Should you stop eating gluten?
I had such a great time with my sister last week, and was sad to see her leave. I will see her and the rest of my family though in early August when I go visit Milwaukee and Chicago! Although I'm looking forward to that, I don't want it to come too soon. This year is just flying by! Today I wanted to talk about gluten. It seems that over the last few years it has really become a thing and kind of a fad diet. If you don't know already, gluten is the "glue like" protein that is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye, and others. It acts like the glue that holds the the food together. Many people have difficulty digesting gluten because of the way that it's processed. Years ago, it didn't cause many problems, but nowadays, chemical and genetic technologies have been invented to make it resistant to pests, drought, and easier to harvest, and dramatically increasing yield per acre. This basically means that the gluten is grown in synthetic soil, contains chemicals, and is a mutant seed. It makes sense that people have a hard time digesting it! Are you able to tolerate gluten? Even if you don't have digestive problems, you may still be sensitive to it. Some other signs that you may be sensitive or intolerant to gluten are:
skin issues such as acne, eczema, or psoriasis.
weight gain or difficulty losing weight.
autoimmune conditions (generally if you have an autoimmune condition, it is advised to eliminate gluten).
"brain fog" - difficulty focusing.
digestive problems (bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, etc.).
These are just some of the symptoms that you may have if you are sensitive to gluten. Some people are actually allergic to it and have Celiac Disease, and they usually will end up losing weight because they are not able to absorb any nutrients because it destroys the villi in their intestines. Celiac Disease is not as common as gluten sensitivity/intolerance. Many people are intolerant to gluten because of the way that it is processed. How do you find out if you are?
You can go get tested, but I recommend going to a naturopath or a chiropractic doctor as they will be able to recommend the correct test for you to get.
A cheaper way is to do an elimination diet, much like my seasonal detoxes (summer one launching soon!), that requires you to eliminate certain high allergy foods, and then add them back in one at a time to test your reaction.
You can also just try eliminating gluten and see how you feel when you are off of it, and pay attention to any reactions you may have when you add it back in. The only problem with that is that some people's body react to other foods the same way as gluten, so there may be some foods that you are intolerant to besides gluten. This is always a good place to start though.
One last thing to mention - when you are eliminating gluten, if you are concerned about your weight, watch out for gluten free foods. They can contain just as much sugar and be just as processed as non-gluten free foods. Just because it says that it's gluten free, does not mean that it's healthy! If you are struggling with any of the symptoms above, and want to discuss whether or not you may have an intolerance to gluten, feel free to schedule a free Discovery Session with me by clicking here!