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Is Gluten Bad For You

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Coeliac Disease And Gluten Intolerance

Is Gluten Bad For You? â Dr.Berg Discusses The Big Problem With Gluten Free Foods

Most people can digest gluten with no issues however, some individuals have an auto-immune condition called coeliac disease. Coeliac disease is hereditary, meaning it runs in families if you have a parent with the condition, you also have a one in ten chance of developing it.

When those with the illness eat gluten, it triggers inflammation in the small intestine and damages the small finger-like projections called villi along the gut wall. Undiagnosed, coeliac disease can damage the gut lining and lead to nutrient malabsorption, resulting in mineral and vitamin deficiencies. Symptoms include:

Around 1% of those in the U.S. are diagnosed with coeliac disease, though it is estimated that more than two million Americans are living undiagnosed with coeliac disease.

Those with a wheat allergy also have to avoid glutenous products unconditionally. People often confuse wheat allergy with coeliac disease, though the two are separate conditions for example, those with wheat allergy can experience symptoms when eating gluten-free products if they still contain parts of the wheat other than gluten.

Wheat and gluten can be present in unexpected products, including playdough, imitation crab meat, soups, marinara sauce and processed meats, among other sources. With this in mind, always check the labels carefully before buying a product, even if you wouldn’t expect it to contain wheat and gluten.

It Causes Gluten Sensitivity

Gluten sensitivity is also known as gluten intolerance. It occurs when some eat gluten foods. This condition highly resembles celiac disease, but without the small intestine damage . You can tell if you have gluten intolerance by looking out for various symptoms.

Note that these symptoms do not relate to the digestive system. They include limb numbness, joint pain, headaches, and having a cloudy mind . The best approach to know if you have this condition is visiting a health facility and being assessed.

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What Are The First Signs Of Gluten Intolerance

Most sufferers report digestive discomfort as their first noticeable symptom of a gluten intolerance. This is commonly described as abdominal pain and can be linked to bloating, constipation or diarrhea.

Its all too easy for people to put discomfort down to a bad meal or an off day and its an issue thats made worse by the fact that the symptoms can take up to three days to appear after gluten has been consumed. However, its important to seek help from a doctor if signs and symptoms are appearing and, of course, if theyve appeared more than once.

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Double Trouble: Wheat Germ Agglutinin

Another one for the non-Celiac crowd: wheat germ agglutinin is an inflammatory, immune-disrupting protein found in wheat and despite the similar name it isnt the same thing as gluten. Wheat germ agglutinin can provoke an inflammatory response in gut cells and disturb the natural immune barrier in the gut, making the gut more permeable to things that dont belong in your blood.

Again, this is totally separate from the problem of gluten. Obviously, gluten and WGA usually come as a package deal, because theyre both found in wheat, but you can have trouble with WGA even if you had no reaction to a gluten elimination challenge.

The Science Of Gluten

Gluten is bad

The proteins in wheat, barley, and rye are sources of gluten. Oats and corn donât have the same proteins, but because they come into contact with other grains during harvests, they can be contaminated.

When wheat flour is mixed with water, it becomes gluten. The proteins become flexible, sticky, and elastic. This makes it ideal for batters and doughs.

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How Can You Tell If You’re Gluten Intolerant

There is no test that can detect non-celiac gluten sensitivity, so diagnosis requires experimentation . If you often experience symptoms like gastrointestinal pain, fatigue, nausea, or confusion after eating gluten, you may want to talk to your doctor about your issues. They will likely have you eat a normal gluten-containing diet for a few weeks so they can do lab tests to rule out celiac and wheat allergies. If you test negative, then you can cut gluten out of your diet to see if that reduces your symptoms. If you are gluten intolerant, you’re in good company: Around 6% of people in the U.S. suffer from some kind of gluten sensitivity.

The only real treatment for gluten sensitivity is to avoid eating gluten. While this might seem like a cruel fate to those of you who can’t live without pizza, bread, and pasta, the good news is that the growing awareness of gluten issues has made gluten-free substitutes much more widely available in recent years. These days, just because you can’t have gluten doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a nice piece of toast or a bowl of spaghetti carbonara.

Autoimmune Reactions In People Without Celiac Disease

Point #6 above gave a lot of reasons why celiac disease is associated with other autoimmune diseases, but its not limited to people with celiac disease. If you thought non-celiac gluten sensitivity was unrelated to autoimmune disease, you thought wrong! This study found that a lot of people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity have autoimmune markers in their blood, suggesting that the wheat exposure might be causing autoimmune issues even without celiac disease.

One interesting aspect of this is that patients with non-celiac gluten sensitivity may have a different type of autoimmune reaction, which just underlines that celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity are two different things. But the point is that both involve potentially serious autoimmune responses.

