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Gluten-free Novak Djokovic Wins Record Third Straight Australian Open

Celiac.com 02/14/2013 - Gluten-free tennis sensation Novak Djokovic's recent five set victory over Andy Murray at Melbourne Park makes him the first man in the 45-year Open era to win three consecutive Australian Opens.

Photo of Novak Djokovic serving at the French Open: CC-y.caradecSince going gluten-free in 2010, after tests indicated that he suffered from gluten-intolerance, the 25-year-old Djokovic is undefeated at the Australian Open, and virtually unstoppable on the court.

Following a high-protein, gluten-free diet, Djokovic now avoids most starches, including his past favorites, pizza and pasta. The Serbian tennis star credits the gluten-free diet with sharp improvements to his tennis and his health.

“Mentally, you’ll be fresh, you’ll be happier, you’ll be calmer," said Djokovic. Physically, you’ll be stronger, faster, more dynamic, your muscles will work better. That’s what I feel."

At first, the already slim 6-foot-2 Djokovic lost 10 pounds after cutting gluten out of his diet, but insists it has only helped his game.

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"I have lost some weight but it's only helped me, because my movement is much sharper now and I feel great physically," said Novak, whose weight now hovers at 176 pounds. “I am very skinny. [But] I am fast and very powerful on the court, so this is what matters.”

When he's not in training, Djokovic has been known to backslide and eat some of his old favorites, including pizza and pasta, a pattern familiar to many folks seeking to follow a gluten-free diet, especially those who don't suffer immediate symptoms.

However, he says that following a gluten-free diet brings out his best.

"If you can mentally overcome this greed and eat only the food that is good for your metabolism, then you will have the best results, not just in tennis but in life as well," he says.

Djokovic has now won a total of four Australian Open trophies: In 2008, and then 2011, 2012 and 2013.

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2 Responses:

 
mikiais
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingempty Unrated
said this on
14 Feb 2013 6:02:57 PM PDT
His victory over Andy Murray in recent Australian Open's Final was in four sets not five.

 
Sandra
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingempty Unrated
said this on
16 Feb 2013 10:35:24 AM PDT
He won in four sets, not five!




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You only need one positive on the celiac panel. I tested positive only to the DGP IgA and had a Marsh Stage IIIB intestinal damage. Good luck!

Welcome to the forum. First, you need to get copies of your celiac test to confirm you actually had it done and what the results were. Second, to confirm a diagnosis, you must obtain biopsies via an endoscopy. Were the doctors gastroenterologists? Third you need to research celiac disease. Yes, you can be asymptomatic, but could still have instestinal damage as the small intestine is vast. here is a good place to start: http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/screening/ You might think you are a silent celiac, but ever been anemic? Had your bones checked?

That's good to know about Texas Children's, unfortunately I don't believe they accept our insurance. Our former pediatrician joined with one of their medical groups and we had to find a new one due to insurance. I'll check out their site though.

9 months ago I went to my doctor for normal blood work. She called me to tell me everything looked great, but o yeah, my gluten sensitivity levels were extremely high. I should probably stop eating gluten since it looks like I have celiac. She hung up and I never heard from her again. I cut out gluten completely, even though I have never experienced one single symptom of celiac. 9 months later, I decided to reach out to another doctor to get a second opinion, as I experienced absolutely zero change on 9 months of strict gluten free diet. All this doctor did was request the results from the previous doctor, tell me it is confirmed I have celiac, and hung up the phone. This angers me tremendously on two counts. One, I have absolutely zero symptoms of celiac, and would NEVER know if I was "glutened". Two, the complete lack of information or support from both doctors is horrifying to me. And finally, I simply do not believe the diagnosis and as considering just starting to eat a normal diet again. I would never know the difference. I am really just venting because this situation upsets me so much, and I have suffered mentally and socially from going gluten free. Since I have absolutely zero symptoms, even if I was actually celiac, I highly doubt anything would ever come of it if I continued to eat gluten. I could just pretend I never heard from either terrible doctor and go on living my life. Someone has to have been in the same situation as me, right?

Texas children's hospital in the med center has a celiac center now. https://www.texaschildrens.org/departments/celiac-disease-clinic Good luck!