Why Go Gluten Free?
Many people decide to eliminate gluten from their diets due to a medical condition called Celiac disease. People with this disease lack the enzyme necessary to process gluten, a protein found in wheat and other grains. However, you don’t have to suffer from Celiac disease to be adversely affected by gluten. Even being sensitive to gluten and still eating it can really mess you up!
If you have not been diagnosed with Celiac disease but suspect gluten might be affecting you adversely, try eliminating it from your diet, that is, go gluten free for a couple of weeks to see how you feel. It may end up being more of a personal choice rather than a medical requirement, so cut it from your diet for a period of time to see if it’s right for you.
Diagnosing celiac disease requires a biopsy of the small intestines and / or a blood test. Many people with celiac disease don’t have any symptoms that can be pinpointed, but they often report having body pain, stomach issues, and other problems that are too often misdiagnosed as autoimmune problems. Celiac disease can actually be very dangerous and has even caused death due to intestinal cancers which can develop in some individuals if not treated properly.
If you’re concerned that you may have gluten intolerance, talk to your doctor. You can also try eating gluten free for a while to see if any symptoms you do have are reduced or eliminated. Keep in mind that by eating gluten free you are eliminating a source of B Vitamins which are very important to good health. Supplement and replace nutrients accordingly when eliminating a food from your diet.
If you have any of the following conditions a gluten free diet may help. Talk to your doctor before making any serious changes to your diet.
* Brain Fog
* Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
* Chronic Migraines
* Irritable Bowel Syndrome
* Joint Pain
* Severe Stomach Pain
* Skin Rashes
* Weight Loss
This is just a small list, but if you have these or a lot of nonspecific symptoms your doctor doesn’t seem to be able to cure, try doing a gluten elimination diet. Keep in mind that simply stopping gluten may not actually do anything until the damage is repaired. This is why some people go on a two week gluten elimination diet and find no relief from their problems. If you have serious issues and health challenges, go on a 100 percent gluten elimination program for at least a year to ensure that you’ve tried everything.
Gluten hides in a lot of foods and ingredients; even the smallest amount can affect people with true celiac disease. It is a serious condition that probably goes undiscovered due to the expense and time it takes to get a proper diagnosis. By some estimates, there may be up to 5 percent of the population who have celiac disease; even more may be sensitive to gluten and benefit from a gluten free diet.
In the next post, we’ll take a closer look at gluten with Dr. Mark Hyman.
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