AIBU to try Wheat, Gluten & Dairy Free?

(43 Posts)
nitrox Mon 12-Nov-12 14:46:07

I am 29yrs old, 18 stones (size 20), feeling very fed up with everything and my health is only getting worse.

I used to be much more sporty and a size 16, but it's gradually creeping up on me.

Constantly bloated, fatigue, bad skin, IBS, trapped wind all the time, uncomfortable tummy and bowels, constipation mixed with loose poo's (TMI), Reflux. I know that all sounds very awful, but it's not all of it all the time I guess.

I did some research yesterday about bloating and wheat intollerance came up time and time again, so I went out and got some things to eat from now on, and have ditched anything with wheat, gluten or dairy in it.. shock

No doubt this will be healthier than my regular diet, so I'm happy to give it a go, but is there anything I need to know? blush

I'm eating plenty of fruit and veg, more on the veg side due to natural sugars.. I've changed to soya type rice milk stuff, which is nice enough.

I've tried to get tests from the doctor's but they just say to eliminate foods for a while and see, so that's what I'm doing.

Anyone else cut out these products, and how have you found it?

Previous diet:
Breakfast: Toast, cereal, or nothing
Snack: Chocolate / fruit
Lunch: Sandwiches, crisps, chcocolate biscuit, banana
Dinner: Big plate of pasta / chicken noodle stir fry / Wedges & Home cooked Chicken
Snacks: lots of chocolate, nibbles, fruit, energy drinks, coffee, etc etc

Current Diet:
Breakfast: Free from cornflakes with rice milk / or oats
Lunch: Free from bread with plain sliced chicken /or tuna salad
Dinner: Chicken stirfry (no noodles) / or chicken with vegetables / salmon & veg
Snacks: Banana / Melon / Mixed nuts / Free From jaffa cakes / more fruit

*excuse all the supermarket rubbish pre packed stuff, but I need to gradually learn and these will help the transition I hope.

You can try it. From looking at your diet, the issue wasn't gluten or dairy but piles of crap, processed food. You could just cut out biscuits, crisps and energy drinks and switch to brown starches.

Fakebook Mon 12-Nov-12 14:48:46

Worth a try.

BTW, I used to get IBS. I just ate more fruit and veg and avoided stress. Haven't had it in years.

Tweasels Mon 12-Nov-12 14:52:13

I am not a nutritionist but as I have literally done every diet under the sun and am now successfully managing weight I'd say your diet is just bad. It's probably not that you have an intolerance it's just that you eat too much shit and definitely too much carbohydrates.

Sorry if that sounds unkind. It's not meant to. I would just wouldn't start buying novelty food stuff without trying to eat healthier first.

Tweasels Mon 12-Nov-12 14:52:58

Sorry xpost with MrsTP

nitrox Mon 12-Nov-12 14:53:46

I'm in a viscious cycle when it comes to ditching the crap, can't find a way out of it blush

If I eat more brown bread I get even more hungry and bloated.. I tried to diet earlier in the year, but it was too high carb and I stopped losing weight after 4 weeks, it gradually ground to a halt, even though I was on 1500-1600 Kcals a day.

I've also done milkshake diets blush and I just feel awful on every diet I try.

Hence why I was thinking it was more of an intollerance, but I do agree, there are piles of crap..

Dead69Girl Mon 12-Nov-12 14:54:31

cutting out ANY food group unless you have too is a bad idea,

eat everything in moderation and move more,


Tweasels Mon 12-Nov-12 14:55:07

Could you try not eating bread at all. It's not as hard as you think.

nitrox Mon 12-Nov-12 14:56:09

No offence taken, please be honest, as I know I've put weight on and feel awful due to my poor diet, not due to an intollerance.

I just need to find a way to stop the bloating and feel 'wierd'.. I can't describe it.. but something needs to change.

Sorry to drip feed, but I had my Gall Bladder out 3 yrs ago, and I've never digested food very well since..

nitrox Mon 12-Nov-12 14:57:45

I think my reasoning was that bread makes me feel bloated and tired, milk gives me toilet issues blush possibly due to the lack of gall bladder.. and wheat and gluten are in everything nowdays.. confused

Will it do me any harm as long as I am eating sensibly and lots of fruit, veg, exercise and good healthy proteins?

