This post is such a long time coming. I've posted lots of gluten-free recipes and I've mentioned being largely GF here on Plums in the Icebox, but I haven't really ever addressed it. I kind of didn't want to make the GF thing a big deal, because I don't want this to become a "gluten-free" cooking blog, and I don't want to alienate people from reading here. But the truth is that yeah, I have a problem with gluten.
About 4 years ago, I started having terrible digestive problems. I talked to my regular doctor about it and she didn't seem that concerned, so I kind of just dealt with the annoying and painful (it was gas and nausea, mainly) problem. After about a year or a year and a half, I got some significant testing done at the health center at the university where I was attending graduate school. My thyroid was fine, and I tested negative for celiac disease.
I got a referral to a gastroenterologist, who basically said eat probiotics and take Zantac after he took a 15 minute call from his insurance company while I sat on the examination table. I was so pissed off because of my treatment by that doctor, so I just dealt with the symptoms again for a few months, and then I went back and made an appointment with another gastroenterologist. This guy thought it was my gallbladder that was giving me trouble and I went through a whole bunch of gallbladder testing (including a two hour scan where I had to lay stock still under a sheet after drinking some weird sugar drink), but it turned out to be fine. He diagnosed with me IBS and sent me on my way.
During all of this, I did a lot of research on gluten intolerance and started buying GF products. I found that my digestive symptoms were alleviated when I didn't eat anything with wheat in it, so I thought I maybe had a mild gluten intolerance. I told the gastroenterologist and he said, well, if that works, keep on doing it.
So I have, for the past 2 years. Basically, I try to avoid gluten as much as possible; I'd say about 80% of the time. I eat GF bread and waffles, I only use rice or quinoa pasta, and I check labels to make sure all products I'm buying are GF. But I also find I can eat some gluten each day (say, a sandwich, or a few cookies) without feeling terrible. When I eat a lot of it (when I'm hungover or traveling), my symptoms come back with a vengeance. My symptoms also seem to depend a lot on the quality of the flour used...I ate tons of wheat products when I was Italy last summer, but had hardly any nausea, apparently because the flour there is less processed.
And although I don't plan on going completely gluten-free (At least not anytime soon. I need Cheez-Its and regular pie crust once in a while), I'm thankful to have found what works for me. The fact that awareness about gluten is growing is making it SO much easier to be (mostly) GF. Not to mention all the GF products now in regular grocery stores, and all the awesome GF food bloggers on the internet.
Have you had a similar experience with gluten or another food? I feel like gluten intolerance gets less attention than full-on celiac disease, so I'd love to talk about it with other people.