Michelle Wie Adopts Gluten-Free Diet for Golf

When Novak Djokovic attributed much of his crazy-awesome tennis success to his new, gluten-free diet, he may have started quite the trend.

Not only did Djokovic bring increased attention to the benefits of the gluten-free diet, but he also focused that attention on athletic performance. Now, golf star Michelle Wie has announced her own gluten-free diet. Will it bring her the same runaway success?

According to an article on the Taipei Times, Wie was directly inspired by Djokovic. The article goes on to quote her as saying, “I am allergic to everything in this world, I don’t really digest food very well…So I just thought maybe if I cut out gluten, I can feel better because I heard that it causes inflammation, everything … but it’s been week three and I feel a big difference.”

Wie, who is Hawaiian-born and of Korean descent, has won the LPGA championship twice. A bit of digging around on the internet seems to indicate that she may also have longstanding allergies/intolerances/avoidances of eggs, dairy and bees.

The two biggest takeaways from this news seem to be a) a reminder that celiac disease and gluten sensitivity can affect people of all ethnic backgrounds and b) a reminder that symptoms are not always related to the gut — joint pain and swelling are just as likely to be caused by gluten as are traditional GI symptoms.

What do you think? Will going gluten-free have an impact on Wie’s game?

6 thoughts on “Michelle Wie Adopts Gluten-Free Diet for Golf”

  1. I just wish that she would have gotten tested for Celiac Disease first before going on the Gluten Free diet. It’s very possible that she has Celiac and the result of feeling better after going GF is because she is actually celiac.

    If the results came back that she was not celiac she could still try the GF diet because she could have a gluten sensitivity.

    I would just really like for anyone thinking of going GF to be tested for celiac first. The more people who are actually diagnosed as being celiac the more research dollars we’ll be able to get for this disease.

  2. Agreed Debby! I myself am non-celiac gluten intolerant, and I eat a paleo diet. I think giving up gluten is great for everyone, but those with Celiac have to be extra vigilant to avoid trace amounts of gluten; better to know for sure so the proper precautions can be taken!

  3. That’s great to hear going gluten-free is making her feel better.

    The article said she is allergic to bees, and I wonder if that was supposed to mean beans or possibly honey…?

  4. I agree with Debby also, since being diagnosed with celiac in 2008 and having to go gluten free I hate to see the gluten free diet be adopted by people for the wrong reasons. They really should research the medical reasons for the gluten free diet and seek testing before adopting it. It does change your life, for the good medically, but food wise I don’t think most people understand how dramatically your eating habits change and how restricted your food choices become.

  5. For over a decade I suffered from severe joint pain, especially in my fingers, hips & knees. Often I was unable to participate in physical activity because of it. Then 4 years ago I developed serious digestive issues & was ultimately diagnosed with celiac disease. After going onto a gluten free diet my gut issues vastly improved, but I also noted a welcome side-effect. My joint pain has all but disappeared! At the time of my diagnosis I had never heard of any connection between gluten & joint inflammation, so I know this was not a placebo effect. Thus, if this connection is legitimate (as I suspect it is), it makes sense that an athelete with any gluten issues could experience enhanced performance on a gluten free diet. I am turning 60 in 2 months & my joints feel 20 years younger since I went gluten free!

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