What Exactly Is Gluten, And Why Is Gluten-Free Food Healthier?

What Exactly Is Gluten, And Why Is Gluten-Free Food Healthier?

Posted 14 Jul '16


Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, rye, spelt, oats, and barley. It is naturally contained in these foods, and has been in the human diet since ancient times (often sound as Spelt). There has been growing evidence recently to show that most of us are gluten-intolerant, coining the term Non Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS). Many diseases are gaining evidence with a link to gluten and NCGS. One such condition is hashimoto’s or underactive thyroid. Sadly, many people who have gluten-intolerance, or coeliac disease, are never or wrongfully diagnosed.

How do you know if you might be gluten intolerant?

If you find yourself with any of the outlined symptoms, you might have gluten intolerance:

  1. Gas, bloating, diarrhea, and in some children’s cases, constipation, after eating food containing gluten.
  2. “Chicken skin”, or Keratosis Pilaris, on the back of the arms, which is a result of deficiency in fatty acids and vitamin A, and fat-malabsorption brought about by gluten damaging the gut.
  3. Fatigue after eating food that contains gluten.
  4. Having an autoimmune disease, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, and scleroderma.
  5. Dizziness or feeling of being off-balance.
  6. Hormonal imbalances – for example PMS, unexplained infertility.
  7. Migraine and headaches
  8. Having chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia.
  9. Inflammation, swelling, pain in joints.
  10. Any mood issues like anxiety, depression, mood swing, and ADD.

Getting tested for gluten intolerance

In order to single out gluten to be the cause of your symptoms, it is advised that gluten be eliminated completely from the diet for about two to weeks, or a lot more if possible since it takes months and sometimes years, to clear from your system, before reintroducing it again. This is in order to see if you will feel a lot better without gluten, or worse after reintroducing back in the diet. If this is the case, then gluten is most likely the culprit and must be eliminated COMPLETELY. Why completely? Because even a small amount of gluten is enough to cause an immune reaction, and will bring back the symptoms.
The gold standard in the current medical system is a small intestinal biopsy. The Coeliac disease blood pathology screen (IgA and deamidated gliadin IgG antibodies) is often false negative. The HLA DQ 2-8 gene screen blood test is helpful to see if you have the commonly associated genes of a patient with coeliac disease.

If you need help, or would like to know if you are gluten intolerant, call Cura Medicine to speak with a naturopath in Perth now (0892844644), or book an appointment online by clicking the button below. You may also follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or get in touch.

 

 

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