You Are Getting Gluten In The Diet Intentionally Or Not
Gluten sneaking into the diet, either by cross-contamination or intentional ingestion, is by far the leading cause of ongoing symptoms in patients starting a gluten-free diet. Some people mistakenly assume a little wont hurt as the diet can be challenging. These small amounts may be to blame for continued symptoms. Small amounts are more likely to affect someone with celiac disease than someone who has gluten sensitivity. But, some people with gluten sensitivity are sensitive to small amounts of gluten as well.
Getting gluten accidentally occurs for various reasons, such as cross-contamination from toasters, cookware, or cutting boards. It may happen due to well-meaning gluten eating family members who arent familiar with avoiding cross-contamination. Symptoms may be from hidden gluten in products, cross-contamination, or misreading or misunderstanding labels. Cross-contamination when dining out is common-decrease this risk by using my free worldwide 100% gluten-free restaurant guide. It is searchable by location.
There are several other reasons for accidental gluten ingestion, and it often requires being a bit of a detective. This is best be accomplished with the help of a dietitian or health care professional trained in gluten-free diets if the answer is not easily uncovered on your own.
Gluten Intolerance: Foods To Eat And Foods To Avoid
With the gluten intolerance symptoms checklist out of the way, you now need to plan your diet to be sure that no gluten in any form enters your body.
To do so, your mind should be clear about the foods you can take and the foods that have to be avoided.
Thus, here weve got a few examples laid down to help you plan your eating routine.
Firstly, well talk about the foods that you can eat.
Treatment For Lactose Intolerance
The number one thing you can do is avoid lactose-containing foods. Lactose is found in milk, yogurt, cream, butter, ice cream, and cheese but it can also be hidden in baked goods, packaged foods, salad dressings, sauces, soups, etc.
You may be able to tolerate lower lactose-containing foods such as aged cheeses, butter, probiotic yogurt, and kefir.
Consuming plenty of probiotics and prebiotics can also help to alleviate gut symptoms and improve tolerance.
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What Happens If I Cheat
Most people dont think its a big deal to cheat with gluten. But unfortunately it really is. Heres why.
If you produce antibodies to gluten the silent inflammation can last from 3 to 6 months from just one serving. During that reaction your immune system is attacking the weakest part of your body, which is different for everyone. It can take a decade, but this type of ongoing attack can lead to serious health issues like autoimmune disease or cancer. And people never know what caused it. Your body can be under constant self attack from eating gluten only 2 to 4 times a year.
If youre in the group that does not produce antibodies, but your gut lining is not fully healed yet, then one cheat can reverse months of good behavior as the inflammatory process restarts. Its not going to last for month but long enough to re-damage a mending gut. Not worth it.
I was lucky that I never cheated once on my year-long diet. I was too scared to and in that instance, my fear served me well.
How Do I Manage It
If you’re confident you are intolerant to a particular food, the only way to manage this is to stop eating the food for a while and then reintroduce small quantities while monitoring how much you can eat without causing symptoms.
Check food labels to see which sorts of foods to avoid.
If you think your child may have a food intolerance, check with a GP or dietitian before eliminating foods from their diet, as a restricted diet could affect their growth and development. Cows’ milk, for example, is an important source of calcium, vitamin D and protein.
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Hormonal Imbalance And Adrenal Fatigue
Hormone imbalance can manifest itself as irregular menstrual cycles, weight gain or loss, hot flashes, low energy levels, erratic sleep patterns and more. In discussing gluten sensitivity and female hormones, Dr. Daniel Kalish D.C states that a strong relationship has been established in medical literature between gluten sensitivity and the hormones progesterone and estrogen. Additionally, most of my patients with gluten sensitivity have an adrenal hormone imbalance, and this becomes exacerbated for patients during menopause
Dr. Kalish notes that hes observed serious problems often begin to reveal themselves when women with gluten sensitivity reach peri-menopause. As their ovarian output of sex hormones drops, the resulting hormone imbalance is worsened by over consumption of gluten. The adrenal glands respond to the stress of unstable blood sugar and gastrointestinal tract inflammation caused by gluten by increasing cortisol. This causes increased body fat, fatigue and unstable moods.
How Is Coeliac Disease Managed
Coeliac disease can’t be cured, but it can be controlled with a strict, lifelong gluten free diet. Your sensitivity to gluten will never go away. The only way your small bowel can heal, and then stay healthy, is by removing all gluten from your diet, even if your symptoms are mild. Mild symptoms dont mean you have a mild disease.
You can expect to have a blood test at 6 months and 12 after you are diagnosed, and then yearly after that, to check if you have been exposed to gluten. Your doctor may also request another small bowel biopsy about 18 to 24 months after you are diagnosed to make sure your bowel is healing. You will also need a medical review every year.
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You Have An Autoimmune Disease
An autoimmune disease is the term given when your immune system mistakenly attacks and damages your own tissue.
There are more than 80 types, characterised by which tissues or organs in the body are damaged.
Gluten intake is consistently linked with numerous types, but whether its the cause remains to be seen. Its influence in Celiac disease is the obvious example, but research indicates gluten likely affects Hashimotos hypothyroidism and Graves disease, to name a few.
Some researchers speculate the potentially negative effect of gluten is to do with the effect that gliadin may have on gut health and function .
In any case, it seems gluten intolerance is more likely in those with an autoimmune condition.
Bloating Constipation And Gas
None of these symptoms are easy to deal with in everyday life. They may also become serious if constipation goes on for too long.
