Many years ago, back when I was a single man trying to cope with the dating circuit, I met a woman. we flirted, and danced around the idea of going out with one another. In the course of our friendship, I discovered she had a problem: she was gluten intolerant. I was a well educated man of the world. I knew what was going on there. I’d seen the shelves of free-from food in the supermarket. It was clear… she was a faddy hypochondriac.
Its ironic. A decade later, and a decade older I had begun to notice my head feeling fuzzy and less clear. I put that down to age. I didn’t know when ageing hit – thirty sounded about right. Then I began to have more and more medical problems, mainly related to my gut. I won’t go into all the details, but doctors were having trouble figuring out what was wrong with me – so much so that they took to sending each other sarcastic notes.
Then one doctor asked me something – almost as an aside – have I considered that I might be gluten intolerant.
I had nothing to lose – I thought I might as well give it a go.
Within a day or two, I felt much much better.
I’ve been tested. I don’t show up as having coeliac disease. But I am clearly gluten sensitive. Everyone has noticed the change, and my symptoms are gone.
Gluten intolerance is an immune reaction to the protein gluten. Gluten is evolutionarily speaking, a very recent addition to the human diet. And many people just aren’t able to cope with it. It has a wide range of symptoms (my doctor went through checking for everything except lupus… and only because he knows its never lupus). Its normal. Its common. And its easy to deal with, once you know you’ve got it.
You just have to avoid eating any gluten.
And hope your friends are more sympathetic than I was a decade ago.