My Struggle With Gluten Intolerance

by Bea Garth
copyright 2010, 2011
This is an article describing some of my experiences — and that of others — with recognizing and overcoming severe gluten intolerance. It is also a call  to create a gluten intolerant support group. Information on this as well as my  therapy business and website  with Chris Arcus (White Heron Hypnotherapy) are at the bottom of the article.
Don’t let your health simply slip through the cracks until it is too late, as it did for some of my friends and nearly did for me. I was and am one of the lucky ones who made it despite all. I thought I  simply had an allergy to the wheat family (wheat, rye, barley, oats), so I often would have a wheat bagel or oatmeal cookie once a week.  I didn’t realize it was ruining my health and creating migraines, bouts of unexplained anxiety, confusion and depression that I tried to drown out with frequent cups of doubly strong black  tea and the yearly distress of long lasting sinus infections and lung congestion not to speak of  fibromyalgia like bodily aches and pains.

In trying to overcome kidney disease I eventually figured out that I was gluten sensitive, however  I thought it was simply an allergy. It took me thirty more years to finally discover that  I had a serious auto-immune disorder called celiac sprue–which is far more common than I ever thought. It is now speculated that one in one hundred  Americans have this condition–and far more than that still have various serious gradations of “gluten intolerance”.

Many people with this  condition think like I did that its OK to have gluten now and then. But for me and many others it can create chronic ill health, anxiety and depression not to speak of eventually precipitating a variety of other  diseases such as diabetes, cancer, kidney or heart disease, or auto immune conditions like lupus, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Sojren’s or arthritis.

The fact is that scientists have found that gluten isn’t fully digestible by anyone.  Gluten, derived from the wheat family, has opiates that make it into the comfort food so many of us crave. Fifteen thousand years ago the glutenous grains helped us transition from hunter gatherers to town and city dwellers when big game was no longer so readily available. However it came at a cost, more so for some as implied of course than for others, but nevertheless ironically felt by all. Ironic since even the Bible says “give us this day our daily bread.”

I wish I had known what my condition was earlier. It would have helped save countless years lost occupied by unneeded suffering. Finally having made the changes I needed to make these last three years, I now feel and look better than I ever have before.

I have discovered however that there are many people who feel overwhelmed by the challenge of making such radical dietary and environmental changes.  This is one reason why I encourage you to consider getting help through a support group and/or something perhaps even more pro-active like the hypnotherapy and Emotional Freedom Technique  (EFT) my partner Chris Arcus and I offer through White Heron Hypnotherapy.

Chris by the way also has severe gluten intolerance and has had the wonderful experience of having his former constant migraines, depression, hypoglycemia and ADHD go away by staying off gluten.

If you suspect that you are gluten sensitive I encourage  you  make the effort to find out how extensive it is.  It  is worth the effort even though it is difficult since gluten is almost everywhere.  I simply had not realized this, and couldn’t really until I had gone off all gluten. Up until then, the constant exposure to gluten, even if slight, acts as a kind of gate keeper. You stay chronically ill, but you don’t react as strongly while you keep getting this constant exposure. It is a trade off. Constant ill health with an often catastrophically degraded immune system vs vibrant health with occasional run-ins with a reaction from stray gluten. Its not hard to figure out which is the better choice.

Even for those that don’t react so obviously but instead have  hidden celiac or gluten intolerance, not being on a gluten free diet presents an increased danger of cancer and other auto immune system breakdowns, not to mention the common occurrence of depression, insomnia,  and increased chance of developing dementia or conditions like ADHD.

Ironically many people who either know or suspect they may have severe gluten intolerance don’t act on it, often due to the powerful opiate effects of gluten–as well as cultural conditioning. Gluten often creates a physical and mental addiction that is hard to kick. Fortunately you can take action and make those changes more easily with the help of hypnotherapy and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) as well as attending a local support group and joining an online group like

For anyone interested in helping create a gluten free support group in the San Jose, California area, please email Chris and me at For more information on help with dealing with making dietary or other needed positive changes,  check out our website at .


Categories: Health article by Bea Garth

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