More than 55 diseases have been linked to gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. It's estimated that 99% of the people who have either gluten intolerance or celiac disease are never diagnosed.
It started when I got stomach ache every night after dinner as a teenager. The pain was not unbearable, but sufficiently enough to take stomach drops and other forms of medication for gastric problems. The pain continued and after reading all kinds of scary stories online I went to the GP.
She could not figure out what I had and sent me to the hospital for a stomach test that had to show whether I had a stomach infection. The test proved to be negative and I was back at it.
You must also know that, at that time, I did not necessarily have a healthy lifestyle. I ate too much of everything, yet at the same time I was also a fanatic dieter and followed all the fad diets.
My eating pattern consisted of a lot of bread (mostly whole wheat, because that's healthy right?), dairy products (the Netherlands is the dairy country of choice), meat and fish for protein, vegetables and a little bit of fruits. Of course not too much of that, because it is packed with fructose (sugars in fruits) and it only makes you gain weight isn't? Fortunately, I know better now.
Fast forward to the end of 2013 I moved with my family to Jakarta, Indonesia. With this move, my stomach ache also disappeared. I began to investigate the reason for this. I kept a food diary and, to my surprise, the result was not what I expected but also obvious at the same time.
My diet in the Netherlands consisted mainly of bread, crackers, pasta and dairy in the form of yogurt, cheese, butter and milk. In Indonesia, you mostly eat rice-based foods throughout the day. Dairy was (fortunately) difficult to get and expensive because it was mainly imported. Through my own research I stumble upon this concept called gluten intolerance and realize that all of the signs of gluten sensitivity listed are identical to what I'm experiencing.
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