What To Do If You Are Sensitive To Gluten
For sensitive individuals, avoiding gluten is mandatory for healing the gut lining, calming inflammation and restoring immune balance.
Depending on the level of sensitivity, eating out can be challenging, as many gluten-free foods can be contaminated if prepared in the same kitchen or fried in the same oil as gluten foods.
To remedy this you can preemptively take gluten digesting enzymes to block some of the inflammatory effects of ingesting trace amounts of gluten.
If you dont eat out, gluten exposure may still be an issue for you. Spices are notorious for being gluten contaminated. Nuts can be also.
You can test the foods at home with a Nima. This gluten-testing device uses small capsule to test samples of food for gluten. Put a mix of kitchen spices into the Nima and if it comes back positive, you need to test each spice. You use the Nima at restaurants to test your food before you eat it.
Its a good idea to double check that your supplements dont have hidden traces of gluten. Many supplements are certified gluten free.
In some cases, if gluten sensitivity is mild and caused by lack of enzymes, biome imbalances, leaky gut or inflammation, fixing these issue could reverse the sensitivity. If so, gluten will no longer trigger inflammation for you.
Signs You Should Stop Eating Gluten Immediately
A gluten-free nutrition plan seems to be the latest eating trend. The question remains as to whether being gluten intolerant is a fad or if it is a real concern in our fast-food, over-processed, sugar and wheat-laden eating habits.
According to the latest estimates, about 1% of the population has celiac disease, an autoimmune disease that makes it difficult to digest food, and another 10% of the population may be suffering from non-celiac gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity. While that 10% number may seem low to some, it is higher than most in the scientific community had originally thought.
Gluten is the protein found in wheat, and there is no scientific evidence to support that eliminating gluten from the diet has any benefit other than to those with celiac disease or an intolerance to gluten. By some estimates, the sales of gluten-free products have grown by nearly 70%. That means a lot of people are eating gluten-free for non-health related reasons.
In fact, according to recent poll conducted by The NDP Group, 30% percent of adults said they wanted to cut down or be free of gluten. This is a problem since whole wheat is considered one of our major sources in dietary fiber.
The average American diet is deficient in fiber, says Dr. Leffler, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. He goes on to say, take away whole wheat and the problem gets worse.
Signs You’re Gluten Intolerant
More than 55 diseases have been linked to gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. It’s estimated that 99% of the people who have either gluten intolerance or celiac disease are never diagnosed.It is also estimated that as much as 15% of the US population is gluten intolerant. Could you be one of them?
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Wheat Allergy Management And Treatment
- Avoid foods and other products that trigger symptoms.
- Control some symptoms with antihistamines and corticosteroids.
- Use epinephrine , available by prescription, to reverse anaphylactic symptoms.
Take back control of your life.
An allergist is an expert who can review your symptoms to help you manage your wheat allergy.
What Health Issues Does Gluten Cause
There are two types of health issues that gluten may cause for people who are affected with the sensitivity to the protein. These are gluten intolerance and a less severe gluten sensitivity.
Gluten intolerance is an autoimmune digestive genetic disease, also referred to as celiac disease.
With celiac disease, gluten causes ones body to have an autoimmune response that inflames and damages the small intestines lining, which can cause pain and make it difficult for your body to absorb necessary vitamins and nutrients from food. People who suffer from celiac disease need to always avoid gluten.
This disease is becoming increasingly common. A study in the Gastroenterology Journal reports that in the past 50 years, celiac disease has gone from affecting 0.15% of people to 0.83% of people in 2009, and now that number has risen to 1% of the population.
Celiac disease is a serious disorder that can cause other health problems such as malnutrition, infertility, and bowel cancer. Here are 13 early signs of gluten intolerance in adults.
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How To Know If You Have Celiac Disease A Gluten Sensitivity Or A Wheat Allergy
5 min Read Time
Odds are, someone you know has gone gluten-free. Perhaps theyre trying to drop some pounds, or simply believe its healthier for them. Or, maybe they suspect they have a gluten-related medical problem, since theyve linked eating it to uncomfortable or distressing symptoms like nausea, fatigue or even joint pain.
Its possible, of course. Millions of people have disorders, such as celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, involving negative reactions triggered by gluten intake. Plenty of others have a wheat allergy, a potentially life-threatening immune response thats often confused with gluten-related illnesses.
But, while these serious medical issues demand the avoidance of certain foods, avoiding gluten isnt necessary for many people. Theres no proof that it helps you lose weight, for example and cutting it out of your diet unnecessarily may trigger a different set of health issues.
So, what is gluten, and how do you know if you have a serious problem with it? Whats the difference between conditions linked to gluten and wheat? And when is it a good idea to keep gluten as part of your diet?
What A Doctor Can Do
If youre experiencing unusual symptoms and believe you might have CD, GS, a wheat allergy or another digestive condition, reach out to your healthcare provider . Your doctor can help pinpoint what ails you, refer you to the appropriate specialists and begin treatment to alleviate your symptoms. Avoid self-diagnosing your condition or eliminating gluten from your diet before your appointment, which could influence your test results, leading to a misdiagnosis and slower recovery.
