After several months, I was still having some symptoms from my pre-gluten free lifestyle. “What’s up with this?” I found myself wondering. Then I got a bit angry, because my “cure” wasn’t curing. Please don’t misunderstand me. I was doing much, much better and felt incredibly well compared to how I felt before going on the gluten free diet. But I certainly wasn’t cured and still had unexpected bouts of bloating, joint aches and dashes to the rest room.
What I learned is that everyone gets well on the gluten free diet at different speeds. No two people are alike. Some people get well quickly while others can take many months. There are even documented cases where it took years, but don’t panic! Every member I’ve talked to at the Gluten Free Club got well within 6 months. It takes some patience and some persistence. You have to stick with your gluten free diet even when you continue to have some symptoms. It doesn’t mean the diet is failing to work. It means your body needs time to heal itself. How long that takes depends on a lot of factors.
• How long you’ve had gluten intolerance
• How much intestinal damage was done
• Your body’s normal rate of recovery
• Other conditions you might have affecting recovery
Speaking of other conditions – there are some people who have symptoms that never seem to go away or even worsen when they go on the gluten free diet. If you’re one of those people who continue to experience symptoms after months of adhering to the gluten free lifestyle, you might need to be tested for other health problems. It’s quite possible you have some other problem. For example, maybe you have lactose intolerance and don’t know it. Or you might have a pancreas that’s not working properly because you’re intestines are not producing enough hormones to tell the pancreas to work. The pancreas release enzymes used in digestion.
One lady who is a Gluten Free Club member had symptoms that wouldn’t go away no matter how carefully she stuck to the gluten free diet. It turns out her intestines had bacteria interfering with digestion because she had taken so many antacids! After a dose of antibiotics, her remaining symptoms disappeared.
Of course, it’s quite possible you’re still eating gluten and don’t know it. You should probably double check your makeup and vitamins and make sure they don’t have gluten in them. You should also recheck your gluten free pantry and reread all the labels on the food you regularly eat.
In other words, if your symptoms persist after a long time as determined by you, then don’t let the doctor keep telling you to allow even more time because you’re gluten intolerant. You should insist on some more tests for other problems instead of suffering in silence. And don’t forget to double check your gluten free lifestyle and make sure it’s really gluten free.
I want you to know that if you’re having continued symptoms, you shouldn’t get discouraged. It’s not an excuse to quit following the gluten free lifestyle. In fact, you need to make sure you’re strictly following it so you can rule out accidental gluten ingestion as a cause of your continued symptoms. Hopefully there’s nothing else wrong and your body just needs some more time. There’s an old saying that goes, “Good things happen to those who wait.” In this case, good things are healed to those who live gluten free.