It’s a question on so many people’s minds, is Gluten affecting you? Not sure what Gluten is, you can read more about it here. Gluten allergies mimic a lot of other conditions like lactose intolerance and salicylate sensitivity. So it may be challenging for those involved to distinguish if they have a problem with consuming non gluten free food or not.
The larger challenge is that 99% of those affected by gluten don’t even know that they have reactions to gluten that may be the cause of increasing the risk for mishandling one’s health. Lucky for us we are fortunate that there is a wealth of information available for those who are inclined to learn more about gluten and what it may be doing to our bodies. Wellsome.com offers great starter tools for folks looking to transform themselves from the inside out, the gluten free way!
To begin your discovery of what is gluten free and why gluten free food options are better, we must understand the word itself, “gluten” actually stands for proteins that are found in grains and seeds. It is what allows them to be molded and preserved in other forms and some of gluten’s famous sources include wheat, rye, barley, tricticale, kamut and spelt. All of these are common ingredients in the human diet in our current 21st century.
In moderation, gluten can be a great source of energy. However, some people have developed sensitivity to the substance and experience certain discomforts after eating it, from stomach pains to diarrhea and even fatigue. In worst case scenarios, gluten over stimulates the immune system and brings about harsher symptoms like arthritis, lupus and in some cases even type 2 diabetes.
Non coeliac gluten intolerance is lesser understood as a food allergy because it is often not hereditary. Sometimes, it can be triggered by the genetically modified type of food being consumed and sometimes, it is brought about by lifestyle practices such as alcohol, drugs, poor diet and our environment. This doesn’t imply that it is not as serious as it’s more medically recognized counterpart (Coeliac disease) though because chronic exposure can bring about serious ailments. And if one is not careful, gut inflammation can lead to death, as was highlighted in a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Read more about Coeliac Disease health related issues here.
To determine whether or not you are adversely affected by non gluten free foods, you could subject yourself to diagnostic tests and have gluten-specific antibodies measured in your blood. Alternatively you can get a biopsy in advanced stages or just plainly observe your body’s reaction to the substance. It takes about two hours after a meal before mild indicators like diarrhea, acne, rashes and migraines manifest so it’d be easy for you to know if you need to make adjustments. And then afterwards, you could engage in the elimination/reintegration diet to have supporting evidence of gluten sensitivity. These are the medical advised ways of testing for ceoliac’s.
However one greater test to confirm if you are currently sensitive to gluten or not that can be less intense and in some ways the easiest way to tell is by removing gluten completely for a minimum of 2 weeks (I prefer and recommend 4). After this time has passed, consume gluten during for one meal. Monitor how you feel and react, this is a great self test that is non invasive whereby you can confirm if you have a current gluten sensitivity or not. It’s also the cheapest and most helpful investigative measure you could pursue.
If the results turn out positive, you can then begin making the necessary changes in your diet and replace your usual gluten foods with gluten free alternatives. Gluten free pastas, bread, and grains are readily available through health stores, local farmers markets and niche groceries.
Find out my 7 Quick and Easy Gluten Free substitutes here.
Find out more about why providing nutrients to support our healing on a Gluten Free Diet is so important:
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