MMA veteran Dennis Hallman (41-13-2 MMA, 1-4 UFC) could never figure out why he was so utterly exhausted after training and why his cardio seemed to fail him during fights.
Hallman, who faces Ben Saunders at UFC 117, recently discovered he has Celiac disease, which means he is allergic to wheat. He's now cut the grain out of his diet, and told MMAjunkie Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) he feels like a new man.
Hallman didn't attribute the loss to his condition, but he later sought out doctors to find out what was happening to him. After tests, he said they were "troubled" with what they found. His body wasn't producing testosterone or cortisol, two hormones essential to the activity and recovery of an athlete. The wheat in his diet was preventing him from absorbing the nutrients that allowed him to produce the chemicals.
Celiac disease affects over two million people in the U.S. and is often hereditary. It can cause damage to the body's internal organs, though it is not fatal.
Hallman has been off wheat since May and has immediately noticed the difference.
"I have actual cortisol in my body now, so I have recovery time," Hallman said. "When I get tired, I can recover."
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