My Body’s Reactions to Gluten, Dairy and Sugar

by Cherise Holt, Gastroenterology Nurse, Brisbane

Around two years ago I made the choice to eliminate gluten and dairy from my diet and my body instantly benefited from the decrease in stomach bloating, changing bowel habits and other symptoms I had experienced within my gastrointestinal tract. I had eaten these foods all my life leaving me unaware and numb to their compounding symptoms in my body. I had become an expert in overriding what my body truly felt.

The choice to decrease and then to eliminate sugar from my diet came later, and whilst it was obvious my sleep patterns and the raciness I was experiencing in my body did not leave me feeling wonderful – as with all my food choices – I couldn’t make a change without first being willing to understand and heal the reasons why I chose to be unloving with me in the first place, which then lead me to override what I truly felt. 

As a human being, I am not just a creature of habit; I know that I actually live in cycles. Just as the Earth revolves around the Sun and our bodies experience a monthly cycle of menstruation or follow the monthly cycle of the moon, there are times when I know I have been here before’ or have made the same mistakes twice’ – if not many times over. But we can always change or re-imprint the cycle that we may find ourselves in, at any time.

Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon have never told me what foods to eat or avoid, but they have greatly inspired me to be more aware of making loving food choices. Through my own process of elimination, I have been graced to feel how these foods were really affecting me and my body.

As I began to make more self-supporting choices throughout my whole life I also experienced moments when I returned to my old ways or when I was not feeling like myself and I ate foods containing gluten, dairy and sugar. My body suffered considerably…and this was how I felt:


Gluten                                     Dairy                                       Sugar


Tired                                        Sinus, Mucous                        Raciness, too fast

Heavy                                      Chest congestion                     Back pain

Numb                                      Eczema                                    Headaches

Lethargic                                 Sore throat                               Watery eyes               

Bloated                                    Diarrhoea                                Forgetful

Foggy                                      Nausea                                    Shaky

Constipated                             Acne                                        Hyperactive


The unpleasant symptoms I endured also included mood changes and feelings of frustration, worry, anger, fear, stress and sadness, accompanied by poor sleep patterns, nightmares, a feeling of endless hunger and the overall sense of disconnection to me and my own body – awful!

With honesty and awareness of my body, I now know how my body reacts to these foods and with the repercussions lasting for days afterwards, I was left feeling far less than the amazing woman I otherwise naturally feel.

In the field of Gastroenterology patients present with symptoms ranging in severity and always with a knowing that something is ‘not right’ with their health and in their own body. Western medicine and science work persistently to research, perform tests and diagnose the body’s intolerances to certain foods, but as human beings we always have the opportunity to research and feel for ourselves if a certain food sits well in our bodies.

Personally, I have not been medically tested for intolerance to gluten, dairy or sugar but my experience with them is more than enough for me to know that they don’t sit well with me. Without self-responsibility and the willingness to take a more caring approach with me, I was living in a cycle of abusing my body and used food as a harmful form of medication to distract me from whatever I was feeling.

Food has the potential to support us to live our natural way of being, with true vitality and good health, so why don’t we all choose to eat foods that support, build, nourish, confirm and truly complement the amazingness we already are and the bodies we must live with every minute of every day?

621 thoughts on “My Body’s Reactions to Gluten, Dairy and Sugar

  1. We have lost the trust to our own bodies, we cannot decipher its messages because we have not learned to listen and understand ourselves. Instead we have given this immense power we have to the outside, waiting to be told and waiting to be confirmed, in effect, we want another to take responsibility for our lives. But this is a very disempowering way to live, a continuation of being controlled. We do not need to live in disempowerment when we trust again that truth is within us, that before listening to anyone, we already know what is truth and from there we can reach out for support in discernment.

  2. I haven’t been formally tested for gluten intolerance but had been aware for over 20 years that gluten did not suit me but overrode this feeling as it seemed too hard to eradicate it from my diet. As soon as I stopped around 10 years ago I felt the benefits and found it easy to continue. However cutting out sugar has been a much more gradual process as I was in much more denial about how I used sugar for example as an energy boost to overcome my varying levels of exhaustion. Being open to the effects of food on my body is supporting me to recognise where I am still eating things that dull me and cause unwanted side effects like constipation.

  3. I could really relate to all that you have shared here Cherise, we tend to put up with what we think is normal in our bodies for a long time, when we don’t listen to what it is saying.

  4. To detox our body and food choices so thoroughly is so beautiful to do, and your words here Cherise are deeply inspiring for me to read. But not because I need to change what I eat actually, but because I can see this all applies to the emotions and thoughts I allow myself to absorb. It’s this that is the most toxic thing in a way, because the energy of being less is there well before any food is on my plate.

