5

votes

Will eating Paleo for a while make me "wheat intolerant"?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 29, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Hi! I am thinking about starting a Paleo lifestyle, or at least try whole30 (for general better health (I have IBS, migraines and random/vague pains) and weight loss), but I am not 100% sure yet. I thought "trying won't hurt", but now I am reading a lot about how people who eat Paleo react to wheats or other non-Paleo foods, and it makes me worry that if I try, and decide it's not for me (I love me some grains and am not too big on veggies OR meat, so this is going to be a challenge for me), I will have the same issues if I start eating "normal" again.

Is this a reasonable worry? Or won't that happen after months of Paleo? And is there a way to avoid it? (Cheat meals? Not in the first month, but later?) I have had strict diets before (Celiac tests, and when my IBS was at it's worst I couldn't handle anything), and it severely impacted my social life, I started avoiding all social events that included food, and I don't want that to happen again. So if I am going to a dinner party, I will want to be able to eat what they serve. I don't get invited to dinner parties all the time, it would easily fit under the 20/80 rule, but not if I turn my body into a "get super sick when cheating" machine by eating strictly Paleo for a month of course.

I hope someone can shed some light on this for me.

Medium avatar

(2923)

on March 03, 2013
at 08:02 AM

Imagine the difference between how you feel normally and how you feel when you pick up one of those 24-hour colds/flus - now go in the other direction from this "normal" baseline and that's how much better I feel with Paleo (as others mention, you don't realize how many daily aches, pains, tiredness you deal with until it isn't there). Grain and sugar exposure will drop me back to that "normal" baseline for a day - yes, I feel crappy, but it's a relative "crappy" compared to what I am now used to ...

B33c263fd0fcff8b59e63dd2179e88a7

(151)

on May 30, 2012
at 08:09 PM

Thank you! That's exactly what I want. I will eat Paleo at home, and when I can control it, but I don't want it to control my life when I am not at home. I don't want to constantly stress about what I can eat. But it seems like most people say that they don't feel worse now when they cheat, they just notice it more, so I think I will be fine :)

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on May 30, 2012
at 01:48 AM

The full answer is longer than I can fit in a comment box, so here's the summary: whether or not you feel worse when you eat something bad is not what you should be worrying about. The fact that you feel bad at all means that FOR YOU that stuff should be considered poison. You're doing the same damage to your body whether on not you feel bad. So rather than looking for ways to feel better when you "cheat", just don't cheat. It actually is bad for you. Also, paleo isn't something you just do and then go back to the crap. It's a new way for life (if you want the benefits).

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on May 29, 2012
at 09:55 PM

Maartje, I had a similar experience with low carb and low fat, I managed to lose a bunch of weight, but because I had zero energy, I ended up bingeing on whatever I could get my hands on. This to me is the most important difference between paleo and my previous attempts at weight loss. I feel healthy and continue to feel good as I slowly but surely lose excess fat.

782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

(5231)

on May 29, 2012
at 09:54 PM

good luck to you! I know this has been worth it for me!

B33c263fd0fcff8b59e63dd2179e88a7

(151)

on May 29, 2012
at 09:34 PM

Oh yes, I definitely agree. It's the main reason I want to try Paleo and not just any weight loss diet (I lost 50 pounds by eating low fat/low sugar a few years ago, but it resulted in an eating disorder and I gained it all back when I started eating normal again). I really want to feel healthier. If I only lose weight on Paleo, I don't think I have the willpower to continue, but if I feel healthier, it will soooo be worth it.

B33c263fd0fcff8b59e63dd2179e88a7

(151)

on May 29, 2012
at 09:31 PM

That makes a lot of sense! :) Thanks!

B33c263fd0fcff8b59e63dd2179e88a7

(151)

on May 29, 2012
at 09:31 PM

Thank you, that definitely puts my mind at ease :)

Da8e709acde269e8b8bfbc09d1737841

(1906)

on May 29, 2012
at 09:26 PM

Well, you don't exactly become wheat tolerant in this scenario, you simply build up a healthy gut that can "withstand" wheat now and again. Technically, large amounts of wheat put back into the diet would damage the gut again.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:49 PM

I am just more aware of it now. It makes me feel sluggish and my energy is very short lived. Now that I am learning how to maximize my energy through animal fats and coconut products, I feel so much better.

B33c263fd0fcff8b59e63dd2179e88a7

(151)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:43 PM

Thank you! But will it make me feel worse when I do eat something I seem to be intolerant to, than it does now? Or will I just notice the crappy feeling more because I am not used to it anymore? Does that make any sense?

B33c263fd0fcff8b59e63dd2179e88a7

(151)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:34 PM

Thank you for your answer! I feel pretty crappy in general right now, I am just afraid that if I eat Paleo for a while, and then stop, I will feel even crappier. Or is the way you feel now when you eat wheat the same as you did before you started Paleo (as in, do you feel just as crappy, or is it worse?), you just notice it more now because it's not constant?

