Skip to content

What It's Like to go Gluten Free (Part 2)

What It’s Like to go Gluten Free (Part 2)

It’s been 5 weeks since I received the results of my IgG food allergy testing. (Read my column from last month for my poor eating habits confession.) I have been eating according to the results of my test and following the 4 day rotation diet at about 98% compliance. What follows is my experience with implementing the diet changes and the direct results I’ve experienced as a result of changing my body chemistry through food.

Though the title of this column mentions gluten, I have been off all dairy, eggs, sugar, beef and several other specific-to-me foods. I have stated that I was unaware of any specific symptoms that I was dealing with when I commenced with this plan. I do not deal with any significant health challenges myself, but it turns out there were some small challenges I was dealing with, although unaware of them. Now 5 weeks in, several things have become plainly apparent to me. Let me provide MY list of food related symptoms, maybe you can relate:

• Headache – They were not the migraine variety, but rather what is commonly known as tension headache. I would experience, once or twice every 2 weeks, a headache pain that began in the lower part of my neck, usually on the right, which migrated up the side of my neck to the base of my skull. It usually came on mid-afternoon and lingered all afternoon and evening as a dull pain usually rated at a pain level of no more than 4/10. Aside form receiving adjustments and massage, I didn’t treat these headaches, I just dealt with them. I figured they were associated with physical and emotional stresses that were just a part of life. Not so! I have not experienced one of these headaches since changing my diet!

• Musculoskeletal and joint pain – I had an injury 6 years ago in which I dislocated my left foot. The foot spun outward facing 90 degrees the wrong way. This resulted in a fracture of the fibula (the smaller, non-weight bearing bone of the lower leg) and extensive ligament tearing. The bone and ligaments healed, but I experienced pain daily ever since. Every morning I would hobble for the first 5 minutes of getting around until the foot and ankle “loosened up”. After that, I could walk without a limp. The ankle was swollen all the time compared with the other one, not bad, but it was obviously present. I figured that I would just have to accept that I had experienced an injury and the foot would never be the same. Within a week of eating according to my plan, I could put my feet on the floor and walk without a limp in the morning! The pain is not gone completely, but it is 80% better!

• Fatigue – In the last 6 months, I had begun to just feel tired a lot. My office is very busy. Every morning I work 4 hours straight with patients without any break before I take lunch. I had begun relying on caffeine, a natural energy drink, or a nap to come back from lunch and finish my afternoon shift. Even my staff noticed how I would slow down late in the morning and after lunch. I thought I was just getting old… Not so! Now I can go all day without any of that slow down!

• Clarity of thinking – As a physician I have to discuss complex health issues with my patients every day. I answer questions constantly and have to be quick to access information tucked away in my brain and relate that information to my patients in an easy to understand manner. In the last 6 months I had noticed that some days were “on” days when this process flowed easily, but other days were “off” days. I had trouble organizing my thoughts and putting information into easy to understand answers for my patients. At times I would stumble over my words and even stutter a little. No more! I think clearly and relate information plainly and concisely, every day is an “on” day!

These are just the biggest changes I’ve experienced. Lots of other little ones too, but I’ll wager these 4 are very common issues my readers experience too!

I have become absolutely convinced of one very simple truth. When dealing with ANY health challenge, from musculoskeletal aches and pains to hormone issues like hypo-thyroidism or PMS, diabetes, fibromyalgia, even challenging medical conditions such as cancer, identifying foods that are contributing to chronic inflammation in your body and eliminating them will make tackling these health challenges easier and more productive!

Next month I will discuss gluten specifically and why it’s become probably the most common food sensitivity among our population. Nearly 80% of those I’ve tested have demonstrated gluten intolerance. What is the reason for this modern day epidemic and how do we address it?

Until next month, here’s to your health!

Dr. Donohoe is a family practice chiropractor who specializes in the unique needs of pregnant women and children. His office is located at 41880 Kalmia St., Suite 135 in Murrieta. He can be reached at 951-677-6500 or through his website at

Add Your Comment (Get a Gravatar)

Your Name


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.