  5. ..’ I couldn’t make a change without first being willing to understand and heal the reasons why I chose to be unloving with me in the first place, which then lead me to override what I truly felt.’ That’s why dieting does not work, it is trying to change a pattern that feels safe and comfortable without addressing the root cause of why we make food choices that are not supportive for our body.

  6. Gosh, I know why I choose certain foods that don’t support me. A moment of relief…like a drug. It’s basically medication for when times are tough, or I find myself in a tricky situation and I don’t know how to deal with it…so I comfort myself with food. Being more aware of this and catching the sneaky habit out has really helped me overcome some of these situations much faster than I had done in the past.

  7. Great question ‘so why don’t we all choose to eat foods that support, build, nourish, confirm and truly complement the amazingness we already are and the bodies we must live with every minute of every day?’ Because we eat what we want not feel what we need to eat to best support our body.

  8. Thank you for sharing that it is not about just giving up the foods, but looking at why we are choosing to be unloving to our bodies in the first place. I have tried before to give up foods without doing this, and they have a way of creeping back in. But when we consider what we are avoiding, or why we are eating what we are eating, it becomes so much bigger than food – and the more I appreciate myself – the more I am able to make choices that reflect this.

  9. Whenever people question the foods that I choose not to eat, I describe the symptoms you have played out for us and 9 times out of 10 the person agrees that is how they feel too! Just goes to show that everyone knows their body inside out.

    1. This is my experience as well Michael Brown. There is that knowing that it doesn’t sit well in the body yet we continue to override this feeling time and time again.

  10. We do know what does and doesn’t support the body and what makes us tired, lethargic and bloated or whatever, it’s whether we are willing to look at why we need those foods that don’t support us. People are constantly talking about food, either from what they love to eat, to how they feel heavy and bloated after pasta and so on. It’s great at those times when you can offer a suggestion or simply ask, have you tried not eating that for a while?
    At work late last year my Director asked me to do a presentation on self care, so I decided to offer up suggestions for trying one thing for a week either from the suggestions or something that they felt they would like to do. About 7 staff participated and one worker who was from agency at the time, asked could he do it so I said, of course. So he decided that he would cut out one meal per day which he did for a week and kept going after, losing something like 12 kilos in weight. He still does have one meal less every day and his family are doing the same. This for him he said has been huge and he feels so much better with much more energy.

  11. It’s extraordinary how loud the body can be in its reaction to our choices, waiting for us to listen to what it is telling us is not true for us. It’s crazy that we give our power away for science to tell us of our intolerances when choosing awareness can make us our own expert.

  12. When people are tested and get to hear there is an intolerance with certain food most of the times they feel that something has been taken away from them and although they feel better there can be a ‘poor me’ attitude. With feeling and experimenting for ourselves with food, we make a clear choice to listen what our body tells us and it feels empowering to honour what we feel.

  13. The level of self-medication using food is so prevalent it has become normalised, and yet what it has produced is a humanity that walks through life in a numbed out fog, totally sold on the belief that it’s our life and we can do what we want because it doesn’t affect anyone else. We couldn’t be further from the truth.

  14. Food intolerances and allergies appear to be escalating – are we listening and being aware of what is going on in our bodies to be causing this escalation?

  15. Great diagram outlining the reactions you felt in your body Cherise. I could have written it myself, and I suspect many others would feel the same. The more we reject what’s on offer out there, courtesy of ‘big food’ and restaurants and the like, the more these firms wil be forced to accommodate what is surely a growing health trend.

  16. It’s really great to stop and consider what different foods, actions and ways of being do to us. It’s like a stock take and one that I feel I would like to do on my life, to explore the details of things that I do or don’t do that could bring a deep support to me.

  17. Every moment we have a choice to make life about harmony and vitality and knowing that food is the source that supports this way of living is a responsibility that is offered for all of us to live. A simple yet often delayed way of living.

  18. Since I was brought up on all of those foods – gluten, dairy and sugar to me I felt normal and fine. It wasn’t until I decided to play around with it and take them out of my diet, not all at the same time but one by one and I started to feel different. After a couple of months without them I re-introduced and wow I had no idea the impact that they had. Since then I couldn’t do it to my body and being and I knew that this was a way of living with a quality that I had no idea existed.

  19. I have so much more vitality and clarity since I started listening to my body and refining my food choices –enormously so.

  20. I love the commitment and care you have shared here Cherise in wanting to understand the reason behind your choices first and to then be willing to feel how your body was reacting to those choices when you overrode how you were feeling. When we open up our awareness and start to choose to be more gentle and tender with our body we are able to release old patterns and unloving behaviours that restore our body’s natural harmony and by eating foods that fully support our body and our well-being.