  • B33c263fd0fcff8b59e63dd2179e88a7

    asked by

    (151)
  • Views
    5.3K
  • Last Activity
    1400D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

10 Answers

8
61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:15 PM

It doesn't "make you" wheat intolerant. Eliminating wheat from your diet will allow your gut to heal, which makes any intolerance to wheat that much more noticeable. I didn't realize how crappy I felt in general when I consumed grains until I gave them all up.

B33c263fd0fcff8b59e63dd2179e88a7

(151)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:34 PM

Thank you for your answer! I feel pretty crappy in general right now, I am just afraid that if I eat Paleo for a while, and then stop, I will feel even crappier. Or is the way you feel now when you eat wheat the same as you did before you started Paleo (as in, do you feel just as crappy, or is it worse?), you just notice it more now because it's not constant?

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:49 PM

I am just more aware of it now. It makes me feel sluggish and my energy is very short lived. Now that I am learning how to maximize my energy through animal fats and coconut products, I feel so much better.

B33c263fd0fcff8b59e63dd2179e88a7

(151)

on May 29, 2012
at 09:31 PM

Thank you, that definitely puts my mind at ease :)

Medium avatar

(2923)

on March 03, 2013
at 08:02 AM

Imagine the difference between how you feel normally and how you feel when you pick up one of those 24-hour colds/flus - now go in the other direction from this "normal" baseline and that's how much better I feel with Paleo (as others mention, you don't realize how many daily aches, pains, tiredness you deal with until it isn't there). Grain and sugar exposure will drop me back to that "normal" baseline for a day - yes, I feel crappy, but it's a relative "crappy" compared to what I am now used to ...

3
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:40 PM

MathGirl got here first, but I just wanted to reiterate (because this question, or a variant comes up all the time): Paleo will not make you wheat (or dairy, or anything) intolerant, it will just expose any intolerance that you always had.

And about lifestyle: don't worry about it. I've never been to a dinner party where there was nothing I could eat. Just eat the stuff you can and avoid the stuff you can't. People are more understanding and less judging than you think. They make exceptions for vegetarians all the time by making meatless options, it's not a stretch for someone to make a grainless, dairyless option. In reality though, I've never requested anything like that, I just don't eat what's going to make me sick and I don't worry about it. There is no social situation worth getting physically sick over.

B33c263fd0fcff8b59e63dd2179e88a7

(151)

on May 29, 2012
at 08:43 PM

Thank you! But will it make me feel worse when I do eat something I seem to be intolerant to, than it does now? Or will I just notice the crappy feeling more because I am not used to it anymore? Does that make any sense?

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on May 30, 2012
at 01:48 AM

The full answer is longer than I can fit in a comment box, so here's the summary: whether or not you feel worse when you eat something bad is not what you should be worrying about. The fact that you feel bad at all means that FOR YOU that stuff should be considered poison. You're doing the same damage to your body whether on not you feel bad. So rather than looking for ways to feel better when you "cheat", just don't cheat. It actually is bad for you. Also, paleo isn't something you just do and then go back to the crap. It's a new way for life (if you want the benefits).

2
5e63e3fa78e998736106a4a5b9aef58c

on May 30, 2012
at 01:21 AM

I didn't think I had an intolerance to grains when I started back on Atkins low-carb, then shifted to LC paleo. But when I eat them now? I feel so awful the next day it's almost never worth it anymore.

And I don't believe that going grain-free has made me more sensitive to them--it's just that I feel so much better now, and the effect of eating grains (especially wheat) reminds me of how I used to feel all the time. I was so accustomed to feeling rotten that I didn't even know how rotten I felt--it was normal! And now that I have a new normal that doesn't involve aching joints, allergies, chronic sinus and periodontal problems, high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, or ever-increasing weight it's like the whole world has changed from black-and-white to color. I don't want to go back to black-and-white--and I don't have to, as long as I keep eating this way.

The more experiences I have with feeling awful after a "cheat," the less appealing all my old favorite foods become. Sometimes I still get cravings, but all I have to do is think about how I will feel the next morning and suddenly it's not worth it.

2
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 29, 2012
at 09:04 PM

As others have pointed out, eating paleo reveals any wheat intolerance if such a problem exists.

If you're able to heal your gut (assuming significant permanent damage has not already been done), you might become wheat tolerant after long term paleo dieting. A paleo diet is very ideal for promoting healing - high nutrition with low irritation/inflammation. That's at least my opinion, and from first hand experience, the mild gluten intolerance (i.e. just feeling "off") I experienced during the first few months of paleo has disappeared to the point where I can go hog-wild on wheat without any perceptible acute effect.

