Is Going Gluten-Free Good For You? Analyze Your DNA Raw Data Now!

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What are the first signs of gluten intolerance?

Gluten is a protein that is found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley.

Some people are inherently sensitive to gluten, which makes them gluten intolerant.

Gluten intolerance is an autoimmune disease, and celiac disease is its most severe form.

About 0.5-13% of people have a non-celiac gluten intolerance, which is a milder form of the disease.

There are many signs that indicate one might be suffering from gluten intolerance:

  1. Bloating is the most common symptom seen in gluten-intolerant people.
  2. Diarrhea and constipation.
  3. Foul-smelling feces due to poor nutrient absorption.
  4. Abdominal pain.
  5. Migraines
  6. Fatigue
  7. Muscle and joint pain due to an overly sensitive nervous system
  8. Individuals with celiac disease develop a condition called dermatitis herpetiformis.
  9. Other conditions that are relieved when on a gluten-free diet include psoriasis, chronic urticaria, and alopecia areata.
  10. Weight loss that has no apparent cause, along with digestive troubles.

Can you develop gluten sensitivity later in life?

Yes. One can develop gluten sensitivity anytime during their lifetime.

Sometimes people test negative for the autoimmune condition but develop it later on in their lives.

According to statistics, there has been a 5 fold increase in the prevalence of the disease, primarily in the elderly.

 

How do you eliminate gluten from your diet?

Avoid gluten-containing grains such as wheat, rye, and barley.

Each of these grains come in a variety of forms, and one must remember to avoid these forms as well.

These include semolina, bulgur, durum, graham, and spelt (all of which are forms of wheat).

Avoid all foods and food items that contain gluten.

These include cakes, muffins, pastries, cookies, bread, candies, bagel, croissants, pizzas, types of pasta, rolls, malts, tortilla, soy sauce, burgers, patties, waffles, and many more such foods.

If you are ever unsure, make it a point to read the packet or ask the chef about the contents of the dish to ensure you are not risking your health.

While the ones mentioned above are foods that definitely contain gluten, there are some others that are hidden sources of gluten.

Some of these products include ale, beer, bran, brewer’s yeast, brown flour, couscous, dextrin, groats, gluten flour, malt and malt-based products, self-rising flour, orzo, wheat germ, wheat and white flour, wholemeal flour, and vegetable gum.

Always check for signs on the packaging that indicate that the food item is ‘gluten-free’.

Do not consume even if the packaging says ‘traces of wheat’.

 

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How long does it take for gluten to leave your system?

Symptoms of those suffering from gluten intolerance and celiac disease show a marked improvement after a 2-week gluten-free diet.

The symptoms disappear completely in about 3 months, which is the amount of time it takes for gluten to exit your system completely.

 

What helps gluten intolerance?

Gluten intolerance can be quite painful, both physically and emotionally.

Apart from staying away from gluten-based foods, there are some steps one can take to quicken the healing process:

  • Drink lots of water to flush the gluten out of the body
  • Drink coconut water to stay hydrated and restore the electrolyte balance in the body
  • Hot tea or bone broth are both healthy as they help nourish the body
  • Get adequate amounts of sleep
  • Eat ginger as it helps your stomach settle down and relieves cramps
  • Eat pineapple as it aids in digestion.
  • Avoid dairy products during the recovery time as they can increase digestive troubles
  • Incorporate probiotics in your diet. They promote the growth of healthy gut microflora.
  • Take the medications and supplements prescribed by your physician.
  • Once the initial symptoms have been relieved, carry out light exercises daily to help in the healing process.

 

Can gluten cause anxiety?

There are many studies that have demonstrated the effect of irritable bowels on the mood of an individual.

However, how gluten results in anxiety or depression in gluten intolerant or gluten sensitive individuals have not yet conclusively been proven.

 

How do I feel better after eating gluten?

If you are gluten-intolerant or gluten-sensitive and have accidentally ingested gluten, here are quick steps you must take to get immediate relief:

  • Stay hydrated, drinks lots of water. If you are prone to diarrhea on ingesting gluten, you may want to stay hydrated to compensate for the water lost in stools.
  • Get lots of rest and a good amount of sleep.
  • Take activated charcoal to relieve symptoms of bloating and flatulence. Charcoal binds to the toxins and helps eliminate the gas.
  • Consume ginger, turmeric, or omega-3 fatty acid rich foods to reduce the inflammation in the gut.
  • You can also take probiotics that help restore normalcy in the digestive tract.

What causes gluten sensitivity?

There are two types of gluten sensitivity– celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disorder where the body’s immune system attacks its gut tissues when exposed to gluten in the diet.

