deprivation, allergies, sinus issues, fatigue and bloat. I honestly think they are poison and completely not necessary. However, I understand I am more sensitive than most.

                    The ironic/sad part, I never would have been able to pinpoint these issues had I not cut them out completely.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I had a pretty bad case of hashimitos.

                      I ditched gluten and did some other remedies (homeopathy, herbs, etc) and cured it. I never had to take hormones...

                      Gluten is bad for me, but the rest of my family is totally fine with it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I eat gluten-containing items a couple times a month in social situations, and the only thing I notice when I do is that my nose gets stuffy for a few hours. I experience no other adverse effects (though I'm sure my gut begs to differ on a microscopic level). So, I don't think it's a huge deal for me, but I don't eat it 99% of the time simply because most primal food exclude grains.

                        Honestly, for me, it's less about avoiding gluten than it is about avoiding the carbs from bread/pasta/baked stuff. I prefer to get my carbs from sweet potatoes, veggies, and fruit. At this point, after four years of primal eating, wheat is just not a part of my usual diet. But a little bit of gluten here and there is no biggie for me. I know gluten does terrible things to some people, but I'm not one of them.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you haven't already a great book to read is Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis. It gives a lot of reasons why to drop the frankenwheat that permeates our food source.

                          Amazon.com: Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health (3520700000720): William Davis: Books
                          JoreyTK
                          Low Carb since August 2010

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Stephanie View Post
                            I had a pretty bad case of hashimitos.

                            I ditched gluten and did some other remedies (homeopathy, herbs, etc) and cured it. I never had to take hormones...

                            Gluten is bad for me, but the rest of my family is totally fine with it.
                            Did you get diagnosed by a Doc? Chris Kesser's hypothyroid articles touch on this being a very under diagnosed problem, but I'm wary of claiming that I have an actual immune system problem until i get more tests done.

                            Thanks everyone from bringing up good points. I don't think I actually have social pressure to eat gluten stuff, maybe I'm just too lazy to cut it out or find alternatives. Maybe I should just suck it up and go for a month and reassess. At least gluten free beer actually exists.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The straight dope?

                              Gluten is a lot worse than it is made out to be in terms of the general population.

                              Gluten is not nearly as bad as it's made out to be in Primal/Paleo circles.

                              Gluten is a potent irritant. It is made to hurt your gut. Even if you are not gluten intolerant - and you probably aren't, at least to a moderately severe degree - it will still take its toll on you when it is a regular part of your diet. However, it is not an evil monster that will kill your pets, beat your children and sleep with your wife. If you are out somewhere and it's worth it to you, I say go for it. The fact that you're posing this question means you clearly are not super intolerant and it won't come back to haunt you once in a blue moon.

                              What do I consider "rare"? Probably no more than 1-2 gluten heavy meals a month. I don't mean a beer - there's hardly any gluten in beer, and what's there is fermented. I mean a bowl of pasta, a 10" cheesesteak, 4 slices of a large pizza...you know, a typical American wheat-heavy lunch. That being said, I haven't had a slice of pizza in 2 years, a bowl of wheat pasta in about a year and a cheesesteak since Fat Tuesday 2012 (and it was awful, I only ate it because I was on the road with my boss and he bought it for me, what was I supposed to do?). But that's because I truly don't crave bread products, so they're almost never worth it to me.

                              Choose your battles wisely.
                              Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X