What is it: Gluten is a sticky protein found in wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt and kamut grains. The stickiness helps bind the flour together for baked goods. It also helps smooth out sauces, dressings, mustard, soy sauce, dips, spreads, and many other packaged foods. Read your foodlabels, wheat and gluten must be advertised on all labels.
What it does: If you do have a g luten intolerance/sensitivity, you may experience a spectrum of disorders for example: gastrointestinal distress, brain fog, joint pain, energy decrease, and the more well known Celiac Disease. Long term gluten sensitivity can also lead to Celiac Disease. Celiac Disease is considered an Autoimmune Disease and medically diagnosed with a biopsy of the small intestinal wall. The flattened villi on the sides prove the diagnosis, Celiac Disease, and it is widely accepted and treated in the medical community that you have to maintain a 100% Gluten Free diet forever. Since biopsies are invasive, you can consider yourself Celiac if you test positive in blood tests and have many of the symptoms.
How do you Know if you have gluten intolerance: You can test for Gluten Intolerance through a stool test, or saliva swab through Enterolab . A saliva test through Diagnos-techs will also confirm if you have the α Gliadin Antibodies (specifically for Celiac Disease). Cyrex labs , which is mainly serum testing and on of the most extensive and complete auto-immune antibody testing lab out there will test for the entire gluten sensitivity spectrum, its relationship to leaky gut symptoms, and other foods to which you may be sensitive. Gluten itself weakens the gut lining, increasing permeability and leaky gut. Food gets through the membrane causing widespread inflammation.
What are the common symptoms: Gluten intolerance is not just a gut issue - it can affect your joints and brain as well. You may not realize your symptoms are related to gluten sensitivity. You should be tested for gluten sensitivity if you have any type of: digestive disturbance dermatitis bowel irregularities AD(H)D, autism dyslexia depression anxiety neurological disorders migraines osteoporosis brain fog or any chronic or autoimmune diseases,
If you test positive for intolerance to gluten, either by a lab test or elimination diet, and especially if you already have another autoimmune disease, you must eliminate all gluten from your diet for life. This is very difficult, takes some thought and planning, and especially understanding from your friends and family. There are many foods that you can eat, and fortunately many companies and restaurants are now providing Gluten Free foods to choose from.
It is estimated that 1 out of every 133 people have Celiac Disease. According to Kenneth Fine, MD, a gluten researcher, 50-81% of Americans are gluten intolerant.
Staying Gluten Free requires pre-planning, patience, and understanding that you can be disciplined if it means that you feel better and ultimately, feel great. List of Gluten Containing and Gluten Free Foods
Some recomended books : Gluten Freedom- Alessio Fasano, MD The Gluten Connection- Shari Lieberman, PhD
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