But, there is no exact reason or cause as to why non-celiac gluten sensitivity occurs.

The research for the same is underway.

 

You might also like: 5 Facts You Must Know Before Deciding To Go Gluten-Free

What foods are high in gluten?

The biggest culprits of gluten-sensitivity are grains. The following foods are high in gluten:

  1. Wheat
  2. Rye
  3. Barley
  4. Wheat Germ
  5. Bulgur
  6. Couscous
  7. Farina
  8. Triticale
  9. Semolina
  10. Graham flour
  11. Malt
  12. Malt vinegar
  13. Soups
  14. Ketchup
  15. Mayonaise
  16. Salad dressings
  17. Soy sauce
  18. Marinades, gravies
  19. Ice cream
  20. Energy bars
  21. Flavored Coffee
  22. Roasted nuts
  23. Burgers
  24. Oats (unless they are gluten-free)
  25. Many non-edible items such as shampoos, cosmetics, lip balm, Play-Doh, some medications, stamps, and also contain gluten.

 

What is the difference between celiac disease and gluten intolerance?

Some people have an allergic reaction when they consume grains like wheat, barley and some types of oats or products that contain them.

These people are said to be sensitive to gluten or suffer from an autoimmune disease called celiac disease.

Though in both cases, gluten appears to be the culprit and a common link, the two conditions are widely different.

Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder of the digestive system in which gluten, a protein, causes inflammation of the small intestine and can severely damage it as well.

The small intestine is responsible for absorbing nutrients, but in this condition, the body’s immune system begins to attack it.

Due to the damage to the small intestine, it is unable to absorb nutrients, thereby leading to malnutrition in the individual.

Gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity is a condition that has symptoms overlapping with those of celiac disease.

But, in the case of gluten intolerance, there is no inflammation of the small intestine.

 

Can you be allergic to gluten and not have celiac disease?

Yes! Individuals who are allergic to gluten but do not suffer from inflammation of the small intestine, as seen in celiac disease, are said to suffer from non-celiac gluten intolerance.

However, they have many common symptoms that include bloating, abdominal discomfort, flatulence, diarrhea, headaches, joint and muscle pain, tiredness, fatigue, etc.

However, non-celiac gluten sensitivity is not a life-threatening reaction as is the case with celiac disease.

While celiac disease is an autoimmune condition with a genetic predisposition, non-celiac gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance can develop anytime during an individual’s lifetime.

 

Can you test negative for celiac disease and still have a gluten intolerance?

The diagnosis for celiac disease, an autoimmune digestive disorder, is a lengthy process that involves blood tests and an endoscopy to be able to visualize the small intestine.

Sometimes, blood tests can be negative, but that does not rule out celiac disease.

An IgA deficiency can give a false negative reading.

So, in such a case if an individual has symptoms of celiac disease but tests false negative for the blood tests, an individual is advised to get further tests done, i.e. an endoscopy that can help assess the damage to the small intestine.

But, a person can be sensitive or allergic to gluten but not have celiac disease.

This person is said to be suffering from non-celiac gluten intolerance.

In such a person, there are no changes (inflammation or damage) seen in the small intestine.

So, a person can test negative for celiac disease but be gluten intolerant.

 

How do you test for gluten sensitivity?

Currently, there are no recommended tests for gluten sensitivity.

It is diagnosed on the exclusion principle.

A person suffering from symptoms of gluten sensitivity is first tested for wheat allergy and celiac disease.

If both tests predict a negative answer, then they will be put on a gluten-free diet to observe if the symptoms improve.

If your symptoms improve after going on a gluten-free diet, you are said to be gluten intolerant.

 

Is there a blood test for gluten sensitivity?

Gluten sensitivity can be of two types– celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

One of the preliminary tests done for diagnosing celiac disease is a blood test.

There are two tests for diagnosing non-celiac gluten sensitivity – AGA-IgA and AGA-IgG.

AGA or anti-gliadin antibodies are antibodies that the body makes against gliadin that is a part of the gluten molecule.

IgA and IgG are different forms of the immunoglobulins or antibodies that the body makes against foreign particles or invaders.

If AGA-IgA or AGA-IgG are present in your blood, it means that the body is synthesizing antibodies against gluten molecules.

 

Can gluten intolerance be cured?

Gluten intolerance due to celiac causes or non-celiac causes can make a huge difference when it comes to curing it.

Those who have celiac disease do so because they are genetically predisposed to it.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder with a genetic component.

People suffering from celiac disease cannot be cured of their gluten intolerance but can live a normal life by avoiding gluten forever.

