I’ve had this mild allergic rash for a while on my neck and elbow.  I’m having trouble figuring out exactly what I am allergic to.  It could be the dog, but hopefully not.  One person suggested it could be something in my diet.  This led me to try an experiment.  I cut gluten out of my diet.

noun: a protein present in cereal grains, esp. wheat, that is responsible for the elastic texture of dough

Gluten is found in alot of foods.  The Mayo Clinic lists these ingredients as having gluten:

  • Barley (malt, malt flavoring and malt vinegar are usually made from barley)
  • Rye
  • Wheat
  • Bulgur
  • Durum flour
  • Farina
  • Graham flour
  • Kamut
  • Semolina
  • Spelt

This means that a ridiculous amount of foods contain gluten such as:

  • Beer
  • Breads
  • Cakes and pies
  • Candies
  • Cereals
  • Cookies and crackers
  • Croutons
  • French fries
  • Gravies
  • Imitation meat or seafood
  • Pastas
  • Processed luncheon meats
  • Salad dressings
  • Sauces, including soy sauce
  • Seasoned rice mixes
  • Seasoned snack foods, such as potato and tortilla chips
  • Self-basting poultry
  • Soups and soup bases
  • Vegetables in sauce

How the heck do people do it??  That’s alot of stuff.  I decided to not go gluten-free, but rather gluten-reduced and see if it had any effect.  I’m not sure how long to give this experiment, but 6 weeks has been the number thrown out there.  I am on week 2 now.

I’ve found it’s not THAT hard to be gluten-reduced.  Some examples of meals I have eaten recently:

  • Scrambles (Eggs with meat and vegetables – like ham or nova and onions)
  • Chinese food (Rice is OK, thank god) with no noodles
  • Indian food (I hate spicey foods, so butter chicken was my choice)
  • Sushi (rice and fish)
  • Ceasar salad (No crutons)
  • Yogurt with pomegranates and gluten-free granola

It’s not awful, but I do miss pasta and bread.  Specifically a ham sandwich on a bagel!

So far the rash remains unchanged.  I have lost a few pounds though.  Gluten is, after all, pretty fattening.  It’s an added benefit that keeps me on the diet.  I wouldn’t mind losing a few.  My food satisfaction has dimmed, but not so much that it is making me crazy.  I’m not sure I could do this diet full time, but it’s worth doing for as long as I can.

Either way, I am going to an allergist and figuring out what the cause is.  I can’t just keep eliminating variables individually on my own forever.

One reply on “Gluten-Reduced”

Glen, almost the same situation with me back at the beginning of summer. The key is that you can’t do “reduced” if you want the rash (or other immune system related issues) to go away. It has to be all-in! Some scientific reason for that related to proteins and enzymes and stuff my brain doesn’t comprehend.

Even in “reduced” mode however (which is my current state), you are right that weight loss will happen. I generally feel better and have more energy too.

Whatya think?