Are You Gluten Sensitive?
There is so much fuss about Gluten Free these days. Is it real or just a fad? Could your fatigue, joint pain, gastrointestinal issues and depression be a result of gluten? The answer is yes.
Doctors easily recognize the digestive issues & symptoms associated with Celiac disease. As a result, they prescribe a gluten free diet. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder of digestion. It results in damage to the small intestine when foods that carry gluten are consumed. But folks with Celiac disease aren’t the only ones who may benefit from eliminating gluten from their diets.
People with Hashimoto’s disease need to be gluten free too. This is because the gluten molecule so closely resembles the thyroid the immune system sometimes confuses the two. Other folks who should consider a gluten free diet… such as, those with autoimmune diseases, & those who suffer from symptoms with unexplained root cause.
Why wouldn’t doctors explore food sensitivities such as gluten?
There are a couple of reasons doctors don’t suggest elimination diets or immediately venture down the GF road. In the 12 or so minutes they get with you there isn’t enough time to dive into your diet, stress reduction techniques, nutrition, and life style while also diagnosing, prescribing and adding notes too your chart.
Another reason doctors don’t explore a GF diet with you is that YOUR education doesn’t pay them. I’m not trying to be harsh… just stating the facts. Doctors don’t get paid to educate you on leaky gut, food as nutrition or elimination diets etc. This is why health coaches have become so popular. They fill in the gaps & help you navigate the wellness waters after your symptoms don’t go away but your doctor’s visits are over.
Doctors (most of them) like when patients are aware of the impact of their food choices and take an active role in their getting healthy.
6 symptoms that may indicate a gluten sensitivity
Bloating after meals
One of the very common symptoms of gluten intolerance is bloating. Sometimes this bloating is caused from a leaky gut also described by doctors as intestinal permeability. Other causes of bloat are food sensitivities, not chewing your food long enough, a need for enzymes or systemic inflammation. But if its due to gluten and you eliminate it – What an easy fix!
Unexplained weight gain from one day to the next
This can be due to the inflammation in your body. When our body perceives a toxin/ bug bite or poison it tends to swell in that area. If the nutrient is the toxin and your cells are bathes in it, it’s in your entire body and you swell everywhere. Yuck.
Headaches and even migraines are a common sign of gluten intolerance. Of course, it can also be a sign that you’re dehydrated or under stress. I can hear Arnold Schwarzenegger in my head “it’s not a tumor” … ok I’m not trying to make light here but there are so many types of headaches and reasons to get them.
Ask yourself of you exhibit a few of these symptoms in combination. Folks generally exhibit one then one symptom but not always. More challenging is that these sometimes can arise the day after you eat your “poison”.
Body aches or joint pain
I remember feeling pain all over my body. It was mostly in my feet and hands. At times, it left me feeling like I had the flu. In the morning, my feet would hit the floor and it felt as if I was walking on pebbles.
Fatigue and exhaustion that cannot be explained away by your day’s activity.
When I ate gluten within an hour I was ready for a nap. I didn’t realize that after every meal my wanting to take a nap was due to the gluten I ingested at that meal. Each meal was like eating Thanksgiving dinner. It left me in a food comma. ….Who needs a sleeping pill?
Gluten sensitivity can show up with chronic urticaria. Skin eruptions that make you wonder if you’re suddenly allergic to something your body is touching.
Try going gluten free
Maybe by now you want to try avoiding this protein molecule that seems to be the devil? What do you do? Well, the first thing is to realize Gluten is Wheat, Barley and Rye.
As a result, you’ll want to stay away from pasta (made from WHEAT durum) fried foods, crackers, chips, cereal, ice cream cones, waffles, pastries & cakes (unless gluten free), soft tortillas (as in soft tacos). Since those are all empty calorie foods and not whole – nutrient dense – foods hopefully you don’t eat them to begin with.
Then again, if you never ate those things you can’t be my friend. Even I indulge in these goodies – although now it’s all gluten free!
Gluten is “glue like”. It’s a binder and thickener. It’s used in a lot of bottled and packaged goods. It hides in sauces and mixes. Here’s a few to watch out for:
- Bouillon cubes
- Cold Cuts (but not Boars Head! ?)
- Corn bread
- Modified food starch
- Salad dressings
- Sauces (turkey gravy, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce etc.)
It’s in your personal products too
When you are going gluten free…. You must consider your personal products too. The ones you use on your skin and hair. A common culprit is makeup & hair glaze or conditioner.
I used to dye my hair. The hair dye had a lot of chemicals but no wheat. The glaze we put on top of it to make it shine, however, had a wheat protein…. as did the conditioner I loved.
Most lip balms, lipsticks, and lip glosses contain gluten too. Just when you thought you were safe, many nutritional and herbal supplements also contain gluten. You also need to check your over the counter and prescription medication too.
I used to take the generic form of Synthroid (for Hashimoto’s) which is bound with wheat. I figured it out by accident when I didn’t take my med for 3 days and felt like a rock star.
Lastly, gluten is also found in your pet’s food… so if you touch that… beware.
Going GF: the bottom line.
It sounds hard… and it is an adjustment at first because you are paying attention to everything you ingested and did subconsciously before.
I must say… once you go gluten free (in the strict sense – no cheating and no mess ups) and if it’s the only sensitivity you have, you will start to feel slightly better right away – even after the 1st week. It gets better the longer you stop exposing yourself to this devil our body perceives as poison.
After a while, staying away from gluten it’s no longer an effort because you know which products to get and which to stay away from. It becomes as subconscious and easy as it was before.
There are Facebook groups you can join. One of my favs is Gluten Free on The Road. They are always sharing fun products, recipes and restaurants they found that are good.
You can also message me and I’ll send you a Gluten Free Resource Guide.
You can also try an elimination diet if you suspect you may be sensitive to a few foods… which is common today. Message me if you need help knowing how to do it.
…. but that’s just my opinion. Try different breads & See what you like and let me/ us know!April 22, 2017