I find that refined carbs have that effect on me. If I cut out bread, bar the occasional slice of wholemeal, ditto pasta, I feel a million times better.
And not eating bread forces you to come up with alternatives that are invariably healthier.
I find planning is the key to eating well. Eg. This week I'm making a big batch of a brown rice, smoked makers and green veg salad. I'll et that for lunch every day. I cut up loads of nice fruit, like pineapple, for snacks. Hardboiled some eggs for protein rich snacks.
I really doubt you need to go as full on as you are with eliminating food types.

Tweasels Mon 12-Nov-12 15:57:28

Have to say I have no idea what the gall bladder even does blush <thick as pig shit emoticon>

Have you tried Slimming World? I know loads of people will disagree but for me eating closely to their red plan works. Both in terms of weight loss and eliminating IBS symptoms.

You could repost your OP on the diet board and you'll get loads of ideas and sample menus etc.

Btw - I'm not implying you should lose weight, just feel better.

ioness Mon 12-Nov-12 16:24:41

I don't think it will do you any harm to try it but it's quite a restrictive thing to keep up.

I was on a gluten/dairy free diet for 12 years. It did have some effect on my IBS but didn't elimate it.

What solved my IBS was changing my lifestyle. I had a stressful job at the time, was living a busy single life, going out a lot, lots of activities, late nights.

I now have a stress free job, don't do much at all in the way of socialising except from having cups of tea round houses, actively avoid any stress (i.e. don't take on too much and spend time with relaxing people). I have very few problems these days.

I came off the gluten/dairy free diet around 12 years ago. I just found it quite isolating in that you can't really eat out very easily and have to take your own food when going to someone's house for the weekend, or for dinner. Although it seemed to help a bit, it didn't solve the problem for me. I was very thin on it though but in those days there weren't as many substitute foods. I remember just buying the bread was quite expensive. I ate a lot of rice cakes and rice pasta (from Chinese supermarkets).

WhenShallWeThreeKingsMeetAgain Mon 12-Nov-12 16:30:22

Free From pita bread stuffed with prawns and lettuce..........yum.

fuzzpig Mon 12-Nov-12 16:33:16

Would it not be worth only trying one at a time?

It would be a shame to give up both if you don't have to, and if you do both at once you won't know which one has actually worked!

Maybe try wheat/gluten for a month, then dairy the next month?

fuzzpig Mon 12-Nov-12 16:35:02

By the way it might be worth getting a coeliac test just in case.

squeakytoy Mon 12-Nov-12 16:35:34

how long have you been on the new diet? it is much healthier than your original one, which quite frankly was bound to make you pile on weight..

frogspoon Mon 12-Nov-12 16:41:04

I have had a similar experience to ioness, although for a much smaller amount of time.

After 4 years of painful and embarrassing IBS with little medical support, I decided to go on a gluten/wheat and lactose/dairy free diet.

As ioness has said, it reduced the symptoms somewhat, but did not eliminate them completely. I also lost over a stone in weight, which I had not been intending to lose but did not do me any harm as I was still a healthy weight. At the same time I quit my full time job as a teacher (v stressful) and started doing tuition instead.

Getting suitable food was a nightmare, especially when eating out as I do not eat meat out, and most vegetarian dishes contain at least one of wheat or dairy. Also I found most of the GF bread not very nice, and it went stale extremely quickly, and the lactose free milk tasted sickly. The only substitute foods that I enjoyed were rice/corn pasta, and gluten free chocolate brownies.

After 4 months on the diet I came off it when I went on holiday as it was so restrictive.

Since coming off the diet my symptoms have got slightly worse, but nowhere near as bad as pre-diet. I believe this is more down to the change in job than change in diet. I have put back on a couple of pounds, but still am below pre-diet weight. The biggest change in symptoms I noticed was that my massively bloated belly disappeared on the diet, but reappeared shortly after stopping it.

I would say that there is no harm in trying it, but it is hard to keep on the diet and the reduction in symptoms may not be massive. I am very impressed that ioness managed so long, particularly as there was a much smaller range of foods back then. If possible it may be more helpful to adjust your life to make it less stressful. Easier said than done I know, but for me that was more effective than the diet.

