Q&A: Why am I still having symptoms when I’ve stopped eating gluten?

Question by Kayla G: Why am I still having symptoms when I’ve stopped eating gluten?
I’ve been put on a gluten free dairy free diet for two months to see if I’m allergic to either of these things. I was tested for celiac but it came back negative. I’ve been on it now for a week and a half and I am still having terrible stomach cramps and diarrhea not half an hour after I’ve finished a meal? Is it not working or what? I don’t want to do all this work if its not even making me feel better.

Best answer:

Answer by Shauna

1. You aren’t gluten free enough. Some people have to be extremely careful about not simply gluten ingredients, but gluten cross-contamination as well. You may want to check out cross-contamination, potentially, and try avoiding that (for dairy, too). Also, if you are having minor irritation from either of these, sometimes it can cause pain every time you eat, because the food moves along your intestines and if they are irritated already, it simply hurts every time the food moves.

2. You could have something completely different. It could be a physical problem or it could be a separate food intolerance (pretty much ANY food intolerance or mild allergy will cause the same symptoms, I’m sorry to say. So you can be reacting to, well, any food you eat. Crummy, huh?). Most people I know who couldn’t figure it out at first did an elimination diet and a food journal. If you get sick every time, sometimes you have to drop a LOT of foods before you start to feel better, and then you start adding foods back in and see when you react.

The GAPS and SCD diets are often used by people who are having troubles like this, and I know of many who have been helped by these a lot. Usually because they figured out what foods they were reacting to, if they kept track of symptoms and what they ate. It also involves probiotics and other things to help heal a damaged gut (with these two diets) so that can help, too.

I had similar problems, where I was ill and we couldn’t figure out the connection because just eliminating one or two foods didn’t do it. It ended up being gluten AND dairy…and soy and eggs and five more foods on top of that! But getting rid of them all, I feel so much better it’s kind of unbelievable. Not only is there no gut pain, but suddenly insomnia is gone, exhaustion is gone, frustration tolerance is WAY up, and even memory and concentration improved! It’s seriously worth it, if you can find out what’s going on.

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