However, people who suffer from non-celiac gluten intolerance can hope to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Most people who develop non-celiac gluten intolerance do so due to other conditions like a leaking gut.

So, when the gut heals, gluten tolerance automatically improves and these individuals, in a few months, can expect their tolerance to gluten to improve.

 

How do you treat a gluten allergy?

The best way to treat gluten sensitivity is to avoid gluten.

Most people see an immediate improvement in their symptoms the moment they stop consuming gluten-based foods.

There are times when people with gluten allergy accidentally consume gluten and face the consequences.

In such cases, there are two classes of drugs that are useful to relieve the symptoms of gluten allergy:

  1. Antihistamines
  2. Adrenaline or epinephrine

Is a gluten-free diet harmful?

Gluten-free food is increasingly becoming popular among people.

However, it is recommended only for those suffering from celiac disease who have no other option but to avoid the protein-containing grains.

But, if you are not gluten intolerant or sensitive, it is not advisable for you to go on a gluten-free diet.

Most gluten-free products that are available today are also stripped-off of other nutrients and therefore, are not healthy for those who can eat gluten-based foods.

Do oats have gluten?

Oats do not contain gluten but contain another protein, called avenin, that is similar to gluten.

People suffering from celiac disease can tolerate gluten-free oats.

But, they must ensure that the oats are not contaminated with gluten from other grains like wheat, barley, or rye.

 

Does peanut butter have gluten?

Yes. Peanuts and all peanut products are naturally gluten-free.

Peanut flour is actually used to replace many traditional flours that contain gluten in individuals who are gluten intolerant or those suffering from celiac disease.

 

Which fruits are gluten-free?

Among gluten-free foods come many vegetables and fruits. Some gluten-free fruits include:

  • Citrus Fruits
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Peaches

Does licorice contain gluten?

Licorice is obtained from licorice root that is naturally gluten-free.

One needs to be careful when consuming licorice-based foods which are sometimes combined with wheat flour, which contains gluten.

 

Do almonds contain gluten?

Almonds are gluten-free nuts and make for a great snack for those suffering from celiac disease or non-celiac gluten intolerance.

Does butter contain gluten?

Butter and other dairy products are gluten-free and can be safely consumed by those suffering from celiac and non-celiac gluten intolerance.

 

Is honey gluten free?

Yes, honey is a gluten-free product.

 

Can gluten affect hormones?

Gluten intolerance can affect hormones, especially in women over 40 who are tending towards menopause.

The unpredictability of the ovaries along with the hormones estrogen and progesterone wreck havoc in the body.

If one is gluten intolerant, the problems can increase.

This is because if one is sensitive to gluten, there are high chances that they may have an adrenal hormone imbalance.

The adrenal glands pick up on the stress levels.

Unstable sugar levels and inflammation of the digestive tract as a result of gluten intolerance cause the adrenal glands to secrete cortisol.

This leads to an increase in body fat, fatigue, and irritable mood.

 

Can gluten cause extreme fatigue?

Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

In fact, fatigue and tiredness are the symptoms that last longest, even after the individual has shifted to a gluten-free diet.

Fatigue in gluten intolerant individuals occurs due to two main reasons:
  1. The digestive system is inflamed and is unable to absorb nutrients. Gluten-allergy or sensitivity leads to diarrhea, characterized by loose, watery stools. This leads to lots of water and nutrients being eliminated from the body.
  2. Dehydration is also a major cause of fatigue and tiredness in gluten intolerant people.

 

Does gluten cause brain fog?

‘Brain fog’ is a term given to a condition where the individual feels very tired and fatigued, even though they just woke up after a good night’s sleep.

Such people tend to fumble while having a conversation or suffer from writer’s block, even though they may be very eloquent and well-spoken.

Their thoughts slow down and they feel and appear very tired.

Brain fog is experienced in many conditions, but primarily those of the digestive system, including celiac disease and non-celiac gluten intolerance.

However, there is not much research done on brain fog phenomenon, although a good number of people with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten intolerance do complain of it and see immediate relief on moving to a gluten-free diet.

 

Do lactose intolerance and gluten intolerance go together?

Lactose intolerance is a condition where one has difficulty in absorbing and digesting lactose, a sugar found in the milk of cows, humans, sheep, and goats.

Lactose is broken down by the enzyme lactase, which is found in the lining of the gut.

When people are diagnosed with celiac disease, in a majority of cases, their intestinal lining is inflamed and damaged.

Due to this, the lining is unable to synthesize lactase and there is temporary lactose intolerance seen.

