Glutened 3 Steps To Recover From A Gluten Reaction
Science Based Amy Myers, MD
Amy Myers, M.D. is a functional medicine physician, trained and certified by The Institute of Functional Medicine. Dr. Myers earned her Doctor of Medicine at the LSU Health Science Center, and completed her Emergency Medicine residency at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Dr. Myers retired from her functional medicine clinic, Austin UltraHealth, where she served thousands of patients, to empower those who were failed by conventional medicine. Shes a 2x New York Times bestselling author, and the founder and CEO of the health & lifestyle e-commerce brand, Amy Myers MD®.
If you are gluten sensitive or have celiac disease you know all too well about accidentally ingesting gluten otherwise known as getting glutened. A gluten reaction can be a result of eating foods that contain gluten, such as white bread or whole-wheat pasta, or eating foods that have come into contact with gluten.
Even when youve ordered gluten-free, you can never be completely sure that its free of all gluten. People with celiac disease have to be especially careful, as the effects of a gluten reaction can result in serious health complications. Thats why I always keep a bottle of my Complete Enzymes in my purse, just in case of a sneaky gluten reaction.
How Can Gluten Intolerance Be Treated
Obviously, the number one treatment for gluten intolerance is the removal of gluten from the diet. If you have a gluten intolerance, some of the mainstays of treatment include:
Unexplained Aches And Pains
Some people with gluten intolerance experience joint and muscle pain, numbness in the arms and legs, and body aches. Gluten can cause inflammation, the most likely cause of this discomfort [, although inflammation is most apparent in people with Celiac disease. The exact cause of non-celiac gluten intolerance and the aches and pains that go along with it isn’t clear. Also, nutrient deficiencies from a lack of proper absorption can contribute to these issues. In most cases, people who cut gluten out of their diets report feeling healthier, with fewer aches and pains. Celiac disease is also more common in people with autoimmune issues. It is important to talk to a physician to make sure the pain is not a symptom of another condition.
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Symptoms Of Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is the most severe form of gluten intolerance.
It is an autoimmune disease that affects about 1% of the population and may lead to damage in the digestive system .
It can cause a wide range of symptoms, including skin problems, gastrointestinal issues, mood changes, and more.
Here are a few of the most common symptoms of celiac disease.
Gluten Intolerance Vs Wheat Allergy
When a person has a wheat allergy, their body reacts to a protein in wheat, and this protein is not necessarily gluten.
A wheat allergy can cause life-threatening symptoms. Anyone with this allergy who ingests wheat requires immediate medical attention.
A person with a wheat allergy may develop:
- breathing difficulties, including wheezing
While an allergic reaction requires urgent care, an intolerance is not immediately dangerous. However, it can cause discomfort and may affect a persons overall health.
Anyone who believes that they may have either an intolerance or an allergy should consult a doctor.
Learn more about a wheat allergy here.
- some oat products
A person looking to avoid gluten should be sure to check food labels carefully. It may also be a good idea to make soups, sauces, and salad dressings at home.
Products with gluten-free on their labels do not contain enough gluten to trigger symptoms of celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Manufacturers may remove the gluten from wheat flour or use a substitute, such as oat or chickpea flour.
Here, learn more about what a gluten free diet includes.
Find out more about alternatives to wheat bread in this article.
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What Causes Gluten Intolerance
The exact causes of gluten intolerance arent well understood. Some research shows that people may not be sensitive to gluten, but to a certain carbohydrate found in many foods. Their bodies dont absorb the carbohydrate as they should. It stays in their guts and ferments, causing sickness.
Other research suggests that wheat might affect the lining of some peoples digestive tracts. This lining usually keeps bacteria from leaking out of your intestines. But in people with a gluten intolerance, the lining may not work as it should, allowing bacteria into their blood or liver and causing inflammation.
Getting A Proper Diagnosis Is Key
Getting a proper diagnosis is the first step toward feeling better and living a healthy life. Diagnosing celiac disease is pretty straight forward. A gastroenterologist will be able to make a diagnosis based on blood tests and a biopsy of the small intestine.
