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Joint pain at wooden mannequin isolated on whiteAre you one of the millions suffering joint aches and pains that interfere in your life? Are you spending big bucks on pain meds, injections, ibuprofen, and other remedies to relieve that pain? Whether mild or excruciating, pain is your body warning you that something is wrong. What if your pain is being caused by what you’re eating?

As I recounted in the post “Goodbye Arthur” (now in the archives), I thought I had arthritis or that perhaps I was a candidate for a hip or knee replacement. Continuing exercise class was out of the question when even raising my arms became too painful. It was an effort to get in and out of the car as well as the bed. Thankfully, I had been keeping a food journal for a long time and I soon identified the “wrongdoer” — gluten, the protein found in wheat. I was tested for celiac disease, and to my relief, the test was negative; however I am gluten sensitive. There’s a wide range of symptoms associated with gluten, and joint pain is just one of them (brain fog is another).

9729249_sAll the goodies we love to eat, from mouth watering pastry to tempting pasta; from scrumptious cakes and fluffy croissants, to crunchy coating on chicken; if it’s made from wheat, rye or barley, it will cause much distress for those of us who can’t tolerate gluten. Many of those foods can now be purchased gluten-free but some are rated low in vitamins, minerals, fiber, texture and taste, and high in fat, cost and calories.

Unfortunately, gluten is often hidden in some brands of a surprising number of products and foods, such as beer and popcorn. For a better understanding of celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and wheat allergy, read the post “Tips–Gluten No-No’s” (in archives). There you’ll find information about other grains considered safe as well as those to avoid. Also included is a list of ingredients to watch out for.

?????Why not start your own food journal and then really pay attention to “body talk” to see which foods trigger your symptoms? Perhaps you’ll discover that the problems inflicting misery on your body are similar to symptoms of gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. But wait! Before switching to a gluten-free diet, discuss your findings with your doctor. If he or she decides to test you for celiac disease, in order to get an accurate diagnosis, gluten needs to be in your system, otherwise the test will show a false negative. However, even if you don’t have celiac disease, your symptoms could be due to gluten sensitivity, then you can eliminate gluten because it’s a problem for you.

(A recent article on health stated that 35% of adults search online to try to diagnose health conditions, and believe it or not, 41% of those who self-diagnose had their condition confirmed by a physician.)

Good luck!

Watch for a series of posts on “Gluten Tips” and a series on “Body Talk” revealing other health issues many of us are experiencing. Hopefully, you’ll be able to identify the culprit robbing your well-being.

Always check with your primary care doctor before making any major changes.

Related post: “No Wheat, No Weight? — Part 2”

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