What’s the Scoop on Gluten

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What’s the Scoop on Gluten?

 Gluten is a protein found primarily in wheat and related grains, like rye, barley, and triticale—and numerous food products like bread, cereal and pasta. Gluten can be difficult for the body to process and digest, and many people develop sensitivity to it. This hard-to-digest protein can cause an immune reaction in some people.

Gluten can cause inflammation in the small intestine, abdominal bloating and gas, malabsorption of vitamins, brain fog, skin rash, and joint pain. A gluten-free diet is necessary to treat individuals with celiac disease and those with gluten intolerance or sensitivity.  Eating a gluten-free diet helps these individuals control their signs and symptoms and prevent complications.

According to Drs Mehmet Oz and Amy Myers “These are some hidden warnings of gluten sensitivity”:

Hidden Warning Signs of a Gluten Sensitivity – Dr Mehmet Oz & Dr Amy Myers MD – 06/11/14

  1. Weight Gain which results from your hormones being out of control. This leads to chronic inflammation, swelling and fluid retention as a result of eating cereal, bread, pasta and many other unexpected foods containing gluten such as soy sauce When this happens, your immune system attacks gluten as if it’s a foreign invader.

Even if you go on a diet and do not lose weight, you may have the sensitivity symptoms

  1. Irregular bowels – “confused gut” where one day might be diarrhea, constipation, gas and then you are regular – your gut doesn’t know what’s going on. Gluten, if you are sensitive, attacks and irritates the lining of your gut which leads to symptoms of the bowel and ultimately to diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

 

  1. Joint Pain – especially elbows, hands and knees – gluten causes painful inflammation inside the body. Feels like tightness and heavy because of body attacking its own joints and muscles

 

  1. Skin Rash – which looks like “chicken skin” – gluten damages your gut leading to symptoms that appear as bumps where the skin has a difficult time absorbing essential fatty acids, Vitamins A & D

 

  1. Other Food Sensitivities – especially dairy, corn, soy etc. could be a gluten sensitivity. It is caused because they have similar proteins that result in cross-reactivity resulting in  an inflammatory response.

 

Dr.s Oz suggests you try an elimination diet – remove all gluten products from the diet for two weeks. After two weeks, add it back and see how you feel and any symptoms that reoccur.

 

Note:

Many people may perceive that a gluten-free diet is guaranteed to be healthier. For people with celiac disease, a gluten-free diet is essential. Unless people are very careful, a gluten-free diet may lack vitamins, minerals, and fiber and some gluten free foods are highly processed. There are health professionals who feel that gluten free diets have become a fad and lack proper nutrition. Additionally some people are sensitive to all grains which could include rice and oats. They may be diagnosed as celiac if their severe sensitivity is actually an allergy.

 

If you are concerned about any of these symptoms, seek out a functional medicine specialist – that is a health professional who looks for the root cause, rather than just treating the symptoms.