If you have celiac disease, gluten will damage your body. Even a tiny crouton will set off a chain reaction causing your immune system to go into defensive mode and start damaging the small intestine. According to Holly Strawbridge of Harvard Health, this reaction can “…interfere with the absorption of nutrients from the food, cause a host of symptoms, and lead to other problems like osteoporosis, infertility, nerve damage, and seizures.”
Many people don’t know they are sensitive to gluten or that their health problems are directly related to gluten consumption. The world’s #1 tennis player, Novak Djokovic, changed his entire diet during his career. By eliminating gluten, he experienced a drastic physical and mental change. His energy and concentration skyrocketed, which influenced his abilities on the court, helping him reach the top of his game.
So what are the symptoms and signs of gluten intolerance?
- Depression and anxiety. Symptoms include a feeling of hopelessness, loss of appetite, anger, sleep deprivation, lack of interest and energy, inability to relax, heart racing, chest pains and other psychosomatic symptoms. Medication is sometimes required to fight off the persistent imbalances, but once gluten is removed from the diet, this mental condition may be resolved.
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. This disorder affects both kids and adults. When on a gluten-free diet, you’ll get your kid focused and sitting in one place much easier than before.
- Fatigue and brain fog. It can be quite debilitating not to be able to think straight, but not every sense of disconnection originates from the head. A 2002 study in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry found that there may be significant cross reactivity of IgG (immunoglobulin G) antibodies to gluten and other different antibodies that could result in mental fogginess.
- Autoimmune diseases. Gluten sensitivity can contribute to development of other diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma or multiple sclerosis among many other.
- Digestive issues. Gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation are usually the culprits. Also, constipation may occur in children after gluten consumption, an obvious indication that they cannot tolerate it.
- Low immunity. Our bodies have IgA, a class of antibodies that are found in our saliva, tears, and sometimes in our blood and gastrointestinal tract. These antibodies are the first line of defense against any disease, but gluten can diminish their level and consequently make you prone to other illnesses. If you want to stay healthy, stay away from gluten.
- Hormone imbalance. This protein can cause menstrual irregularities, weight gain or loss, low energy, hot flashes and more. Once women with gluten sensitivity reach pre-menopause, the ovarian output of sex hormones (progesterone and estrogen) drops and serious problems start to reveal themselves. The adrenal gland starts working like crazy causing unstable blood sugar, gastrointestinal tract inflammation, increase in fatigue, as well as body fat and unstable mood swings.
- Migraine headaches. Millions of people around the world suffer from this condition. Not all causes are linked to gluten; however, if you free yourself of this protein, you may find it was the cause of yours.
- Body issues. Your teeth, bones, skin, joints and muscles can also be affected by gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease. As soon as you do an elimination diet, you can determine if gluten is the main cause of such ailments. It may take some time, but once you have the diagnosis, you can immediately start treating yourself and discover other delicious dishes that help heal and restore balance to your body and mind.
If you have a gluten sensitivity, do your research. You will need to be vigilant in avoiding obvious as well as hidden sources of gluten. Although this will cut many grains and many processed foods out of your diet, gluten free foods are becoming more popular.
- Gluten, Candida, Leaky Gut Syndrome, and Autoimmune Diseases
- Foods To Avoid With Gluten Intolerance or Celiac Disease
- The Reasons Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Disease Are On the Rise
- Holly Strawbridge – Harverd.edu
- Gluten sensitivity as a neurological illness – Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry
- How and Why to do an Elimination Diet – Precision Nutrition
- Summer Nutrition Tips for Optimal Health – Care Body Hair