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Thread: straight dope: how bad is gluten, really? page

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    primal pete's Avatar
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    straight dope: how bad is gluten, really?

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    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 at 05:05 PM.

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    Neckhammer's Avatar
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    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.

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    Quote 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.


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    RichMahogany's Avatar
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    Quote 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.

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    primal pete's Avatar
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    Quote 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.

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    RichMahogany's Avatar
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    Quote 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.

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    Zach's Avatar
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    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.

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    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.
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    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

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    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.

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