I’ve recently succumb to the large probability that I am gluten intolerant. Stomach issues come and go for me. I’ve always claimed IBS as part of my issues although I’ve never been diagnosed. I also highly suspect a gut imbalance caused by taking a large amount of antibiotics growing up. My stomach issues include gas, bloating and constipation. At the moment, I find myself reacting to just about everything I eat. I’ve been in hot pursuit for relief and answers and thought I’d share.
Gluten intolerance is a pretty popular ailment these days and going gluten free is becoming more and more common. I have suspected I was gluten intolerant for some time now but recently had adopted some eating habits which included eating gluten daily. As my stomach issues were at an all time high, I decided to go gluten free.
After cutting gluten from my diet I noticed relief within 1 day. I continue to enjoy less bloating and gas but my symptoms are not completely remedied. So hence diving head first into gluten research! As per usual-I’m sharing what I’ve learned and would greatly appreciate comments that might add to the information!
First off-what is gluten? Gluten is a protein in wheat, rye and barley. Gluten is in all the good stuff like cake, pizza, cookies, crackers and chips.
I didn’t know there was a difference between celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Celiac disease is an allergy to gluten and will show up in a blood test. Often, a person with celiac disease has small intestine damage. It affects about 1 in 100 people, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation. Gluten intolerance is much more common and simply means that someone has a hard time digesting gluten. Gluten intolerant people have most of the same symptoms of celiac disease but don’t show any of the physiologic changes, like damage to the small intestine and malnutrition.
Gluten can actually cause significant changes in the gut microbiome. This is bad news since overall health orginates in the gut. Gluten intolerance can affect almost every cell, tissue and system in the body since the bacteria that populate the gut help control everything from nutrient absorption, hormone production, metabolic function and cognitive processes.
Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance:
- Diarrhea or Constipation
- Stomach Pain
- Feeling Tired
- Brain Fog
- Muscle & Joint Pain
- Skin Issue such as dermatitis, eczema, rosacea and skin rashes
- Weight Loss
- Arm & Leg Numbness
- Autoimmune Disorders
If you quickly begin to feel relief after cutting out gluten, it is pretty safe to say that your body is having a hard time digesting this protein. It would be wise to greatly reduce your intake of gluten if not stop eating it all together.
Like me, many people still continue to have stomach issues after quitting gluten. This is usually caused by the damage gluten has already done. We’re talking inflammation and a gut imbalance.
Reducing foods that cause inflammation such as alcohol, fried foods, processed foods and sugar is an absolute must. It doesn’t have to mean you cut these foods out forever but cutting them out to reduce inflammation will help your body heal. Also, getting your gut back in balance is a must. The easiest way to do this is by taking a probiotic. I alternate between Garden of Life’s probiotic and Plexus Pro-Bio 5. Go HERE for more ideas on replenishing your gut with good bacteria.
Since I quit eating gluten, I’m pretty shocked at all the gluten I was eating. I really thought I had cut it way down but I was fooling myself, that’s for sure. I’m currently figuring out how to reduce inflammation and help my gut get back in balance and hope to ditch the stomach discomfort soon.
Do you have a gluten issue? Any advice? I’d love to hear!