EuroShagmore Mon 12-Nov-12 16:49:32

Your new diet is still very carb heavy. Try to eat more protein.

I'm currently trying a month wheat free to see if it helps with my energy levels and I haven't bought a single "free from" food. I'm relying on foods that are naturally wheat free - so rice-based lunches rather than wheat free bread, granola rather than "free from" cereal for breakfast.

TBH, I think the problem with your old diet is quantity and quality- too many calories and too few nutriets - rather than content (although you might have an intolerance too).

ppeatfruit Mon 12-Nov-12 17:06:49

YABVR and E IMO I've followed a dairy free and wheat free (not gluten free) WOE for many years. It's well worth trying; it will do the opposite of making you ill it will make you well. If I DO have some dairy I immediately get bad hay fever symptoms. Also wheat makes me and DH angry and exhausted also stops my digestion dead.

When I go out to parties I take my own starters and always take a snack with me when i'm out normally.

Another thing that would help yr digestion a lot is to eat fruit on an empty stomach not AFTER a meal. Good luck.

McPie Mon 12-Nov-12 17:19:27

I have been wheat free for the last 8 years (bloating, tiredness and backaches) and dairy free since the start of the year (breathlessness and stomach pains/bloating) and its hard and very expensive but I feel so much better for it.
I would say give it a try and see if it makes a difference and the real test will be if the symptoms come back when you gradually reintroduce the foods you have cut out and then you can be sure you are cutting the right foods out.

nitrox Mon 12-Nov-12 17:19:46

Great advice, thanks very much everyone.

I know it's hard to make suggestions when you haven't got all the info about me, but I appreciate the replies.

I do need to eat more protein, I do try and fit in as much as possible.. today I will have had chicken in my lunch and will be having salmon for dinner.

I seem to know everything there is to know about every diet and weight loss aid there is, but you know what? it's never helped me, and the weight has continued to go on blush I think I really need to approach this from a health point of view rather than just my weight.

I honestly feel awful with my body, not looks, just feel so sluggish and bloated and ill.. I never want to do anything at the weekends, altho I run a busy and successfull small business and am at Uni full time, hence the stress levels being high right now. Honestly though, this has been an issue for a long time before all this though.

I want to be happy and healthy, and if I lose weight then that would be a major bonus.

I am used to eating very large amounts, have a sweet tooth and snacking constantly. I just need to stop somehow.

I've enjoyed the foods so far. I will try and add some brown rice and eat fruit before a meal..

Coelic - I don't think I have that, as I'm sure I read people lose weight, and that's not me blush

Free From pita bread stuffed with prawns and lettuce - I will do that grin

Slimming World - I did consider it, but I hate group things and never liked going Weight Watchers in the past... but I do need to lose weight, you're not wrong with that! grin

Thanks for all the replies, I'll look more closely at them later tonight x

nitrox Mon 12-Nov-12 17:20:30


That sounds like me too.. thanks for the support everyone

Jins Mon 12-Nov-12 17:28:24

Free from stuff is gluten, wheat and dairy free but it's still hideously processed.

It's really expensive as well so it would be better for your purse, if nothing else, to avoid relying too heavily on it. Have more veg or a jacket potato or rice instead of the bread for example.

Incidently my bloating/IBS/other symptoms all ended up being down to an intolerance to FOS found in fruits. I can cope with small amounts but if I eat fruit every day or more than a tiny amount I bloat like mad and my IBS is back.

Natural unprocessed foods are best if you are trying to work out what you may be intolerant to

EuroShagmore Mon 12-Nov-12 17:51:31

In case it helps here is what I have eaten over the past couple of days (wheat free):

poached eggs, lean bacon and fried mushrooms for brunch
snacks - a LOT of pick n mix blush at the cinema (oops, but it happens once in a blue moon)
dinner - a tom yum soup with prawns, veg and rice noodles (home made)

brunch - goats cheese and spelt crackers with cherry tomoatoes
snacks - peanuts, chocolate (I have chocolate most days but in pretty modest amounts - typically 20g)
dinner - chargrilled pork loin with mashed potato and veg

breakfast - granola
lunch - rice salad thing from itsu with avocado
snacks - chocolate, will probably have some fruit
dinner will probably be another noodle soup of some kind

