For as long as I can remember, my paternal grandmother (she died in 2012 at the age of 98) had fingertips that were almost right angles. Both she and her mother suffered from osteoarthritis. My grandmother loved to play the piano and write long letters – both things she was unable to do later in her life because of the pain in her fingers. I know that my grandmother didn’t want to pass it down to me, but I, too, suffer from osteoarthritis.
I was diagnosed with it in my late 30’s and in the past year or so it’s gotten worse. I’m happy to say that I’m still too young for surgery (I am guessing that wasn’t even an option for my grandmother or great-grandmother) but that also means that I have to manage the pain as best as possible until surgery becomes an option. My hands hurt when I play golf and tennis – two things I love to do. But they also hurt when I’m cooking which is my true passion.
Earlier this fall I was having dinner with some ladies and Laura G told me about a book she had recently read called Wheat Belly and how she had given up wheat with the hopes that it would help with her migraines and osteoarthritis. I was intrigued enough to read it myself. Dr. William Davis, a practicing cardiologist, makes a compelling argument that modern wheat (that grown in the last 50 years or so) has been so genetically modified such that it contributes to a whole host of health issues including (but not limited to) heart disease, diabetes, obesity and an increase in the occurrence of Celiac disease.
After reading Wheat Belly and doing my due diligence, I have decided to go wheat-free for 90 days to see how I feel. Based on the personal stories in Dr. Davis’ book, I should see a difference in how my hands feel in that time. If I feel better then I will make the long-term commitment. I am not following everything that Dr. Davis suggests in his book but I am going with his primary premise of eliminating wheat from my diet.
What is the difference between “wheat-free” and “gluten-free”? Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, barley and rye. While all wheat contains gluten, not all gluten comes from wheat. Bottom line – going wheat-free is easier than going gluten-free.
Why am I telling you this? If I tell the world, I kind of have to stick to it. But, more importantly, I wanted to share my story in case anyone else is considering removing wheat from their diet. If that’s the case please let me know. Ed is supporting me in my wheat-free quest by joining me and going wheat-free for 90 days, too.
RieglPalate isn’t going to become a totally wheat-free or gluten-free site, although you will likely see more wheat-free or gluten-free site tags. And, for those of you who I make some of my “wheat” specialties for – don’t worry, I will still continue to make them and live vicariously through you!
Want to learn more but not sure you want to commit to reading Wheat Belly? Here are some good resources (and faster reads):
Look for periodic updates and feel free to ask me how I’m doing. Here’s to a healthy 2014!