If you’re the person in your family who does the grocery shopping, lately you’ve probably seen “Gluten-free” products cropping up in your grocery store. Whether it’s bread, oats, or soup, more people are reaching for “gluten-free” alternatives.
But what is gluten and how might it concern you and your family?
Gluten is the primary protein found in wheat. It also found in barley, rye, and sometimes oats (through cross-contamination). For people with Celiac disease or a gluten allergy, this is a concern, as gluten can bring about changes in the intestinal mucosa. These changes in the intestines affect digestion and canlead to problems absorbing nutrients.
Surprisingly, often the people affected by a gluten sensitivity are unaware they have a problem. An estimated 15% of the population suffer from gluten sensitivity or intolerance, but only 1% are diagnosed.
You may wonder how millions of people could be living with a serious food sensitivity and not recognize the condition. Unfortunately tt can be easy to misdiagnose the problem because there is such a wide array of symptoms associated with gluten intolerance.
Symptoms of a gluten allergy or intolerance include:
- Diarrhea or constipation, gas and bloating
- Migraine headaches
- Brain fog-like feelings after eating a meal that contains gluten
- Feelings of exhaustion after eating a meal that contains gluten
- The diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as Lupus, Psoriasis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Scleroderma, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or Multiple sclerosis.
- Bouts of dizziness
- Hormonal imbalances
- Fibromyalgia or chronic fatique. (both of these diagnoses are commonly used when your doctor is unable to find the cause of your condition.
- Joint swelling and pain
- Psychological symptoms such as anxiety, depression, ADD or mood swings
Ways to discover if you are gluten intolerant
If you suspect you have any of the symptoms on this list and believe you might have problems with gluten, there are a couple of ways to find out.
First, a simple blood test can help you determine if you have Celiac Disease. Be aware that you must recently have eaten products which contain gluten for this blood test to be effective. If you have avoided gluten for any significant period of time, the blood test may be unable to detect the markers that indicate a gluten sensitivity.
Another easy but less scientific way to learn if your are gluten intolerant, is through an elimination diet. Begin by eliminating all sources of wheat, rye, and barley from your diet. Although it may take many months for all traces of gluten to pass from your system, you are likely to begin feeling better within a matter of weeks.
Avoiding foods with gluten
Foods which commonly contain wheat products or gluten are: bread, pancakes, fried foods, pizza, cakes, cookies and beer. However be sure to read ingredients labels carefully as there are many foods with hidden sources of gluten.
When dining out, request a gluten free menu, or ask your server to tell you which items are gluten free. Don’t be embarrased—this is no longer an uncommon request. At restaurants, you might wish to avoid items like french fries, which alone do not contain gluten, are likely to be fried in the same oil which is used to fry breaded products.
If, after reading this article, you suspect gluten is causing problems for you or a family member, contact us. Through our science based nutrition programs we can identity your unique health challenges and provide you with an all-natural way to improve your health.
We begin our programs with a comprehensive lab work. This affordable lab work, (currently priced well below two hundred dollars) is performed at any local Labcorp office. The results of this lab work will give us an accurate picture of how effectively your body is functioning. We will learn if your are digesting food well, if you are eating enough protein for your body type and even whether you’re getting sufficient water. We will also be able to evaluate many other health factors, such as cholesterol, glucose and vitamin D levels. After reviewing your lab work we will compile a customized nutrition report for you. Within this report you will find a detailed analysis of any problem areas we’ve identified along with a recommendation of supplements designed to strengthen and restore your body.
All recommended supplements are pharmaceutical grade, produced to the highest standards and are available right within our office.
After beginning a customized program, most of our patients begin feeling health improvements within just a few weeks!
If you’d like to learn how we can help you, please contact Texas Spine & Wellness at (972) 840-2520 and ask for Kerrin. We’ll be happy to consult with you over the phone to discuss your concerns.
For more ways the health professionals at Texas Spine & Wellness can help you, return to our home page.