Could Eating Gluten be Making You Sick?

These days everyone is going gluten free, but what really is gluten and why is everyone trying to avoid it in their daily diet?

Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, rye, and barley. Another place gluten is commonly found is in pre package foods as an additive to give flavor, as well as a thickener. You would be very surprised what foods contain gluten. Some of the items are hot dogs, Blue Cheese, puddings and salad dressings.

Gluten sensitivity is an autoimmune disease that comes from inflammation within the body, which has an effect on all organ systems within the body.  If left undiagnosed it will damage the small intestine and doesn’t allow nutrient absorption into the body. There are many people walking around that are undiagnosed with having gluten sensitivity and don’t even know it. In fact, they contribute it to other health issues and overlook simply removing gluten from their diet.

In some cases, gluten sensitivity or celiac disease has been over looked due to the fact that symptoms can vary from person to person.  Some of the common symptoms of gluten sensitivity are:

  • Abdominal pain and bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Bone or joint pain
  • Unexplained iron-deficiency Anemia
  • Depression or Anxiety
  • Itchy skin rash called Dermatitis Herpetiformis
  • Brain fog
  • Fatigue
  • Discolored teeth
  • Missed menstrual periods
  • Vitamin K deficiency

According to The New England Journal of Medicine, some of the diseases that could be caused by eating gluten are:

  • Cancer
  • Irritable Bowel Disease
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Autism- there has been a possible link to gluten.
  • Migraines- there has been a possible link to gluten.

Testing is a good place to start and will help you find out if you are gluten sensitive or have celiac disease. However, another step to start with is for you to eliminate all gluten from your daily diet for 2 to 4 weeks and then see how you feel at the end of this time.

There are a few other items to avoid when you have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, such as specific medications and vitamins. So reading labels will become very important. Another item that will surprise all of us is Play dough contains gluten.

Another health benefit to going on a gluten free diet could be weight loss for most people. Being that the American diet is based so heavily on eating carbs, such as breads, cookies and cakes, simply by eliminating them individuals begin to see weight loss.

So, no matter if you are gluten sensitive, have celiac disease or just going gluten free as the latest diet to try. Going gluten free could give you great health benefits long term.

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