Celiac disease causes these digestive and gastrointestinal problems. One way to test for gluten intolerance is to cut out gluten completely and see if there is rapid and substantial improvement in bloating, constipation, and gas.
If these symptoms are lost with the elimination of gluten in the diet, it is a tell tale sign that the gluten is causing the issues.
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Complications Of Coeliac Disease
Early diagnosis and treatment of coeliac disease can significantly reduce the risk of most complications ever occurring. However, its important to know that there are some other medical conditions associated with coeliac disease which occur for different reasons:
- The genes that predispose a person to coeliac disease also make them susceptible to other autoimmune conditions such as type 1 diabetes.
- The chronic inflammation that occurs in the small bowel in people with coeliac disease may also occur in other parts of the body such as the skin, joints, bones, liver, pancreas, thyroid gland, nervous system and reproductive system.
- The changes in the small bowel can lead to poor absorption of nutrients resulting in problems such as anaemia and vitamin deficiencies.
Discuss complications related to coeliac disease with your doctor.
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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Whats About Gluten Free Goods And Whats The Best Type Of Wheat To Eat
For those who dont have a genetic disposition to gluten intolerance, the best type of wheat to eat is non GMO wheat. European wheat is non GMO.
The best American wheat is often called heritage wheat and made by artisinal bakers. Its expensive but worth it. And sour dough starters make wheat more digestible. But this is only for people who have already healed completely. Not for those still in the healing process.
As far as gluten free replacements for favorite foods like toast, cereal and pasta, I dont find them particularly healthy. These are highly processed products and should not be part of a healing diet or protocol. Ok as a rare treat, but I prefer grain-free Paleo baked goods as they are much healthier.
Going completely grain free in the beginning stages of healing is important. The only exception is white rice, which seems to work for some people.
If you are dying for cereal heres my favorite Paleo replacement made only with coconut. I have it with homemade cashew milk.
Testing For Gluten Intolerance
To test for an intolerance to gluten, schedule a doctors appointment to have comprehensive blood work done. This will be able to sense the gluten intolerance, if it exists.
If the blood test results are negative, yet symptoms are still occurring, remember that some people are sensitive to gluten without being completely intolerant.
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity can cause a reaction from gluten that also results in similar unpleasant symptoms of the gastrointestinal system.
There is no test for non-celiac sensitivity to gluten. If it seems like this may be an issue, consider cutting out gluten for at least 21 days to see if symptoms improve.
This requires a complete lack of gluten in the diet, so it is important to check all labels and all ingredients in every food that is consumed.
Some hidden sources of gluten beyond wheat are rye, barley, bulgur, farro, matzo, oatmeal, seitan, malt vinegar, soy sauce, mayonnaise, and other common foods. It is important to do research before starting on a gluten free diet when looking to see if a sensitivity is present.
These are some symptoms that should be taken into consideration when celiac diseases is on the table. Be on the lookout for these symptoms before consulting a physician and having a blood test.
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Will I Ever Be Able To Eat Gluten Again
Its possible for some people to fix their digestion so they no longer react to gluten. I did. But theres more to the story.
Gluten is inflammatory in two ways.
The first way is fixable. Weak digestion means weak stomach acid. Most IBS folks dont have sufficient stomach acid to properly digest gluten. Those gluten proteins then travel to your small intestine largely undigested where they can feed bad bacteria and cause inflammation and leaky gut. Leaky gut then leads to more food allergies.
Undigested gluten can also clog lymph ducts and cause swelling and gas in the lower belly. This can cause weight gain, brain fog and fatigue.
If you strengthen your digestion then gluten theoretically wont harm your intestinal lining. But for this to happen you must have strong stomach acid and strong bile production from your liver. To have strong bile flow you must have a healthy, uncongested liver.
Most IBS folks, not only have to work on their stomach acid production, but also on their liver congestion to be able to digest gluten properly.
Back when I healed myself, I focused primarily on detoxifying my liver. This increased my bile flow and stomach acid and I was able to eat gluten with no reaction, discomfort or relapse for 7 years.
But theres another scenario with gluten.
For these people, eating gluten will lead to major health problems down the line, such as autoimmune disease. Heres the scary part.
You Always Experience Abdominal Pain And Bloating
Abdominal bloating is characterized by tightness and/or swelling in your abdominal region.
It occurs because of excess gas or disturbances in the muscles involved with digestion.
In a study of 59 adults with suspected NCGS, abdominal pain and bloating were the top reported digestive symptoms .
Its thought that a buildup of gas is the main cause in those who are sensitive after a gluten rich meal.
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Can Coeliac Disease Be Prevented
It is not possible to prevent coeliac disease. Studies have shown that delaying giving gluten to children or how long babies are breastfed doesnt have any affect on whether they will develop coeliac disease when they grow older.
However, it is possible to prevent complications of coeliac disease by being diagnosed early and following a gluten free diet.
What Does A Gluten
Gluten is used in certain types of foods, such as wheat and barley, as well as in other food products. You might also find it in certain medications. When you need to switch to a gluten-free diet, you should read labels carefully and avoid foods with gluten in them. Many foods are gluten-free, including quinoa and other whole grains, citrus fruits, carrots, and some other vegetables, and some proteins.
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Gluten Intolerance Foods To Avoid
Glutens are basically proteins that allow wheat and other such cereals to absorb water and remain elastic.
It is because of the gluten that the dough gets such an amazing texture and it is possible for it to rise.
Wheat, rye, and barley are active sources of gluten and are often found in:
- Canned foods
With that being said, someone might question how one can cut on gluten by using gluten substitutes.
Thus, well have our next section dealing with prominent gluten substitutes.