Those days are not actually the best examples as I have eaten more cr@p than I typically would and less fruit, but I have been completely honest. Each day has been around 1500 calories I think, give or take. Two of the days were weekend days when I tend to only eat brunch, rather than breakfast and lunch, which I prefer but doesn't work when I have to get to the office on work days.

ppeatfruit Mon 12-Nov-12 17:58:23

nitrox I've lost just under 3 stone recently on the Paul Mckenna WOE (way of eating ) it damn well works I also follow my Blood Type for my health By Dr. Peter D'Adamo it makes soo much sense.

littlegirllost29 Mon 12-Nov-12 18:15:24

I agree with fuzzpig - docs now have guidelines that before diagnosing IBS they should test for coeliac disease. You need to keep eating wheat/gluten before the tests- it is a simple blood test followed by a confirmation endoscopy.

quesadilla Mon 12-Nov-12 18:16:12

No harm in trying it and anything that makes you feel better is worth it but my personal view is that a lot of these so-called "intolerances" are snake oil diets. A fair amount of research has been done on this which suggests that people who really have true intolerances are a fairly small % of the number of people with IBS etc, most of whom are just people with a not very good diet.
I would be prepared to bet good money that if you just cut out the crap (biscuits/processed food) and introduce more veg and fruit into your diet that will do it.

GoldenAutumn Mon 12-Nov-12 18:28:16

When you had your gall bladder removed did they discuss with you what impact that would have on your digestion? It means that there is nowhere for the bile (which emulsifies fat to make it easier to digest and absorb) to be stored and concentrated. It therefore just drips from the liver where it's manufactured, into the small intestine where most of your digestion takes place. Normally, if someone eats fatty food, it triggers a release of bile (along with other fat-digesting enzymes from the pancreas). If you don't have a gallbladder, though, you lack that fat-busting digestive capacity and probably won't feel good after eating high-fat meals or snacks. You don't have to cut out fat completely, by any means, but a high fat diet isn't going to make you feel at the top of your game.

For a start, I'd say you need to cut the crap out of your diet - but I think you already know that. wink Try eating nothing but freshly prepared, unprocessed food for a month (and no refined carbs!) and see whether your symptoms improve. If they don't, then try cutting out wheat or dairy for a month.

If you've had your gall bladder out and you're that overweight, I'm sure your GP would refer you an NHS dietician.

Good luck and I hope you feel better. smile

PoppyWearer Mon 12-Nov-12 18:32:56

No advice to give, OP, but I'll be having my gall bladder out soon (hopefully!) and think I need to go gluten-free too, also eating too many processed foods and feeling crap generally. have my sympathy and support! Good luck!

Crinkle77 Mon 12-Nov-12 18:34:19

The only way to lose weight is to eat sensibly and exercise. All these fad diets are a load of nonsense. And by depriving yourself of dairy and carbs you may be doing your body more harm than good

MistyB Mon 12-Nov-12 18:36:41

You may also need to substitute digestive enzymes. I would see a nutritionist / dietician for advice.

As for your diet, try to remove the processed food and reduce your sugar intake too. I followed a wheat, dairy and sugar free diet while breast feeding an highly allergic and intolerent baby and while not a stick insect, I was lighter!!

My DD has a Gluten/wheat and Dairy free diet due to allergies.

I spoke to Tesco and they e-mail me a list every month with all products in store that are free from all 3 (if that makes sense)

I also have the same allergies so we have the same diet, DS and DH don't have the allergies but we all just eat a lot of fruit, veg and meat so it doesn't really have a massive impact.

If we want treats then I just bake my own. We don't eat much processed food and to be honest and the 'free from' range is hideously expensive.

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 12-Nov-12 18:45:11

Hi there
We have moved this thread

AvonCallingBarksdale Mon 12-Nov-12 18:46:43

OP, Having your gallbladder out doesn't mean that milk will make you feel yucky. I had mine out a few years ago, and I steer clear of overly fatty foods, but that's it really. As everyone else (and you smile) have said, you need to cut out all the crap from your diet, I think that's the biggest problem! Try not eating between meals, and if you must, snack on carrot sticks and red/yellow/orange peppers. Prepare them in advance so you can just grab them from the fridge. MAke a large batch of soup for your lunches. Oatcakes will also stave off hunger and are good slow release energy. Drink lots of water, too. See how you go doing that before cutting anything drastic out of your diet. Good luck