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Does Glutinous Rice Contain Gluten

Sometimes gluten shows up in unexpected places, and sometimes it isn’t there when you think it would be. According to The Kitchn, that’s the case for glutinous rice, commonly known as sticky rice. Confusingly, “glutinous” doesn’t mean filled with gluten . Rather, glutinous is a little-used word that means gluey or gummy . While gluten is sticky, it’s not the substance responsible for glutinous rice’s distinctive texture. That honor goes to a type of starch called amylopectin that traps moisture and makes rice stick together. We have amylopectin to thank for the addictive mouthfeel of treats like mochi, sticky rice cakes, and Thai mango rice.

Glutinous rice is safe for celiacs and people with other forms of gluten intolerance. If you order it at a restaurant, however, you should ask about how it was prepared, as there’s a chance it could become contaminated with gluten during the cooking process.

What Causes A Reaction To Gluten

Is Gluten Actually Good For You?

Possible causes of a bad reaction to gluten include an allergy, an intolerance and an autoimmune disease.

Coeliac disease

Coeliac disease is a serious, lifelong genetic digestive condition in which the immune system attacks itself when gluten is eaten, damaging the lining of the small intestine. As a result of this, the body cannot properly absorb nutrients from food. Coeliac disease is not a food allergy or intolerance it is an autoimmue disease. There is no cure and you must follow a gluten-free diet for life, even if your symptoms are mild. Reported cases of coeliac disease are two to three times higher in women than men.

Wheat allergy

A wheat allergy is a reaction to one element within wheat , and usually occurs within seconds of eating. If you have a wheat allergy, you may still be able to eat barley and rye, and you may get a reaction from gluten-free products if they contain other parts of the wheat.

Gluten intolerance

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Thyroid Disease Diabetes & Other Conditions

Individuals with other autoimmune and non-autoimmune conditions may benefit from a gluten-free diet. Type 1 diabetes is a hereditary, autoimmune condition that is seen primarily in children. A recent systematic review of studies estimates that 4 to 5% of people with type 1 diabetes also have celiac disease.

The two conditions share a common genetic background. Consuming cows milk and gluten under four months of age and having early viral infections have been linked with the development of each disease.

Other research hints that a gluten-free diet may help prevent type 1 diabetes. Gluten peptides are thought to cross the intestinal barrier and cause inflammation. When these peptides reach the pancreas, they may change beta cells, causing alterations in insulin secretion. Animal studies and one human study have shown that gluten-free diets during pregnancy may lower the risk of type 1 diabetes in children.

Other research suggests an association between celiac disease and autoimmune thyroid diseases such as Hashimotos and Graves disease, as well as between non-celiac wheat sensitivity and thyroid disease.

The rationale behind this connection is based on a cross-reaction of antibodies, poor absorption of nutrients needed for thyroid function, and leakage of intestinal toxins. Eliminating gluten has been advised because of possible interactions of gliadin with thyroid antigens.

Who Actually Needs Gluten

While the popularity and abundance of gluten-free foods do not seem to be slowing down, the number of people that actually need a gluten-free diet is minimal. The most important group is individuals with a diagnosis of Celiac disease, though others could benefit.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that impacts digestion and damages the small intestine. The condition is triggered when someone eats even the smallest amount of gluten. Individuals with celiac disease often experience abdominal pain, discomfort, and malabsorption stunted growth, iron deficiency, and vitamin D deficiency are also common in celiac disease.

The CDC estimates that 1 in 141 people suffer from celiac disease in the U.S., while globally, Celiac disease impacts 1.4% of the population and is more common in white adults.

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity impacts about 6% of the population. This is a less serious condition than celiac disease, as it doesnt involve the immune system, though individuals may have stomach discomfort, headaches, or other side effects from eating gluten.

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Got Gluten: What Contains Gluten & Why You Cant Always Trust Labels

Despite the hype, gluten isnt evil its simply a protein found in barley, rye, and wheat. Gluten in bread gives dough elasticity, texture, and flavor. Its found naturally in the above grains and can be added to foods as a binding agent. Most foods that contain gluten are good sources of dietary fiber.

Any grains containing wheat, whether refined, enriched, or whole, will contain gluten. These include pantry staples like bread, pasta, bran or wheat cereals, crackers, and flour. Triticale, farro, bulgur, spelt, and cracked wheat are whole grains that are less commonly known sources of gluten. Despite the name, buckwheat doesnt contain gluten.

Boxed cake, cookie, and brownie mixes, mac and cheese, or other pasta dishes will contain gluten. It can be hidden in frozen meals, snacks, and condiments such as soy and BBQ sauces. Beer and rye bread or crackers will also contain gluten. Medications, supplements, and even beauty products could have hidden gluten as well.

While oatmeal is not a source of gluten, it can be contaminated with gluten if its processed in a facility that makes products that contain gluten. According to the FDA, a food must have less than 20 parts per million of gluten to be labeled gluten-free. This labeling claim is voluntary.

Celiac Disease Vs Intolerance And Sensitivity

Is Gluten Bad for You? A Critical Look

Doctors today all agree on some level that gluten affects us all in sub-optimal ways, but the question you need to determine for yourself is how much of a negative impact does gluten consumption have on your life each day. There are some medical conditions that can make it worse than others.

For the 1% of the population that suffers from Celiac disease, they know the harm that gluten can cause, and even a bite-sized saltine can throw them off for days. Celiac is classified as an autoimmune disease in which the bodys own immune system and the defensive antibodies turn against itself. This causes a severe immune response that can include inflammation, joint pain, and pain throughout, as well as intestinal damage and an itchy rash known as dermatitis herpetiformis.

While Celiac is still somewhat rare, larger portions of the population are recognizing gluten intolerance, wheat allergies, and non-Celiac gluten sensitivity in other forms, waking up to the dangers of the compound. Side effects of these conditions can include anemia and fatigue.

Considering that the average person eats anywhere from 10 to 20 grams of pure gluten on a given day, we shouldnt be shocked to see the broader health effects on our society.

These are all signs that your body has a degree of sensitivity to gluten-containing food, and nearly a third of the American public has come to recognize this reality in recent years.

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What Foods Contain Gluten

Some gluten-containing foods are easy to spot. Per the Celiac Disease Foundation, anything made out of wheat flour, including bread, pasta, pancakes, biscuits, and tortillas, will have gluten in it. The same goes for products made from grains like barley and rye. That means it’s in beer, as well as most crackers and baked goods. Companies make gluten-free versions of many of these products, but if the label doesn’t say it’s gluten-free, it probably isn’t. The only exception to this rule is hard liquor, as the distillation process removes gluten from grains.

Beyond the obvious wheat-based products, many foods may sneakily have gluten added to them. Soy sauce uses wheat in its recipe, so it has a small amount of gluten. Frozen french fries are often coated in a batter which can sometimes include wheat flour. Breakfast cereal and granola frequently contain trace amounts of gluten even if they’re not made with wheat. If you’re trying to avoid gluten, any processed food or restaurant dish is a potential threat that must be checked before it can be safely consumed. Gluten can even find its way into non-food products like Play-Doh, vitamins, cosmetics, and medication.

Gut Permeability For All

Interestingly, many experts assert that the issues with gluten may extend beyond just Celiac Disease alone. Several doctors have written books that have attempted to explain the potential health disrupting potential of gluten. The main argument against the ingestion of gluten for non-diseased folks is the aspect of gut permeability. These experts assert that gluten increases gut permeability by opening the tight junctions of the intestinal lining. Our tight junctions are supposed to stay closed in order to prevent any large molecules from passing into circulation. If these junctions are opened and molecules leak through the gut, many health complications are possible due to inflammation and autoimmunity. But are their claims really based in truth?

Research into this matter has revealed an interesting phenomenon. Upon the exposure to gluten, a protein in the intestines called zonulin is upregulated . This protein regulates the tight junctions in the small intestines. The more zonulin that is present, the wider the gap in the tight junctions becomes . Based on this observation, it is theoretically true that gluten could cause gut permeability and thus health complications. However, just because gluten upregulates zonulin production doesnt mean it will lead to increased gut permeability. We still have to examine the extent to which zonulin is upregulated.

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Why Is Gluten Bad For You Analyzing The Harm Behind This Food

  • The Bottom Line
  • Gluten is one of the most controversial food contents. As a result, it has sparked numerous debates on whether it is good or bad for you. Depending on your argument, you stand on one side or the other. However, when it comes to science, only one side can win this debate. Most food experts classify gluten as bad for your health. But why is gluten bad for you? This is the main focus of this read.

    How Is Gluten Used In Cooking

    WHY GLUTEN IS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH with Dr. William Davis, author of “WHEAT BELLY”

    Mastering the art of working with wheat-based doughs is all about controlling gluten formation. Modernist Cuisine explains that the amount of gluten in a dough is a result of the type of flour you use, how much water you add, and how long you mix it for. More water and mixing creates more gluten, and high-protein bread flour has more gluten than cake flour does. You can also encourage gluten development by adding salt, or restrict it by adding fat. The appropriate technique depends on your desired end result. If you’re making a chewy artisan loaf, you want as much gluten as possible. For pancakes, biscuits, and cakes, the goal is to try to minimize gluten development to produce a fluffy, soft product.

    In its seitan guise, gluten can be cooked in most of the same ways you would prepare meat . It can be ground into a substitute for hamburger, stir-fried, tossed on the grill, deep-fried, or simmered. Just remember to go heavy on seasoning, as you need to compensate for its inherent blandness.

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    Is There A Test For Gluten Sensitivity

    Upon receiving a recommendation from a doctor, there are food sensitivity tests by yorktest you can take to get to the bottom of your apparent gluten-related condition. Rather than risk a self-diagnosis, our tests use lab-developed methods to gauge your IgG reactions to foods and drinks for intolerances and your IgE reactions for allergies.

    They do not test for celiac disease, but the results can help a doctor eliminate the possibility of other conditions during a diagnosis as such. If youre worried you or a loved one might be suffering from a gluten-related condition, a doctors advice must be sought out before taking one of our tests.

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