Workout of the Day for 120904:

Strength : Floor Press 7x3

Conditioning: 5 Rounds for Time 7 Back Extensions 21 Air squats Row 250m

Should you worry about Gluten?

Seems like every single thing you see in the grocery store these days is labelled gluten free if at all possible - regardless of actual healthiness or whether it is possible for it to be gluten-ful (gluten free cucumber, anyone?) This is in part sales and in part scare tactic - labelling something as GF is an easy way to charge about half again as much.

Is it even something you should worry about? What exactly are the signs of gluten sensitivity and/or Celiac Disease? How can you find out for sure? How common is it?

According to some studies cited here, as much as 29% of the population has some degree of gluten sensitivity. That's a big chunk! Here is a list of common symptoms for both gluten sensitivity and the far more severe, but related, Celiac disease:

  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Eczema
  • Headache
  • Foggy brain
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Joint pain
  • Numbness in the extremities

Keep in mind that these symptoms can be generalized but would most likely be much more acute post-gluten exposure. In my experience, I absolutely get joint pain the day after gluten exposure. Every time.Makes it easy to stay away from it. Some of these symptoms are a little vague (fatigue) and hard to measure ( foggy brain). I'd wager that most of you experience these on a regular basis.

The best way to see if there is really gluten sensitivity going on is to get tested. But be warned that the testing process is unpleasant - blood tests are not super accurate, so you're much better off with a stool sample. Even then, the test may be a little inconclusive. It is much more accurate, in my experience, to simply eliminate it for a brief period (30-60 days) and then re-introduce it to see how you feel. General, people that reintroduce gluten after eliminating it that have some sensitivity will find it to be intolerable - particularly in the gastric distress range of symptoms. Part  of the pickle with gluten is that it really tends to hang around in your guts for a good while - several weeks - because it is so hard to digest. (Think of a wheat kernel. Hard as a rock). So eliminating it for a week may not be long enough to give you a good idea of what you are dealing with.

The Whole Life Challenge ( is an excellent way to experiment with eliminating all of the most common food allergens (soy, wheat, corn, etc) in a community-supported environment that has proven radically successful. If you have ever experienced any of the above symptoms or have wondered about gluten sensitivity, the Whole Life Challenge is the best way out there to actually know what's going on in your guts. You could win some sweet prizes, too.


Mobility WOD Challenge Day 28: