Some facts behind the health benefits of a gluten-free diet
SAN DIEGO, February 25, 2020 — A gluten-free diet is necessary for the millions of people affected worldwide with gluten intolerance. Gluten intolerance is the allergic reaction caused by consuming any product containing wheat, barley, rye or triticale. Wheat additives also contain gluten and are commonly found in fresh and frozen foods, soups, bread, pastries, desserts, beverages, vitamins, and medications.
Knowing what Gluten is and reading labels to avoid it are the first steps to combatting gluten intolerance.
Primary causes of celiac disease and non-celiac gluten intolerance
Considered an autoimmune disease, celiac disease attacks the small intestines in response to the consumption of gluten.
Celiac disease is also considered the most common genetic disease affecting populations worldwide. As many as 1 in 141 Americans have celiac disease according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, although many don’t know it.
What is celiac disease?
A negative physical reaction to the consumption of gluten-containing products is due to the inability of the body to properly digest it.
Whether gluten sensitivity is diagnosed as celiac disease or non-celiac gluten intolerance, Celiac.org lists the following reactions indicative of gluten intolerance:
Unexplained iron-deficiency anemia
Bone or joint pain
Osteoporosis or osteopenia (bone loss)
Liver and biliary tract disorders (transaminitis, fatty liver, primary sclerosing cholangitis, etc.)
Depression or anxiety
Peripheral neuropathy (tingling, numbness or pain in the hands and feet)
Seizures or migraines
Missed menstrual periods
Infertility or recurrent miscarriage
Canker sores inside the mouth
Dermatitis herpetiformis (itchy skin rash)
The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness believes that gluten intolerance might play a plausible role in causing the following non-gastrointestinal disorders:
A UCLA study indicates the prevalence of gluten intolerance and the presence of dementia in many of their research subjects.
If there is any suspicion that any type of gluten intolerance exists, immediately consult a medical professional for evaluation and assistance.
Ensuring an accurate diagnosis of either celiac disease or non-celiac gluten intolerance is key to resolving symptoms and undergoing proper treatment.
It then becomes necessary to completely avoid any wheat, wheat products, rye, barley or triticale contained in foods and food products.
The Mayo Clinic provides a list of the following foods which are acceptable and healthy for those with gluten intolerance:
Foods acceptable for a gluten-free diet
-Unprocessed seeds and nuts
-Meats (no breading, batter nor marinade)
-Fruits and vegetables
-Most dairy products
Acceptable unprocessed grains and starches:
-Corn and cornmeal
Shopping for gluten-free foods
There are also a variety of foods, bread, pastries and beverages to choose from which are labeled as gluten-free. Many are now available at most grocers and whole foods markets. While shopping for foods and food products always remember to thoroughly read all product labels before purchasing to ensure that they do not contain any form of gluten.
For the millions who suffer from celiac disease or non-celiac gluten intolerance, eliminating the consumption of any form of gluten will help to slow a disease process, reverse it all together, or lead to a heightened level of well-being. A life-long commitment to being gluten-free is a small price to be paid for ensuring the gift of good health.
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!