What is gluten?
Gluten is a sticky protein composite found in many grains such as wheat, rye and barley. Gluten is derived from the Latin word gluten literally meaning glue. It gives an elastic fluffy texture found in the many breads we have come to love, helping it rise and giving it a chewy texture. Gluten can also be found in many seasonings, sauces, candies, you name it! It’s also hidden in various cosmetics and hair products, so you really have to do your research to ensure you are not subliminally coming into contact with gluten.
You may not even be aware that you have a gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease. For those with Celiac and even those with a sensitivity to gluten, the body tells itself that gluten is a foreign invader and begins an attack against itself. Once the immune system attacks the gluten proteins, it also starts to attack your digestive track. Over time, the more exposure there is to gluten, an inflammation in your small intestine will occur and start to create damage to your intestinal lining. Therefore, alarm triggers are sent to your body causing different symptoms in each person.
What are the common symptoms of gluten intolerance?
You do not particularly have to be a Celiac to experience these symptoms. A much more common diagnosis is gluten intolerance – here are a few symptoms to look out for: Gas or Bloating, Chronic Constipation or Diarrhea, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Abdominal Pains,Unexplained Joint and Muscle Pain or Inflammation, Fatigue, Depression or Anxiety, Anemia, and Infertility.
It’s important to first get tested by an allergist and/or seeking advice from a naturopathic doctor. There are specific tests performed to see if you do have an intolerance to gluten or certain foods. I have personally found that a naturopathic doctor can help with more in-depth food recommendations/alternatives if celiac isn’t the diagnosis. Most doctors cannot recommend suggestions to food intolerances that aren’t actual allergies. One option is to have a Bio-Meridian test performed by a naturopathic doctor, which uses small currents on your acupressure points to measures resistance of the tissue. The reaction gives signals and this can help guide the doctor as to which foods may be causing your health problems.
Testing negative doesn’t mean you are NOT intolerant!
There is HOPE:
Which gluten ingredients to avoid?
Which gluten foods to avoid?