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All About Gluten

Why is gluten in the spotlight NOW?  Why didn’t we hear about this 50 years ago?  How did so many people suddenly become allergic?  

These are common questions asked when we recommend someone try going gluten free.  It seems like “going gluten-free” is a phenomenon that happened overnight.  In all reality, it’s not!  In fact, other countries, such as the Netherlands has been proactive to provide gluten free awareness and options for years.  Check this out: the Dutch even have a “Gluten Free Restaurant Card” available to help guarantee the safety of your food!

According to Enterolabs, a world leader in clinical laboratory studies for food sensitivities, the percentage of gluten that we’re eating today is different than what our ancestors consumed. The quantity of gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, was one of the components modified as grains were domesticated and modified to be used as a greater source of food and calories.  As we continue to genetically modify our food, other grains, such as oats, are being exposed to higher gluten levels.  So it’s not necessarily the simple awareness is the cause for greater diagnosis of gluten-sensitivity, but the fact that our food is affecting more people.  For more information visit EnteroLabs FAQ page.

What does it mean if someone has a “gluten intolerance?”  Is that the same thing as having Celiac Disease?

Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG), a non-profit resource for the gluten-free community, answers these questions best.  For additional information regarding how GIG could help you or a loved one, click here.

“Gluten-related disorders (commonly called gluten intolerances) are both autoimmune (genetic) and innate immune responses (present at birth).  Autoimmune gluten disorders include celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis.  Autoimmune conditions do not go away.  Persons with these conditions will suffer tissue damage in the intestine or skin when eating gluten.  They may suffer a number of symptoms and related health issues as a result.  Gluten sensitivity (also known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity) is an innate immune response, similar in reaction to lactose intolerance.  Although this reaction does not cause damage to the intestine or skin, it may cause inflammation and other health-related problems.  Avoiding gluten is the only way for persons with gluten-related disorders to maintain good health.” 

How do I know if I have a gluten-related disorder?? 

Symptoms associated with gluten-related disorders affect a variety of body systems, not just digestion.  Of course digestive disturbances are the most commonly experienced frustrations including, but not limited to: abdominal bloating and pain, chronic diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, weight loss, weight gain, and foul-smelling stool.  Some people, however, do not experience digestive symptoms, but other signs like these instead:  fatigue, irritability and behavioral issues, delayed growth and puberty, ADHD, unexplained iron-deficiency anemia, bone or joint pain, depression or anxiety, seizures or migraines, infertility or miscarriage, and canker sores.  And the list continues.  For more specific information regarding Celiac Disease and how it is diagnosed, visit the Celiac Disease Foundation.

As the awareness of gluten and its related disorders grows, more people may consider going gluten-free to see how their health may be improved.  It’s important to note that going gluten-free is not necessary for everyone!  We invite you to discuss any questions you may have with Dr. Amanda and Dr. Scott as they are 13-years experienced with a gluten-free lifestyle.  In support of Celiac Awareness Month (May), Dr. Amanda will be holding a presentation “All About Gluten” on Tuesday, May 24th at 6pm at Body Logic.  We invite you to join us and bring a friend!  Our front desk has a sign up sheet available. Space is limited.  Let us help you!