However, after the diagnosis of celiac disease and the individual moving to a gluten-free diet, the gut lining heals and is able to synthesize lactase again.

The individual is no more lactose intolerant.

Therefore, lactose intolerance is transient or temporarily seen in individuals who are gluten intolerant.

 

Can gluten intolerance be reversed?

If an individual is suffering from gluten intolerance, the person will be advised a couple of blood tests to detect celiac disease.

Individuals who test positive for celiac disease based on blood tests and endoscopy should ideally refrain from eating any food that contains even traces of gluten.

In these individuals, there are fewer chances of reversing gluten intolerance as celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder with a genetic predisposition.

However, there is good news for those who suffer from a non-celiac form of gluten intolerance.

By allowing your gut to heal completely, eliminating certain allergic or sensitive foods from your diet, eating a variety of healthy foods, and increasing your intake of probiotics and other gut-healing foods you can increase your tolerance to gluten.

 

Can you outgrow gluten sensitivity?

One cannot outgrow celiac disease as it is not merely an allergy, but an autoimmune condition.

So, once someone is diagnosed with the condition, they will have it for a lifetime.

However, people diagnosed with non-celiac gluten sensitivity can hope to eventually outgrow their gluten sensitivity because theirs is an allergic or sensitivity reaction.

 

What triggers celiac disease in adults?

The most common trigger for celiac disease in adults is consuming gluten in some form.

Though the precise cause isn’t known, it is believed that your genes along with environmental factors can trigger celiac disease.

In many cases, a situation like surgery, viral infection, childbirth or severe stress and depression can trigger off celiac disease in high-risk individuals.

 

Should hypothyroid patients avoid gluten?

Individuals who are suffering from hypothyroidism must avoid two groups of foods:

Those that contain goitrogens (compounds that interfere with the normal functioning of the thyroid) such as soy, cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, leafy greens like spinach and kale, starchy plants and nuts and seeds.

The second group of food that is to be avoided is foods containing gluten.

Individuals who suffer from one autoimmune disease tend to develop another one as well.

Hence, it is advisable for those individuals suffering from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (an autoimmune disease) to avoid gluten as they may already have or develop celiac disease.

 

Does gluten affect the brain?

Patients suffering from celiac and non-celiac forms of gluten intolerance have reported neurological symptoms such as headaches, brain fog, anxiety, depression, and peripheral neuropathy.

So, there is no doubt about gluten affecting the neurological system.

Gluten can cause other disorders like insomnia, migraines, ADHD, epilepsy, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and in a minute number of cases, gluten ataxia.

These conditions can be avoided by moving to a strict gluten-free diet.

 

Does gluten cause inflammation in the brain?

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity is believed to affect the gut-brain axis (the bi-directional communication system between the enteric nervous system in the gut and the CNS in the brain).

The condition causes inflammation in the gut and relays this to cause inflammation in the brain as well.

This inflammation in the brain is called neuroinflammation and results in many neurological conditions.

 

Can gluten affect your mood?

Yes. There are many studies that have shown the correlation between gluten intolerance in people and depression, anxiety and other neurological syndromes.

A study conducted by Christine Zioudrou and her colleagues at the National Institute of Mental Health in 1979 found that the polypeptides contained in gluten can bind to the morphine receptors in the brain.

These receptor sites are responsible for how we feel.

But, due to the inability of available sites for morphine to bind to, it can lead to depression and mood-related disorders.

So, yes, gluten can affect one’s mood.

 

Can gluten cause insomnia?

There is no conclusive evidence available today that links gluten sensitivity or intolerance to insomnia or sleeplessness.

However, a large majority of the people who suffer from gluten-intolerance report lack of sleep and poor sleep quality.

Due to the digestive symptoms, neurological symptoms and generalized fatigue and tiredness, most people suffer from lack of sleep or related conditions.

 

Can gluten cause UTI’s?

There is a high incidence of UTIs reported in children with active untreated celiac disease.

 

What happens if the celiac disease goes untreated?

If celiac disease is left untreated, it can lead to a host of complications such as skin rashes, lactose intolerance, infertility, weakening of bones and muscles and even nerve damage.

It can also cause severe neurological damage and the health of the individual begins to deteriorate as no nutrients are being absorbed by the inflamed and damaged gut.

 

What is a silent celiac disease?

In most cases, celiac disease or non-celiac gluten intolerance results in some signs and symptoms that prompt an individual to visit their physician.

However, in some cases, there are no symptoms that are seen, but internally the villi of the small intestine begin to get damaged (villous atrophy).

In these patients, celiac disease is often revealed due to severe anemia or thyroid disease.

 

 

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