Gluten FAQs

Why Go Gluten-Free?

Gluten Free Food VegetablesChoosing to go gluten free isn’t just a fad for some, but a medical necessity.  A small percentage of people eat gluten free due to being diagnosed with a medical condition called Celiac Disease. This means that celiac suffers lack the enzyme necessary to process gluten, a protein found in wheat. Other people simply choose to go gluten free due to sensitivity to gluten or wheat.

For the rest of the population, there are, as yet, no proven health benefits to eating gluten free. It is  more of a personal choice and if you’re considering going gluten free, the best thing to do is to check with doctor before making major changes to your diet. Keep in mind that going gluten-free is a commitment and you usually need to commit to it for an extended period of time and see if it is right for you.

You may also consider being tested for celiac disease. Diagnosing celiac disease requires a biopsy of the small intestines and / or a blood test. Many people with celiac disease don’t have any symptoms that can be pinpointed but they often report having body pain, stomach issues, and other problems that are often misdiagnosed as autoimmune problems. Celiac disease can actually be very dangerous and even cause death due to intestinal cancers developing in some individuals if not treated properly.

If you’re concerned that you may have gluten intolerance, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may suggest that you try eating gluten free for a while to see if any symptoms you do have are reduced or eliminated. Keep in mind that by eating gluten free you are eliminating a source of B Vitamins which are very important to good health. Supplement and replace nutrients accordingly when eliminating a food from your diet.

A gluten free diet may help if you have any of the following conditions. As mentioned, talk to your doctor before making any serious changes to your diet.

* Brain Fog
* Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
* Chronic Migraines
* Depression
* Irritable Bowel Syndrome
* Joint Pain
* Severe Stomach Pain
* Skin Rashes
* Weight Loss

This is just a small list. But, if you are experiencing these or a lot of nonspecific symptoms that your doctor doesn’t seem to be able to diagnose and treat, consider trying a gluten elimination diet, with your doctor’s permission. Keep in mind that simply stopping gluten may not actually do anything until the damage is repaired. This is why some people go on a two week gluten elimination diet and find no relief from their problems. Instead, try to go on a 100 percent gluten elimination program for at least a year to ensure that you’ve tried everything. Check in with your doctor frequently to keep him/her aware of your progress.

Gluten hides in a lot of things and even the smallest amount can affect people with true celiac disease. It is a serious condition that is probably much undiagnosed due to the expense and time it takes to get a proper diagnosis. By some estimates there may be up to 5 percent of the population who has celiac disease and even more may be sensitive to gluten and benefit from a gluten free diet, many of which may not even know it.

This article is for information purposes only and is not meant to diagnose of provide medical treatment or information. Talk with you doctor if you are concerned about gluten in your diet and possible impact on your health.


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