So back in December I took two weeks and completely removed gluten from my diet. I had been feeling somewhat peaky and was curious to see if I removed just one, obvious possibility from my diet, if I would feel any better.
Well, I made it to just barely under two weeks before slipping up. But I only slipped because the difference became fairly obvious within a few days. I lost water weight, lost some of my puffiness, perked up a fair bit in the afternoon, and stopped getting so cranky in the morning. Even my anxiety dissipated, which was the real reason I took on this experiment.
Freeing myself from anxiety and panic attacks was a wholly unexpected side effect of my first whole30. And because it was unexpected, I didn’t notice the correlation at first, just that hey, I hadn’t been convinced I had a brain tumor lately. Then the anxiety crept back as my diet lapsed, only to be banished again with my second whole30 iteration. Only then did I begin to suspect.
But it wasn’t until I started reading hints here and there in the paleo-sphere about a link between gut health and mental health did it finally click. Apparently, the gut is our second brain and you can find 95% of the body’s serotonin supply there. And, as anyone with any mental health issue knows, serotonin is a pretty big mental health player. So it’s no big leap that if gluten affects gut health, and gut health affects serotonin levels and therefore mental health, then gluten can fuck with your mental health. That’s vastly simplified, of course, and I’m sure there are other players in this picture, but it does begin to make sense to me.
So I may not be violently gluten intolerant, as I knew and expected, but I appear to certainly be gluten sensitive. Which means I can get away with eating a certain amount of pastries, but as soon as I become convinced the next time I go outside a blood clot is going to kill me, I should probably lay off the wheat.