I know, I know it seems like everyone these days is sensitive to gluten, or going gluten free.
I truly thought nothing of gluten until we removed it from our diet due to my sons tummy and asthma issues.
Soon I noticed my joints weren't as sore, I wasn't as tired (even though I was sleeping the same number of hours), and my headaches (which I thought were due to stress were gone).
To be honest I didn't put two and two together until we re-introduced it and less than an hour later I was rushing to the toilet!
But here is the thing, gluten now is not the same as gluten our ancestors ate. Genetic engineering to make it grow faster and cheaper has change it - and not in a good way!
Like me, most people are unaware that gluten can cause many issues in the body.
Below I have listed 7 signs that you may be sensitive to gluten. If you recognize 2 or 3 of these that may be a sign that you should avoid it.
1) Digestive Issues
Gluten can wreak havoc on a person’s digestive system by causing all kinds of symptoms such as:
Gas and smelly gas,
Painful stomach cramping.
In more severe cases, like in people with Celiac’s Disease, it can cause blood in the stool because the damage is so severe.
Gluten damages the small villi, which are finger-like projections that come out of the colon wall, in the intestines and absorb the nutrients in the food we have eaten.
This damage makes it hard for the people to properly digest not only the gluten in the meal they have just eaten, but also the other food they have eaten too.
If you feel tired all the time, or have been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and have general pain all over your body like in those with Fibromyalgia you might want to take a look at your diet.
Gluten could be a major factor in your suffering.
And you know those dark purplish circles under your eyes ....
Those may not be purely an indication of being over tired.
But actually, it could be caused by an intolerance or sensitivity to gluten.
If you notice that you have dark circles under your eyes despite being well rested, removing gluten from your diet could be a big help!
3) Headaches or Migraines
Migraines and headaches have become increasingly common in our stressed out society.
But many people might be overlooking the real cause of their headache troubles.
Gluten causes inflammation in the body, and this includes the brain.
Many people find relief from headaches and migraines when they remove gluten from their diets.
I know I did!
4) Mood Issues
Have you noticed that you often feel depressed or have issues with anger or anxiety?
It is well known that these issues are closely related to the digestive issues that gluten can cause.
There are a few ways that gluten can cause these issues, and some professionals have speculated that these issues affect the central nervous system.
This happens because there is either change that occurs in the gut microbiota, an imbalance in serotonin levels, or in the formation of peptides called gluten exorphins.
5) Joint pain
This one is close to my heart!
As you read above, gluten can cause inflammation in people who are intolerant to it.
This inflammation can show up in our joints and cause painful swelling.
This is often one of the first symptoms people notice when they are looking at gluten intolerance.
If left unchecked, this inflammation can lead to other, more serious, health conditions.
6) Brain Fog
Have you noticed that you can’t seem to think straight, are having trouble remembering things, can’t seem to shake the feeling that you have when you first wake up, or misplace things easily.
Or at least more so that normal "mommy brain"
The protein in gluten can have an extremely negative effect on your brain, and cause damage to the areas of the brain that can cause brain fog and many other areas.
Some damage is even bad enough to be seen by neurologists on MRI scans.
People have reported a vast improvement in the function of their brains after removing gluten from their diets. Some of us not so much though LOL
7) Nutrient Deficiencies
If you’ve had blood work done and you notice that you are deficient in a whole host of nutrients, it might be because you are intolerant to the gluten in your diet.
As we know, gluten can damage the lining of the intestines and this can make it nearly impossible for the intestines to properly absorb nutrients.
Some key nutrients that can be affected by this lack of absorption are calcium, iron, vitamin B12, as well as all of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
All of these nutrients are vital for excellent health!
As you can see Gluten sensitivity can REALLY be a "thing".
And if you suffer from a few of the above points you may want to consider giving gluten a break for a while.
Most people need to eliminate it for a period of three - six weeks before they can figure out whether or not it was causing an issue.
Six weeks is such a short period of time when it comes to the health of your body and mind. Try giving gluten free eating a try, and see if it helps you. All the recipes on this website are gluten free and there are plenty of family friendly options here.
The 5 day meal plan is also gluten free - so you don't even need to think!
There are many substitute options available at your local grocery store to try. Being gluten free does not mean you have to make big sacrifices! Just watch the sugar content in some of the products
GLUTEN FREE does not equal HEALTHY necessarily
Wheat Belly by William Davis MD (I recommend reading this book)
Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A Balch
The Real Vitamin and Mineral Book by Shari Lieberman PhD