Gluten Intolerance Symptoms: When Paleo and Carb Back-Loading Collide

Everyone knows I hate the usage of the word Paleo for the Paleo diet. Not because I hate the diet; I actually love the diet. It’s just that implication that we ran around the Stone Age through vast fields of potatoes and forests of fruit and nut trees, not to mention bushels of beans. So, essentially I hate the term Paleo because I’m anal retentive.

One thing the movement brought to light is the evils of gluten, which, as I discussed and referenced in Carb Back-Loading, 50% of the population reacts poorly to gluten, which is found in wheat, rye and barley and even breeds of quinoa[1]. That throws bread and pasta out the window and that include Ezekiel bread. A doctor on a TV show said she enjoyed a snack of Ezekiel bread because it’s gluten-free but it’s a bold faced lie. Even the ancient wheat strains used to make Ezekiel bread cause an adverse reaction[2].

It gets worse. Even if you don’t respond to gluten and you are one of the lucky 50%, then you can still form an allergic reaction to industrialized hydrolysates and other derivatives[3]. Oh, and glutamine peptides is gluten hydrolysate, and yes, it can cause an allergic reaction[4-5].

Carb Back-Loading and Carb Nite offer a unique way to help you figure out if you are allergic or sensitive to gluten*. Because you’re deprived of all carbs for long periods of time, like during the preparation phase, or the 6 days without carbs during Carb Nite or even the up to 16 or more hours without carbs during each day on CBL. After being deprived of carbs.

*It’s not actually the gluten, but a family of peptides called gliadins and this is what causes the immune response.

Reaction 1) Massive, gut bloating and pressure within 15 minutes of eating a high-gluten food.
You’ll recognize this one right away. It’ll pretty much prevent from eating the rest of the night.

Reaction 2) Unexplained lethargy first thing in the morning and possibly most of the day until you train.
This one’s easy to figure out because despite feeling horrible going into the workout, you experience the Hulk Effect anyway.

Reaction 3) Chronic joint pain.
I’m not talking about sore shoulders from your training (although, you shouldn’t have chronic shoulder pain from training).

Reaction 4) Explosive diarrhea.
This one usually accompanies glutamine peptide supplementation, even at normal doses, especially when added to post workout shakes. This is probably the rarest, but you might suffer this one even if you don’t have any of the symptoms above. This is a case where you may be slowly training your body to develop an allergy over time.


What Can You Do?

Quite simply, stop basing your meals on gluten-based products like breads and pastas. I’m relatively high on the tolerance scale, so I can get away with gluten stuff, particularly gluten-depleted flour like that used for flaky pastries, i.e. cherry turnovers. I do, absolutely refrain from pasta which is tough, seeing as how I’m half Italian. But you just have to decide, at the end of the day, what’s more important, life longevity and performance or a plate of pasta and marinara sauce?


  1. Zevallos VF, Ellis HJ, Suligoj T, Herencia LI, Ciclitira PJ. Variable activation of immune response by quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) prolamins in celiac disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Aug;96(2):337-44.
  2. Colomba MS, Gregorini A. Are ancient durum wheats less toxic to celiac patients? A study of α-gliadin from Graziella Ra and Kamut. ScientificWorldJournal. 2012;2012:837416. (Epub 2012 May 2.)
  3. Denery-Papini S, Bodinier M, Larré C, Brossard C, Pineau F, Triballeau S, Pietri M, Battais F, Mothes T, Paty E, Moneret-Vautrin DA. Allergy to deamidated gluten in patients tolerant to wheat: specific epitopes linked to deamidation. Allergy. 2012 Aug;67(8):1023-32.
  4. Bouchez-Mahiout I, Pecquet C, Kerre S, Snégaroff J, Raison-Peyron N, Laurière M. High molecular weight entities in industrial wheat protein hydrolysates are immunoreactive with IgE from allergic patients. J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Apr 14;58(7):4207-15.
  5. Laurière M, Pecquet C, Bouchez-Mahiout I, Snégaroff J, Bayrou O, Raison-Peyron N, Vigan M. Hydrolysed wheat proteins present in cosmetics can induce immediate hypersensitivities. Contact Dermatitis. 2006 May;54(5):283-9.

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