Diagnosing non-celiac gluten intolerance is a little trickier. Your physician will test you for celiac disease, wheat allergy and other things that might be associated with your particular symptoms. If you test negatively for those things, youll start a gluten-free diet. If going gluten-free for a while improves your symptoms, youll probably be diagnosed with non-celiac gluten intolerance.
If you think you might have a gluten intolerance, its important to keep gluten in your diet until you visit your physician. This is the only way the to test properly.
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Testing For Gluten Sensitivity & Celiac Disease
The proper gluten test tools must be used to accurately assess gluten sensitivity, whether in children or in adults. This is where a lot of people and doctors get confused.
Traditionally lab testing is only designed to diagnose celiac disease. Remember that gluten sensitivity is not a disease, but it contributes to the development of disease. Celiac disease is only one medical condition caused by gluten. Many people have other diseases caused by gluten sensitivity. If your doctor uses a gluten test to diagnose celiac disease on you and it comes back negative, it doesnt mean that you dont have gluten sensitivity. The intestinal biopsy and serum blood tests are examples of inaccurate medical tests for gluten sensitivity. A genetic sensitivity to gluten test offers the greatest degree of accuracy and when combined with a patients history and examination, identifying the need to go gluten free can be determined early and accurately. Gluten-Free Society offers genetic testing and educational services about gluten such as how common gluten intolerance is.
There Are Many Symptoms Of Gluten Intolerance And Celiac Disease
Most people wonder if they have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance because of gastrointestinal symptoms like gassiness, diarrhea, constipation or excessive bloating. But other symptoms might not be so obvious. And while gluten intolerance and celiac disease are different, many of the symptoms can be similar. Here are some signs of celiac disease and gluten intolerance you might not be aware of.
- Digestive issues
- Tingling or numbness in hands and/or feet
- Bone and joint pain
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You Have A Known Food Intolerance
Food intolerance is said to affect up to 10% of people.
A reaction occurs when an individuals threshold to particular food chemicals or compounds is surpassed.
Anecdotal evidence indicates it is quite common for someone with a food intolerance to also be highly sensitive to gluten.
Note that those who dont tolerate gluten-containing foods should also consider FODMAPs as a trigger for symptoms.
Well It Depends On What Condition You Actually Have
Robert Burakoff, MD, MPH, is board-certified in gastroentrology. He is the vice chair for ambulatory services for the department of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, where he is also a professor. He was the founding editor and co-editor in chief of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.
So you have persistent symptomspossibly digestive, possibly skin-related or even neurologicaland you’re wondering, do these symptoms mean I have a gluten allergy? You might be surprised to learn that there are several different conditions that people refer to as a “gluten allergy,” and your specific symptoms will depend on which of these conditions you actually have .
You see, medical science doesn’t actually recognize the term “gluten allergy.” Instead, when people refer to a gluten allergy, it’s likely they mean one of four different conditions: celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, dermatitis herpetiformis or gluten ataxia. None of these is a true allergy. It’s also possible that someone who refers to a gluten allergy actually means a wheat allergy, which is a true allergy.
Here’s a guide to the different sets of symptoms and related issues that are commonly referred to as gluten allergies.
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Should Other People Eliminate Gluten From Their Diet Too
Theres a certain subset of the population who have eliminated gluten from their diets, not because of a specific symptom but because they label gluten as bad for you. The upside in this trend is that food brands and restaurants have listened and are now offering more gluten-free options. The downside is that the lay public may not take someones need to avoid gluten seriously, says Bertiger.
Restaurants may not be scrupulous with cross-contamination, for instance, because people who go gluten-free without celiac or NCGS wont be bothered by a little gluten here or there especially if they cant see it. Celiac patients can never eat gluten. When they do, it causes an inflammatory reaction that takes days or weeks to go away, he says. For celiac patients, their health depends on going gluten-free, but there isnt evidence that this is necessary for the general population.