Da8e709acde269e8b8bfbc09d1737841

(1906)

on May 29, 2012
at 09:26 PM

Well, you don't exactly become wheat tolerant in this scenario, you simply build up a healthy gut that can "withstand" wheat now and again. Technically, large amounts of wheat put back into the diet would damage the gut again.

B33c263fd0fcff8b59e63dd2179e88a7

(151)

on May 29, 2012
at 09:31 PM

That makes a lot of sense! :) Thanks!

1
Medium avatar

on March 03, 2013
at 06:50 AM

I think I avoided wheat for about a year or more before eating it again in fairly substantial amounts on a trip. I didn't notice anything at all from doing so. Since then, I'll occasionally have a proper hamburger and have yet to experience any side effect other than the eventual reactive hypoglycemia, which I get as a result of sweet potato, potato, most fruit, certain types of rice etc. as well.

It seems to me that there is a greater likelihood of sensitization occurring as a result of constant rather than minimal exposure.

1
10cadc0a2dff90c849c6d088832be324

(741)

on May 29, 2012
at 11:48 PM

From my own personal experience I noticed that after a few weeks being paleo I didn't crave wheat anymore. 4 months into paleo though I was at my cousins birthfay- I didn't want to be rude and not eat a piece of his cake so I ate one. A) it didn't trigger any pleasure sensors b) I felt sluggish within an hour and c) I got hardcore chocolate rain the next day.

What I can say about paleo is that it's changed my life. I eat better, sleep better, move better and have loads more energy. 6 months and 62 lbs off later and I swear I'll never go back. Say what you will about how "crazy" the "diet" is but I swear that you'll be more concious about what you put in your body, how you react physically to the elements in and around you, and how you sleep to improve your day.

0
80abc2be588111b16d54b0a273aff3e6

(0)

on March 03, 2013
at 06:21 AM

I have not experienced any gluten issues and have been eating paleo pretty consistently for about 6 months or so (yes, sometimes I cheat). I've used this "beginner's" guide to paleo that has some yummy recipes if you are interested: http://www.thepaleopath.com/

0
D593a5dfd0aaac74098eb6fbe5fb803f

on March 03, 2013
at 02:51 AM

I'm so glad I found this page. I've been doing the paleo diet for two and half weeks and I've been really good with it. But tonight, I had a piece of cake for my friend's birthday. Before I even finished the small slice, I felt sick. I felt like I had just eaten a bowl of sugar, and within half an hour, I had diarrhea. Now I just feel weak, and plain yucky! Now I know why a lot of paleo dieters say that you really won't cheat much once you realize how sick the bad foods make you feel.

0
Bbd349fe334481d99c091333b87cacb5

on May 30, 2012
at 01:40 AM

I'm a big believer in not being too restrictive with your diet. I'm really strict in my daily life, but if I go to a party or a picnic, I'll eat a brownie and have a beer. I had the same exact fear that you're having when I first decided to go Paleo. Just this past weekend I drank beer and had some things I wouldn't normally eat. It doesn't make me violently ill but it brings back the brain fog and the lethargy. This is different with everyone! Trust me, you'll feel so great that you won't WANT to cheat ever, and if you do and it happens to make you very sick, it'll be even more motivation to stay away from the bad stuff. Good luck and welcome to the club!

B33c263fd0fcff8b59e63dd2179e88a7

(151)

on May 30, 2012
at 08:09 PM

Thank you! That's exactly what I want. I will eat Paleo at home, and when I can control it, but I don't want it to control my life when I am not at home. I don't want to constantly stress about what I can eat. But it seems like most people say that they don't feel worse now when they cheat, they just notice it more, so I think I will be fine :)

0
782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

on May 29, 2012
at 09:20 PM

I love me some wheat also. But I feel so much better not eating it, right now, that it's worth giving up over the crappy feeling I 'll have if I do eat it. Maybe when my gut heals I'll be able to eat challah, raisin scones, or a fresh from the oven soft pretzel. In the mean time I'll eat within the parameters of "my diet" and enjoy how good my body feels.

B33c263fd0fcff8b59e63dd2179e88a7

(151)

on May 29, 2012
at 09:34 PM

Oh yes, I definitely agree. It's the main reason I want to try Paleo and not just any weight loss diet (I lost 50 pounds by eating low fat/low sugar a few years ago, but it resulted in an eating disorder and I gained it all back when I started eating normal again). I really want to feel healthier. If I only lose weight on Paleo, I don't think I have the willpower to continue, but if I feel healthier, it will soooo be worth it.

782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

(5231)

on May 29, 2012
at 09:54 PM

good luck to you! I know this has been worth it for me!

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on May 29, 2012
at 09:55 PM

Maartje, I had a similar experience with low carb and low fat, I managed to lose a bunch of weight, but because I had zero energy, I ended up bingeing on whatever I could get my hands on. This to me is the most important difference between paleo and my previous attempts at weight loss. I feel healthy and continue to feel good as I slowly but surely lose excess fat.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!