Q&A: How long should I be on a Gluten Free Diet before I know if it is helping?

Question by expedition: How long should I be on a Gluten Free Diet before I know if it is helping?
I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and was suggested that I try a gluten free diet to see if it will help. I’ve been on it for 4 weeks and was told to go at least 6 weeks on the diet. I haven’t seen any changes in how I feel. I’ve been told that I could try the diet for three months to see how I feel. I want to know if I should be seeing a change already or to go for a three month stretch.

Best answer:

Answer by tiggsy

Ok, couple of questions first.

How sure are you that you have completely eliminated gluten from your diet? Actually, the fact that you are wanting to come off it may be an indication that you are following it properly, but we are all different, so… How many take out meals have you had in the 4 weeks? Almost certainly, any take away meal will contain gluten in one form or another. Have you eaten any Chinese or Thai food? Did you spend the huge sum needed to buy gluten free soya sauce when you cooked it? Have you eaten any low fat yoghurts or seafood sticks? They contain gluten.

I’m sorry if I sound as if I’m nagging or anything, I’m just trying to point out the many ways you could be ingesting gluten without realising it. And there are others.

Now, if you are sure you have been gluten free for the past 4 weeks, and you are also sure that you see no difference in your energy levels, then most likely it isn’t doing anything for you. But before you go overboard and head off to the shops to buy in a load of bread, pastries, cakes and cookies, just try something like maybe a pot noodle, and see what your reaction is. Don’t forget the reaction may be delayed by up to 36 hours.

If there’s no reaction, then you might like to try dairy instead of gluten as your potential irritant.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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