  21. Foods have a massive impact on not just our gastrointestinal tract but also how we feel in our day to day lives – it’s very worth investigating which foods work for you and your body and which foods leave you feeling heavy and tired or bloated or unable to concentrate – surely the quality of life we lead is more important that the instant gratification food brings.

  22. Self-love is perhaps the greatest determining factor in what foods to eat, because it (self-love) leads each person to the door of a greater love, a unity with everyone where responsibility is known and is lovingly made the focus for each day.

  23. We need to change our understanding of food. We still think that we can eat what we like and it will not harm us. Gluten, dairy and sugar are now in most foods we consume these days, and we over loading our body with these products without taking into consideration the harm it is doing. When we start to listen to our body the symptoms you show become very clear and it then becomes our choice if we are willing to look at the foods we choose to eat. On a world scale it is shown that our health is diminishing and the types of illnesses we are getting are interwoven in their complexity, and food along with stress are some of the contributing factors. Anything we can do for ourselves to support our body has to be a positive step forward for both our own health and that of the over burdened health service.

  24. I have noticed that there are a lot of young people who don’t want to do anything unless it is gaming. This can take over to such an extent that they don’t stop to eat and if they do, they grab the easiest and quickest packet of so called food that they come across.The food companies are quick to provide such foods making them cheaper and cheaper to produce with higher profit margins. This feedback loop is creating a society that doesn’t truly care for themselves at all and is the harbinger of much illness and disease physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

  25. I have heard a lot of people reporting similar things to Cherise but in normal life we don’t notice because we have all these things at once and so their effect compounds without an easy way to find out which is which.

  26. “I couldn’t make a change without first being willing to understand and heal the reasons why I chose to be unloving with me in the first place” – this really stood out for me as I am finding myself keeping coming back to this very point yet again – and what a great question to ask ‘Why choose non-love?’ – I don’t think there’s any room for justification with this one.

  27. Unless I am prepared to address why I choose the food to distract and numb me then I will never truly heal. To be willing and allow myself to feel that which I am avoiding,,, possibly a deeper level of responsibility! is what I need to address. It is simple no matter the doubts that enter my mind and I know I need to be completely honest with myself and say yes to the what is next.

  28. ‘Western medicine and science work persistently to research, perform tests and diagnose the body’s intolerances to certain foods, but as human beings we always have the opportunity to research and feel for ourselves if a certain food sits well in our bodies.’ When we connect to our body, it is so obvious what foods support us and those that don’t, the problem is we use food for comfort, and often override what our body is telling us.

  29. When I feel less than amazing, I eat less than amazingly. And I can see here that one of the key missing ingredients is appreciation as when I appreciate myself, others I feel much more amazing.

  30. Often we don’t fully understand how a food or behaviour is making us feel until we experiment with cutting it out, e.g. how we think our skin naturally looks might be completely different to its true make-up because all along we have been eating/doing x, y and z, which is why really paying attention to the signs our body puts out and having the willingness to explore different options is so crucial and an amazing outlook to have.

  31. Our bodies love that we honour and respect them. They never stop letting us know what really nourishes, nurtures and supports them and this we can feel by how light and lovely we feel, not in our heads but in our actual bodies. It’s like all the parts join up and we begin to feel ourselves as whole people and move as one, no longer disjointed, one sided or top heavy for example. In my experience though this is not an end point for the body is communicating all the time and as things come up to clear there can also be pain and discomfort and this is all part of the process.

  32. The fact is we have an investment in every vice and every misstep we make. They all have a short-term pay off. It’s only when we see and admit that this exists, that our life truly changes. There is no mistake in what we do, just in our choice to pretend we are dumb and push through. Thank you Cherise for sharing here how the journey of becoming honest was for you.

  33. If we eat to support what is needed for each day it is interesting to notice what drops away that is not nourishing. Everything else tends to be eating in reaction to what I could not deal with in the day.

  34. ” there are times when I know I have ‘been here before’ or have ‘made the same mistakes twice’ – if not many times over. But we can always change or re-imprint the cycle that we may find ourselves in, at any time. ”
    This is so important to remember we can always change or re-imprint out previous choices. Even the slightest change to support our body will have a dramatic change.

  35. We have so many uses for food these days – comfort, distraction, satisfaction, numbing what we feel, for false bursts of energy – we forget that food is actually designed to nourish and support us. It makes a big difference to how we feel if we eat according to what feels right for our body and avoid the foods that bring us down or make us heavier.

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