And if your tests results reveal that you do not have a digestive issue related to wheat or gluten intake but youre still cutting them out of your diet to slim down or for some other perceived health benefit, you may want to reconsider. While some people may find it impels them to choose healthier foods in general, theres no real evidence that eliminating gluten will help you drop pounds or improve your overall wellbeing. Whats more, if youre not careful, eliminating gluten could deprive you of valuable nutrients especially fiber, but also iron and calcium. Many gluten-free foods are also loaded with added sugar, too much of which is unhealthy in itself.
In the end, the gluten decision is best left to you and your doctor and with a little knowledge, you can make the right choice for your health.
This content originally appeared on Sharecare.com.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Celiac Disease
Gluten is a type of protein found in grains including wheat, barley, spelt and rye.
Celiac disease is a disorder in which eating gluten triggers an immune response in the body, causing inflammation and damage to the small intestine.
Its estimated that celiac disease affects nearly 1% of the population in the United States .
Celiac disease is a serious condition that can cause a host of negative symptoms, including digestive issues and nutritional deficiencies.
These are the 9 most common signs and symptoms of celiac disease.
Gluten Induced Nutritional Deficiencies
Because gluten causes gut damage, digestion and nutrient absorption are commonly hindered in those with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. Which is why nutrient deficiencies are common. And not getting an adequate supply of certain nutrients can contribute to poor joint health, weak muscles, and pain.
For starters, amino acids are the building blocks of protein. They are used to build muscles as well as collagen, which is the most abundant protein in your body. Its found in your tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bones, skin, and blood vessels among other places. So if your body isnt efficiently digesting and absorbing protein, joint and muscle-related problems are possible.
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Managing A Severe Food Reaction With Epinephrine
A wheat allergy reaction can cause symptoms that range from mild to life-threatening the severity of each reaction is unpredictable. People who have previously experienced only mild symptoms may suddenly experience a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis. In the U.S., food allergy is the leading cause of anaphylaxis outside the hospital setting.
Epinephrine is the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis, which can occur within seconds or minutes, can worsen quickly and can be deadly. In this type of allergic reaction, exposure to the allergen causes the whole-body release of a flood of chemicals that can lead to lowered blood pressure and narrowed airways, among other serious symptoms.
Once youre diagnosed with a food allergy, your allergist will likely prescribe an epinephrine auto-injector and teach you how to use it. Check the expiration date of your auto-injector, note the expiration date on your calendar and ask your pharmacy about reminder services for prescription renewals.
If you are uncertain whether a reaction warrants epinephrine, use it right away, because the benefits of epinephrine far outweigh the risk that a dose may not have been necessary.
Your allergist will provide you with a written emergency treatment plan that outlines which medications should be administered and when . Be sure that you understand how to properly and promptly use an epinephrine auto-injector.
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.
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Symptoms And Causes Of Celiac Disease
People who have celiac disease commonly experience weight loss, as well as digestive symptoms, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, and bloating.
Some people notice mental and emotional symptoms, such as an inability to concentrate, commonly described as brain fog, or depression.
Not everyone with celiac disease experiences the same symptoms. Some people have no digestive complaints whatsoever, yet routine blood tests reveal low levels of vital nutrients, such as iron, vitamin B12, or vitamin D. NYU Langone doctors take all of these signs and symptoms into account when making a diagnosis.
The exact cause of celiac disease remains largely unknown. However, more than 99 percent of people with celiac disease test positive for two genetic variations known as HLADQ2 and HLADQ8. Not everyone who carries these variations develops celiac disease in fact, most people dont.
Some theories suggest environmental factors trigger celiac disease in people with these genetic variations, but more research is needed. Researchers have found that a family history of the disease increases a persons risk.
When Gluten Is A Problem
Whats not great about gluten is that it can cause serious side effects in certain individuals. Some people react differently to gluten, where the body senses it as a toxin, causing ones immune cells to overreact and attack it. If an unknowingly sensitive person continues to eat gluten, this creates a kind of battle ground resulting in inflammation. The side effects can range from mild to severe as seen in the autoimmune disorder celiac disease. Estimates suggest that 1 in 133 Americans has celiac disease, or about 1% of the population, but about 83% of them are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with other conditions. Research shows that people with celiac disease also have a slightly higher risk of osteoporosis and anemia infertility nerve disorders and in rare cases cancer. The good news is that removing gluten from the diet may reverse the damage. A gluten-free diet is the primary medical treatment for celiac disease. However, understanding and following a strict gluten-free diet can be challenging, possibly requiring the guidance of a registered dietitian to learn which foods contain gluten and to ensure that adequate nutrients are obtained from gluten-free alternatives. Other conditions that may require the reduction or elimination of gluten in the diet include:
Does gluten cause brain fog?
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Managing Food Allergies In Children
Because fatal and near-fatal wheat allergy reactions, like other food allergy symptoms, can develop when a child is not with his or her family, parents need to make sure that their childs school, day care or other program has a written emergency action plan with instructions on preventing, recognizing and managing these episodes in class and during activities such as sporting events and field trips. A nonprofit group, Food Allergy Research & Education, has a list of resources for schools, parents and students in managing food allergies.
If your child has been prescribed an auto-injector, be sure that you and those responsible for supervising your child understand how to use it.
How To Test For Gluten Intolerance And Celiac Disease
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®.
Do you experience bloating, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or headaches after eating bread and other products containing wheat, barley, or rye? You could have a gluten intolerance, also known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Fortunately, gluten intolerance testing can help you pinpoint the problem.
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