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Gluten Free Whiplash

Going gluten free can be a saving grace for many. However; a common clinical manifestation called Gluten Whiplash occurs for many who do not go TRUE gluten free. The Gluten Whiplash Effect typically occurs 3-6 months after starting a gluten free diet. Let me explain. When one initially goes gluten free, a state of dietary distress and confusion sets in. Many limit their diets to an extreme because they are not quite sure what to eat. The typical gluten free diet learning curve takes 8-12 weeks. This is because one must spend enough time educating themselves about acceptable products, restaurants, etc. During this time, the body starts to heal and most people do very well noticing dramatic improvements in their health. Once the learning curve is conquered, people tend to gravitate toward the processed, packaged “gluten free” food items. People tend to get lazy and make the choice of convenience over health. BIG MISTAKE! This is where Gluten Whiplash tends to set in.

Let’s take a look at why:

  • Processed and packaged food is not healthy. One cannot expect to achieve or maintain good health eating unhealthy foods (I know, this should be a no brainer).
  • Many over the counter packaged foods contain cross contamination of gluten
  • Many “gluten free” products contain other types of grain based glutens that have been shown to cause similar damage in those with gluten sensitivity (learn more about this here).
  • Most processed “gluten free” products contain genetically modified grains, high amounts of sugar, preservatives, chemicals, and are devoid of any significant nutritional value.
I know that many of you reading this can relate. I have personally seen this phenomenon clinically in more than a thousand patients. If you happen to fit the profile above, or if you are just not responding to a classic gluten free diet, TRUE gluten free may be an answer to your prayers. We will be dissecting this topic more over the next several days, so stay tuned… In good health, Dr. Osborne

7 Responses

  1. This is great Peter. All really good points. I can relate to pretty much everything you said here. I know for me, I’m so tempted my gluten free baked goods at places like Whole Foods. It’s a like a playground. If you feel like you’ve had to sacrifice a lot by going gluten free, it’s easy to justify gluten free baked goods that have no nutritional value and are full of sugar and junk. Thanks for the great reminders!

  2. Nice article! I think it’s very important for folks to be on the lookout for pre-packaged foods that contain preservatives and other junk. It’s just like eating a gluten-filled diet, the more you can control and simplify what you eat, the healthier you will be and the better you will feel.

    I’ve heard that gluten free packaged foods contain (generally) more fat and sugar than gluten-filled packaged foods. Do you know anything about that?

  3. that story fits me to a “T” – Now I’m back (somewhat) to the diet I was on when I originally went gluten free – I wish I could be that scared to eat again. 🙂 That’s when i saw the best results. I call processed foods “playing russian roulet” – you don’t know what is gonna get you next!

  4. No because I went true gluten free from the start.. I don’t eat any grains no corn no rice no nothing. no processed foods no “gluten free” foods

  5. Definitely me. BUT, I’m becoming aware of other possible danger foods… like Xanthum gum. I’m convinced it affects me as badly as or worse than gluten!

  6. This is definately me! I was so scared to eat any food at the start that I noticed a dramatic difference in my body, my hair grew (and was shiny!) and my nails started to grow as well! For the past 6 months I have started feeling the same as i did before i was diagnosed! Tired, sleepy, moody, achy etc – but I do eat GF packaged goods! I guess I need to go back to the proper GF diet! Thanks for the reminder of how important it is to stay GF!

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