On a day to day basis I feel really good. As far as I can tell, the food I eat keeps my body in balance. I don’t get stomach aches, bloat or need to go crawl under a rock when I finish a meal. It’s pretty great. Prior to increasing my saturated fats, cutting out grains and decreasing my carbs I remember always feeling too full after eating just about anything. The only problem is, feeling good really makes feeling bad noticeable.
I was recently out to dinner with some girl friends, we all kind of eat the same way so going out is easy and always fun. This time, something we ordered did not agree with me. It was pretty instantaneous, my belly blew up like a balloon. I couldn’t find a comfortable position to sit in, it was awful. I didn’t really realize what was going on until I got home. By that time I was really uncomfortable, I not only looked pregnant but I had an ache that wouldn’t quit. It took four days for my stomach/guts to stop aching. I’m not used to having a stomach ache of any kind so, naturally I was a big baby all weekend.
I don’t know what I ate but I do think it did a job on my digestive system. I realize it was a one time thing so probably no lasting/long term damage but inflammation is inflammation and I definitely wanted to help my body heal any way I could. Probiotics should probably have been the first thing I grabbed but I didn’t have any at the time. What I did happen to have was a bottle of L-glutamine. I bought the L-glutamine way back when I thought I was going to have some real trouble cutting carbs. It’s supposed to be great for sugar/carb cravings. Turned out I did just fine on my own and never used it. The other thing L-glutamine or Glutamine (interchangeable) is good for is gut health. Lucky for me, my current class is all about the digestive system and gut health. Everything I’ve been reading talks about Glutamine and how important it is for healing the gut.
My stomach ache and gut pain was mostly gone after four days (no constant ache) but for several more days when I would eat I would get some twinges of pain. I figured the L-gluatmine wouldn’t hurt and from what I was reading it would probably help. The capsules that I have are 500 mg. I took 3 capsules a day, in between meals. I’m better. Was it the L-glutamine or just natural healing over time? I don’t know. I’ve continued to take the L-glutamine. I usually take two capsules during a day. One when I get up in the morning and one before dinner time.
Other things I’ve noticed: no cravings and no PMS. I haven’t read anything about L-glutamine helping with PMS but it’s the only thing I’m doing differently (although one of my biggest PMS problems is sugar cravings). The cravings thing is weird. I actually spilled some chocolate chips on the counter the other day and I just picked them up – I didn’t eat any! It didn’t even occur to me to eat any. My husband was dying for some ice cream the other night so we ran to the store and got some Cherry Garcia (one of my favs). I wasn’t interested in ice cream when we headed out to the store but I figured I’d want a little by the time we got home – nope. Again, for me, really weird. It’s not like I’m holding back, it’s really that I have no interest. Is it the L-glutamine? Perhaps. Here is some quoted information about Glutamine.
The following quote comes from a section of the book Digestive Wellness by Elizabeth Lipski called Restoring Gut Integrity.
Unlike the brain, which uses glucose for energy, the cells of the small intestine depend on glutamine as their main fuel and for maintenance and repair. Glutamine is the first nutrient I think of to repair leaky gut. Glutamine is alkalizing to the body. It decreases the incidence of infection and stimulates the production of sIgA. Glutamine has also been shown to decrease the risk of bacterial translocation. Dosages can range from 1 to 30 grams daily, depending on your needs. Begin with 1 to 3 grams daily. Too much glutamine will probably constipate you, so that’s a good gauge of how much you need. Many people find that they feel stronger and have more endurance when they take glutamine.
Here’s another quote from the same book in the section about Esophagus and Stomach:
Glutamine is the most popular antiulcer drug in Asia today. The digestive track uses glutamine as a fuel source and for healing. It is effective for healing stomach ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, and ulcerative bowl diseases.
Here’s a quote about L-glutamine from Primal Body, Primal Mind by Nora T. Gedgaudas:
L-glutamine, an amino acid, can stop cravings for sweets, starches, and alcohol instantly as the brain is able to use L-glutamine temporarily for fuel. It is also the number one food for enterocytes, the cells lining the small intestine, and can greatly help regenerate the gastrointestinal mucosa. It usually comes in 500 mg capsules and needs to be taken on an empty stomach for best effect. Start with the lowest dose and increase as necessary. It can also be absorbed sublingually (sprinkled under the tongue) for a more immediate effect.
Here’s a couple of quotes from Dr. Murray’s Total Body Tune-Up by Michael Murray:
Double-blind studies have shown that glutamine supplementation boosts immune function and fights infection in endurance athletes and critically ill patients.
Glutamine and glutamate have profound effects on neurons responsible for memory. Preliminary studies have shown L-glutamine supplementation to be helpful in improving memory in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, and in reducing cravings for alcohol in alcoholics.
Here’s a quote from the book the The Diet Cure by Julia Ross:
Section I, Relieving Cravings for Sweets, Starches, and Alcohol. If your cravings are triggered by a drop in blood sugar (hypoglycemia), the L-glutamine should alleviate them in just a day. Two 500 mg capsules three times a day between meals is sufficient. For fast, emergency relief of carbohydrates and/or alcohol cravings, take 500 mg of L-glutamine by opening a capsule under your tongue. As L-glutamine stabilizes your brain’s blood sugar level, your mood tends to stabilize as well.
One last quote from The Diet Cure by Julie Ross:
Any absence of fuel for your brain’s function is perceived correctly by your body as a code-red emergency. Powerful biochemical messages then order you to immediately eat refined carbohydrates to quickly fuel your brain. There are only two fuels that the brain can readily use:
- glucose, which is blood sugar made from sweets, starches, or alcohol
- L-glutamine, an amino acid available in protein foods (or as a supplement, carried in all health food stores).
L-glutamine reaches the starving brain within minutes and can often immediately put a stop to even the most powerful sweet and starch cravings. The brain is fueled by L-glutamine when glucose levels drop too low. Don’t be intimidated by the strong effects of supplementation. L-glutamine is a natural food substance; in fact, it’s the most abundant amino acid in our bodies. It serves many critical purposes: stabilizing our mental functioning, keeping us calm yet alert, and promoting good digestion.
So, there you have it. Sounds pretty good to me. So far, I’ve notice positive changes – dont’ seem to be eating mindlessly because of cravings. I think I’ll keep taking the L-glutamine at least until I run out. At that point I’ll re-evaluate and see how I feel after I stop taking it.
Eat Well, Feel Good, Have Fun!
Amy White MS HNC
I am a holistic nutrition counselor and believe real food is the true path to wellness. If you are interested in learning more about me and how I can help you, please see my story.
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