The Importance of a Gluten Free Diet
Gluten sensitivity and allergy has become one of the most commonly undiagnosed sources of health problems. You may not know that you have a sensitivity to gluten, but by removing it from your diet for a few weeks, you may notice a big difference in how you feel!
Gluten containing foods including wheat (white or wheat flour), rye, and barley. Oats are inherently gluten free, yet they are usually contaminated with gluten, so you must look for oats which specifically say “Gluten Free” on the package.
Here is a detailed list of ingredients which contain gluten and that you should avoid. The most common gluten containing foods include bread, pasta, cookies, crackers, and cereals. There are delicious gluten-free versions (made with rice flour or quinoa) of all these foods available online from various sites:
Where can I find Gluten Free Foods?
Most health food stores like Whole Foods have a whole section of gluten-free products like pasta, cereal, breads, cookies, and crackers. In addition, there are online retailers who provide a huge variety of products to try.
www.theglutenfreebistro.com -Gluten-Free Pizza crust high in protein, B vitamins, minerals and fiber. Free of all major allergens and GMOs, no added phosphates, hydrogenated oils or sodium.
Here are Rockwell Nutrition’s Gluten Free protein bars and protein powders
Eating gluten can cause health problems
When you eat gluten containing foods, damage to the villi in your digestive system occurs. This includes shortening and flattening of the villi in the lamina propria and crypt regions of the intestines. There are also toxic amino acid sequences found in wheat, rye, and barley which have negative health implications. Once your villi are damaged, it becomes much easier for food to “leak” out of the intestines (“leaky gut”) and into the blood stream causing a number of symptoms ranging from headache, fatigue, depression, anxiety, irritability, hyperactivity, brain-fog, stomach ache, gas, diarrhea, vomiting, heartburn, joint and/or muscle aches (arthritis, fibromyalgia), and inflammation.
Do I have a sensitivity to gluten?
There are two ways to know if your body is tolerating gluten well or not: 1) is to eliminate it for 2-4 weeks and see if symptoms improve. And 2) Have a complete Gluten sensitivity test done. This includes IgA, IgG, IgM, Gliadin, Gluten, and Transglutaminase. Most doctors do not have this test available in their office since the blood draw requires centrifuging right after the sample is taken.
Note that the blood test commonly available in Doctor’s offices for Celiac gluten sensitivity only works for less than 10% of those who are in fact gluten sensitive.
Thus it is important you have the gluten sensitivity test done, not just the Celiac test.
If getting tested is not an option, you can simply eliminate all gluten for 3 weeks and see how you feel. Most likely, you will notice a big difference! (However, if you do not, it is still possible that you have Celiac or gluten sensitivity which is silently causing destruction in your body every time you consume gluten, so testing and re-testing is critical).
If you have Celiac Disease, epilepsy, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Multiple Sclerosis, and Cystic Fibrosis, you must eliminate every trace of gluten from your diet since these conditions are greatly improved and or reversed by following a strict gluten free diet. In addition, those who have any pain and inflammation in their body and/or fatigue are very likely to have a gluten sensitivity.
Removing Gluten Can Help with: Asthma, Anxiety, ADHD (hyperactivity), Blood flow to brain is poor, Cerebral Ataxia, Celiac Disease, Chronic backaches, Chronic Fatigue, Crohn’s Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, Coordination is poor, Depression, Diabetes, Developmental Delay, Eczema, Epilepsy, Gastroenteritis (acute), Headaches, IBS and Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Insomnia, Malaise, Menopause smptoms, Migraines, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscle aches and pains, Neurodegenerative conditions, Pancreatic Dysfunction, PMS & Irritability, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Schizophrenia, Shorter stature, Ulcerative Colitis Weakness.
Intolerance Versus Allergy
Food intolerances are more common than allergies. They happen when food irritates the digestive system or offers substances that the digestive tract cannot break down. A food intolerance, however, does not provoke the immune system into an attack. The most common foods that cause intolerance are wheat, rye and barley; they all contain gluten. Figuring out an intolerance requires eliminating foods to gauge your response. Signs can include fatigue after meal, nausea, stomach pain, gas, cramps, bloating, vomiting, heartburn, diarrhea, headaches and irritability or nervousness.
If you suspect you have a food intolerance, keep a food diary-recording what you eat and how you feel afterward. In addition, an elimination diet, wherein you avoid certain foods and track your responses, can help determine food intolerances. After you have dropped certain foods from your diet, reintroduce them, one at a time, until you eat a food that causes a return of your problems. These foods should then be permanently avoided.
Gluten Sensitivities Resources:
www.TheDr.com – Dr Tom O’Brian’s excellent DVD summarizes the research on Gluten sensitivity and Celiac.
www.GFCFdiet.com – Books, videos, and resources on the Gluten Free Casein Free Diet.
www.Celiac.com – Gluten and wheat-free diet resources.
www.LivingWithout.com – Health magazine for those with food allergies or intolerance to wheat, gluten, dairy, etc.
www.GlutenFreeLiving.com – Magazine for Gluten-Free living.
www.Gluten.net – Gluten Intolerance Group.
www.FoodAllergy.org – Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network with cookbooks, videos, etc.