Friday, 13 May 2016

Wheat free diet from now on?

For years I have put up with heart burn and gastric reflux, generally either ignored or treated with antacids. This has made it uncomfortable to lie down after eating, which is why I don't like to eat late at night and some days I just get through by drinking lots of water and hoping to flush out whatever it is. Lots of water does help as does "going to the toilet".
I was diagnosed in my late teens as having a duodenal Ulcer and a weak sphincter muscles that stops food going back up the Esophagus after eating. After treating the ulcer, which in those days was not actually treatable, I was told to modify my diet and to "live with it."
When talking to Doctors about continuing heartburn in later years I was told to keep off booze, coffee and fatty foods. Never once was wheat, gluten or wheat products mentioned. I never really pushed for answers or solutions.
More recently I had a lunch with a long term friend and he mentioned that he also had regular heartburn. Like me he had been told to drink less, eat less rich foods and eat less. We commiserated with each other and moved onto other subjects. But this raised the priority in my subconsciousness.
Over the next few weeks I seemed to be bombarded with information and messages about gluten, proteins in wheat flour and people suffering from allergies. It began to make me wonder if I was mildly allergic to either gluten or the wheat proteins. So recently I took myself off food that I knew contained wheat or might contain wheat. No breads, no pasta, no cakes and no dry biscuits. No burgers, no Pizza, no sausage rolls, no toasties no battered anything.
At this stage I can say that after 2 weeks I have only had one instance of acidity, that was mild and could be attributed to a bite of Garlic Bread that I started to eat without thinking.One incidence of feeling bloated that could be attributed to too much food or too much fat.
My self diagnosis is not truly scientific in many ways, I have not kept a food diary, I have not noted details of symptoms, I have not had any blood tests or medical input. But I can say that my "movements" have been more solid, but that could be attributed to a course of antibiotics for a dental procedure also incidentally cleaning out my gut bacteria. I have not suffered heartburn. I have not suffered from discomfort when lying down.
The way to test this is to go and eat some bread. To be honest though it is so nice to be heartburn free that I am reluctant to take this step.
I enjoy eating fresh bread or Vegemite on toast, or a toasted sandwich as a quick snack. Missing out on eating cakes or biscuits is not a big deal to me, although I do like to bake those when I have a chance. Burgers are good too.
I am not sure where to go with this. A lifetime without bread seems a bit harsh, on the other hand a lifetime free of heartburn will be very nice. Maybe my diagnosis is wrong and other factors are causing the heartburn. Maybe there is a level of wheat that I can eat without triggering too much discomfort? Who knows.
The Bludger may be slightly intolerant to wheat proteins or gluten.

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