Amaxapax Mon 12-Nov-12 19:11:58

I think it needs to be clarified that there will be absolutely no ill health effects whatsoever from cutting out gluten or lactose. The body does not need carbohydrates from starches. It is capable of producing energy on its own from protein and fat sources. If you are a particularly active person you may need more carbs, biput for most of us it's unnecessary. A lot of people feel a lot better when they stop eating grains. I recommend Mark's Daily Apple for a few examples.
If you think you have an intolerance, cut out both for one month, then gradually add them back one at a time. That should help you figure out what's affecting you. If I cut out wheat for any real length if time and try eating it again, it's only a matter of minutes before I have to get to the toilet. That, combined with bloating and general discomfort when I eat wheat, has told me all I need to know.

nitrox Mon 12-Nov-12 19:57:27

Great advice again, thank you everybody!

I think I will continue with what I'm doing but see it more of a test to see if the bloating goes, and also a way to ensure I'm staying healthy and not kidding myself that a bit of toast and butter is ok! At least I'm eating healthy options by default this way.

For dinner this evening I'm having oven steamed salmon, oven baked veg tray (tomato, corgette, peppers & onion with a splash of olive oil), boiled fine green beans and mini sweetcorns. I hope this will be okay, it's certainly healthier than a frozen pizza!

I've also found some peppermint tea, so I'll try that for the bloating and for a change.

I'm trying to cut down on sugar, I only have 1 sugar in coffee now and also I have switched to sweetners, but I'm worried that these aren't a good alternative health wise? I only have 2 coffee's a day, so it's not the end of the world either way.

I'm not active at the moment unfortunately. In my past I was heavily into snowboarding, skiing, scuba diving, horse riding, abseiling and motorbikes. I'm a total tomboy and I miss being myself blush I feel like I'm old before my time.

I'm glad that even if I do wheat free etc, it isn't bad for me, that was my main concern. I don't want to go on milkshake diets and loose 2 stones in 6 weeks, despite my mums insistence that it's great! sad I don't know the long term effects and don't want to risk my health long term.

Any more recipes or info would be ideal! Great list Euroshag sounds very nice!

Gall bladder, they did say I wouldn't absorb fat and may loose weight blush lol, that's not happened! Other than that I don't notice many ill effects really.. I have looked at digestive enzymes, but wasn't sure if they were a healthly scam hmm might be worth me looking into. Also, some sort of acid drink I read about ages ago, helps digest the food...

forevergreek Mon 12-Nov-12 20:31:58

I would try more protein at breakfast as will keep you full for longer than cornflakes. Try some poached eggs, with grilled tomatos/ mushroom/ bacon

MoreBeta Mon 12-Nov-12 20:39:58

nitrox - a common misconception is that coeliacs lose weight. Some lose weight and some bloat with retained water.

Your symptoms do sound quite typical for coeliac - but may be otehr things. However, before you diet go to your GP and get a coeliac test. Do not stop eating wheat. You need to keep eating it to make the test work.

Your 'dairy' intolerance may be lactose (ie milk sugar) intolerance which is very common in coeliac. Go to your GP and tell him/her your symptoms and press hard for a coeliac test. If it comes back negative then try going wheat and dairy free on your own. You will know immediately if it works.

I lost 2 stone doing that and I only weighed 13.3 stone. I have severe gluten and lactose intolerance.

nitrox Mon 12-Nov-12 21:01:08

Is there anywhere I can go to get tested for everything (within reason)? I'd pay privately if I had to...

I've looked a coeliac and obesity online and you're correct MoreBeta it's quite common now.

I do match a lot of the symptoms.

I haven't been to the doctors here since I moved from another town, so I've got no rapor with any doctor, going to bet I get told to change my diet.. sad

mslicketysplit Tue 13-Nov-12 07:46:50

OP have you thought about trying the paleo diet? It means cutting out all grains, sugar and most dairy and eating meat, fish,eggs, fruit, veg, nuts and some unpasturised fermented dairy. My IBS is gone and I've lost lots of weight too.

nitrox Tue 13-Nov-12 16:07:04

I haven't seen that mslicketysplit I'll have a look online for it!

Sounds like something I could do grin

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