Amitting I am wrong and doing nothing are two things I should practice more often.
Gluten intolerance. I was wrong about it. I thought it was a feel-good, fad diagnosis. I thought there were kids who had true wheat allergy (celiac sprue) and really didn't grow if they ate wheat. I was thrown by the fact that so many of the blogs I link to are written by women who are gluten intolerant. The non-randomness of this made me think it was a condition that was being overdiagnosed, just so physicians could tell their patients something.
But it is a very real and serious condition that plagues at least 1% of the population (2-3x more common in women) and most people who have it don't know it. It's serious because it doesn't just cause stomach problems and loss of energy, but there is a two-three fold increase in mortality when untreated, due to, among other things, a high risk of lymphoma! It can also be a trigger or seizures. This is all news to me. I read it in a Lancet seminar by Antonio di Sabatino from 2007. Great review. I can send the full text to those who are interested.
This topic became truly interesting to me as I attempted to go gluten free. This happened shortly before we moved back to Denmark. I have experienced an incredible increase in energy and decrease in stomach problems (accidents on tracks aside!). Plus a terrible rash around my eyes (that I had for nearly two years) has disappeared! I hadn't been entirely gluten free, so I doubted diet was the explanation. But apparently you don't have to be totally gluten free to reap the benefits. 10mg a day of gluten is okay, whereas 50mg is not (in terms of causing intestinal damage).
When I was in medical school, I was hospitalized with a life-threatning infection with clostridium dificile (spore-forming bacteria are best when avoided!). During this hospitalization, it was revealed that I had severe iron deficiency anemia and osteopenia (even a little osteoporosis). This coupled with a lifetime of irritable bowel and acid reflux brought up the diagnosis of celiac sprue (gluten intolerance). They asked if they could test me for it and I refused, saying I was not short so of course I didn't have it. Oh, how silly I was! When I think about it, I am a lot shorter than my mom and that probably is a little weird.
I have a doctor's appointment on the 16th, at which point I'll ask for the gluten antibody lab tests, but by that time, I will have been gluten free for so long that the antibodies probably won't be positive. But it's not important because I am not taking the chance of going back to my old diet. I wonder if my entire family will embrace my expensive, time-consuming diet?
Now maybe we also have an explanation for my improved running times?
Ok, as if we needed a reason to eat more chocolate. But now it also causes nobel prizes! Remember, Swedish chocolate is the most potent. (This is from this week's New England Journal of Medicine)