It may even be harmful. A 2017 study looked at more than 100,000 men and women age 26 and older and found that eating gluten didnt increase the risk of heart disease. But the researchers point out that gluten-free eaters may consciously avoid whole grains, which are associated with heart health. The promotion of gluten-free diets among people without celiac disease should not be encouraged, the authors write.
S To Recover From A Gluten Reaction
Depending on your sensitivity, an accidental gluten exposure can make you feel like junk for days! The good news is that you can take steps to lessen your symptoms and recover quicker. Following these 3 steps will help make your recovery period manageable and help you from getting glutened in the future.
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How To Reduce Gluten Intake
While people with celiac disease must exclude gluten from their diet as soon as a doctor has diagnosed the condition, many people with gluten intolerance slowly reduce the consumption of gluten, rather than cutting it out straightaway.
It can help if a person starts by including one gluten-free meal per day before slowly adding more.
It may not be beneficial for everyone with gluten intolerance to cut gluten out of their diet entirely, as peoples symptoms will vary in their severity.
Some people may be able to consume small amounts of gluten without experiencing any symptoms.
The majority of people with gluten intolerance, however, may want to eliminate gluten from their diet gradually.
Gluten Free Diet Foods
Food is essential to everyone. It provides energy, the building blocks to grow and heal, and the nutrients the body needs to help it run smoothly. However, certain foods contain ingredients that cause a bad reaction in some people. One such ingredient is gluten 1https://celiac.org/live-gluten-free/glutenfreediet/what-is-gluten/.
Gluten is commonly found in wheat flour, so it can be quite hard to avoid. Fortunately, there are still plenty of foods that contain no gluten at all. Many gluten-free foods are also some of the most delicious. People with gluten intolerance can still enjoy a varied, nutritious, and delicious diet.
What Should I Do If Im Exposed To Gluten
Gluten is in countless foods, drinks and other products. Even if you stick to a gluten-free diet, you might accidentally eat gluten at some point. If you experience side effects from accidental gluten exposure, you can:
- Drink plenty of water to flush out your system.
- Eat small meals that arent spicy or fatty.
- Try ginger or peppermint tea to soothe an upset stomach.
Test To Tell If You’re Allergic To Gluten
Am I allergic to gluten? You ask. Well, there’re several tests for this. A gluten allergy is oftentimes difficult to diagnose. Many other conditions can create similar symptoms to gluten allergies, including celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Additionally, symptoms can vary in severity depending on the individual. The only way know for sure is to have yourself tested.
1. Elimination Diet
The first test used to ascertain whether someone has gluten allergies is with an elimination diet. With an elimination diet, people who suspect a gluten allergy removes foods that contain gluten, such as pasta, or wheat, from their diet for a length of time to determine if the symptoms are resolved. Unfortunately, an elimination diet will not completely rule out a gluten sensitivity, or celiac disease.
2. Blood/Skin Tests
A food allergy test such as a skin prick test, or pricking the skin with a needle or pin containing a small amount of the allergen can and do show gluten allergies. However, celiac/gluten intolerance is not an allergy, and the skin tests for allergies will not show it. There are blood tests for celiac/gluten intolerance, but there can still be some false negatives. Therefore, its usually followed up with stool antibody testing to see if you are throwing gluten antibodies into your stool.
3. IgE or Cell-Mediated Test
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Are Gluten Intolerance And Celiac Disease The Same Thing
Gluten intolerance and celiac disease are different. People with celiac disease have an autoimmune response to gluten. This means their bodies try to fight against gluten as if it were a virus. This reaction causes inflammation and damage to their digestive tracts. Celiac disease is the result of an abnormal gene. People with celiac disease also have high levels of certain antibodies in their blood, which are substances that fight gluten.
Gluten sensitivity and celiac disease cause a lot of the same symptoms. But people with gluten sensitivity dont have an abnormal gene or antibodies in their blood.