In recently years a gluten free diet has proven that there’s no denying removing wheat can lead to a healthier digestion and a better figure, which has prompted many people to become gluten free. However, a high percentage of people are actually gluten intolerant, yet they don’t see the signs or realise that this is the culprit for minor everyday complaints.
It’s usually only when the benefits are felt from a gluten free diet that the link is made but if the link was made beforehand, people would feel much more motivated to follow a gluten free diet for life.
It is accepted that celiac disease is an extreme form of gluten intolerance and in no way do we wish to offer medical advice for this condition, yet through our experience we can help you decide if gluten could be having a negative effect on your daily life. Going gluten free is certainly painless and a valid option for leading a healthy lifestyle and potentially losing weight.
Let’s explore the potential reactions to gluten and whether you could indeed be gluten intolerant, and if you are, what food can you eat.
What the tests don’t show
Many people who suspect they may have an intolerance to gluten will undergo a sensitivity test or a blood test through their GP to confirm it however there are six polypeptides in wheat, gliadin, wheat germ agglutinin, glteomorphin, gltueinin, prodynorphin, and omega gliadin and these tests only detect a sensitivity to one – gliadin. Any one or a combination of these can still cause symptoms that effect you every day. That’s why even when the tests come back clear you could still be gluten intolerant and could consider living gluten free and seeing how you feel.
Do any of these complaints look familiar?
You may be quite shocked by the symptoms gluten intolerance can produce, some are even debilitating. Of course if you do have these symptoms in a chronic manner it is always best to check with your GP to rule out anything else.
Here are some of the reactions your body can see to gluten intolerance causes:
- Headaches and Migraines
- Hormonal imbalances
- Aches and Pains
- Dizzyness or “foggy brain”
- Auto immune Diseases
Why so serious?
It seems strange that such a small grain can cause so much pain and distress for those who have grown up accepting it as a healthy part of a healthy lifestyle. Yet, the list for gluten intolerance symptoms is always growing as new ailments are discovered.
It tends to produce serious symptoms as it:
- Attacks the gut which in turn causes bloating, swelling, bad digestion and fatigue
- Limits the absorption of other essential nutrients such as essential fatty acids and vitamin A which causes Eczema and lowers the immune system
- Absorbs toxins that would usually excess the body as waste which causes a lot of symptoms such as headaches, swelling, aches and pains, dizziness and so on.
It really is a smiling assassin, as it is promoted heavily as an essential part of a healthy diet yet it does nothing but fill us with carbohydrates that can easily be found elsewhere.
How do I know if I’m gluten intolerant?
Of course all of these symptoms could be attributed to other ailments, however if you’ve had these investigated before and your doctor has been unable to find a cause, you could be gluten intolerant.
The best way to discover if you are gluten intolerant is to completely eliminate it from your diet. Just cutting out some gluten won’t give you the results you need. As gluten can take years to completely vanish from the digestive system, people usually notice the changes when they reintroduce gluten a few weeks later.
What can I eat if I don’t eat gluten?
Once you decide to go gluten free you’ll see a whole new world of opportunity that opens before your very eyes. You will be surprised at how little your diet actually changes and you could see a difference within 24 hours, (your waistline will definitely be smaller). Many restaurants, cafes and supermarkets now have a large and extensive gluten-free range of foods. You can still enjoy things like salad dressings, beer and can still be creative with your cooking. Check out some gluten free lunch ideas, plus gluten free beer brands, and gluten free salad dressing ideas.
You will need to double check the labels of ingredients to ensure that they do not contain gluten, but generally here are some easy to remember substitutions:
- Dried Fruit ->> switch to fresh fruit to avoid the possibility that there has been flour involved.
- Canned or creamed vegetable ->> switch to fresh vegetables, you can then ensure no flour has been added or preservatives.
- Processed, breaded or “prepared meat” ->> switch to fresh, organic meat. There is no chance there will be gluten containing fillers such as bread crumbs.
- Dried milk, powdered creamer ->> switch to fresh plain milk.
- Pasta ->> switch to gluten free varieties, often made from rice or potato.
- Bread ->> switch to gluten free versions, or make your own with gluten free flour.
- Frozen french fries ->> switch to fresh and homemade, preferably baked potatoes. Frozen goods like this are often prepared with flour.
- Blue cheeses ->> switch to any other cheese, cheddar, edam, goats cheese are all OK. Good news if you are not a fan of veined/mouldy cheese!
Take that gluten!
These are some easy ways to try eliminating gluten from your diet, if you are gluten intolerant you will soon notice a change! Now you’re informed, what will you do?