What Is Gluten?
As our food gets more and more processed they become more toxic and dangerous to eat! We keep discovering new health concerns. This leaves many of us confused, frustrated, and in need of support. In my last blog I talked about the difference between whole grain and whole wheat. In today’s blog I am going to take this a step further and discuss gluten.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and oats. It is hidden in pizza, pasta, bread, wraps, rolls, and most processed foods. Since our Standard American Diet (SAD) contains a lot of those foods, gluten is a staple of the American diet.
What most people don’t know is that gluten can cause serious health complications for many. There is scale of gluten insensitivity. This ranges from full blown celiac disease (being allergic and even lead to death) to a gluten intolerance. Even if you don’t have full blown celiac disease you should still avoid it whenever possible.
Dangers of Gluten
Eating gluten over an extended period of time can have serious affects on your intestinal lining. If our intestinal line is damaged our body is not able to properly absorb and assimilate nutrients. This can cause malnourishment and other inflammatory diseases in the body. This damaging reaction to gluten does not happen instantly. Rather, the damage is done over a period of many years, and many people are not diagnosed with a gluten intolerance or disease until after they have experienced serious symptoms such as, diarrhea, excessive flatulence, abdominal pain, bloody stool, and abdominal bloating or distention.
The side effects of gluten and its symptoms vary from person to person. Not every affected person’s digestive system gets damaged. Some people experience allergic reactions caused by antibodies created by the immune system. These antibodies attack the gluten, but in the process may also cause physical reactions. Below are some common symptoms associated with a gluten allergy.
- Irritability or depression
- Stomach upset
- Joint pain
- Muscle cramps
- Skin rash
- Mouth sores
- Dental and bone disorders (such as osteoporosis)
- Tingling in the legs and feet (neuropathy)
- Weight loss
- Abdominal cramps, gas and bloating
- General weakness and fatigue
- Loss of focus or “head fog”
What To Do?
If you think you have a gluten allergy or intolerance ask your doctor to be tested. After the results you will know if you need to avoid gluten. Even if you are not allergic to gluten, seriously decreasing the amount you have in your diet can help you feel better. When I eliminated gluten from my diet my digestion improved. I have less bloating and most important I have more energy. Many of the foods that contain gluten are highly processed and when we eat them we are left feeling tired, bloated, and heavy. When we consume foods that are whole we are eating their energy and we are left feeling lighter and more fit inside our bodies. What kind of energy do you want?