The Gluten Free Diet Explained

The Gluten Free Diet ExplainedWhat is all the recent hype about being gluten free?  Is this another diet fad?  Can one lose weight from the diet?  The gluten free diet poses many questions and honestly shoppers are still wondering if it is good.  Some shoppers are simply purchasing gluten free foods because they heard it is good for them while some avoid gluten free because they are unsure what it is.  This article will help debunk your questions and will help lead you in a clear direction as to if a gluten free diet is something you should look more into.

The Gluten Free Diet 

Before divulging into the diet portion, a little understanding and background is needed as to what gluten actually is.  As a pure definition, gluten is a common protein found within products of wheat, barley, rye and consists of two sub-proteins called gliadin and glutenin [1].  This naturally occurring protein is generally used within these products to help strengthen the consistency of the dough for which you are eating (or other products for that matter), such as the yeast from your bread at dinner [2].  Given that the American diet is high in wheat and grain based products, gluten has the ability to enter many body systems and in high amounts.

Celiac Disease vs. Gluten Sensitivity

When the body is exposed to the same chemical or compound regularly, there is risk for adverse events.  When this happens, sensitivity, allergy, or disease within the body can occur.  The sensitivity, allergy, or disease may be mild or severe depending on the condition, but one common disease/condition associated with gluten is celiac disease.  Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition where the consumption of gluten leads to damage of the small intestine [3], which is the area where most of your body’s nutrients are absorbed.  This disorder can affect around 1 in every 100 people in the world and roughly 2.5 million Americans are estimated to be undiagnosed or at risk for celiac disease and health complications.  Some of the health complications include type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, dermatitis, anemia, osteoporosis, infertility, epilepsy, migraines, and intestinal cancer.  Simply put, celiac disease is a serious condition.

On the other hand, gluten sensitivity is a condition with symptoms similar to celiac disease which improve when gluten is removed from everyday diet [4].  Some symptoms of gluten sensitivity include “foggy mind”, depression, ADHD-like behavior, pain in the abdominal area, constipation, headaches, joint pain, chronic fatigue, and diarrhea.  While these symptoms are similar to what could be expected with celiac disease, it is often that individuals find they have no small intestinal damage from the consumption of gluten.  This is the primary difference between celiac and gluten sensitivity.

How do I Find if I have Gluten Sensitivity or Celiac?

One of the most important things one can do if there is suspected intestinal disruption or if the symptoms appear is to schedule a test with a doctor or appropriate healthcare provider.  Having a diagnostic test will be able to show if you have had any small intestine damage or if you are simply sensitive to gluten.

So Should I Eat Gluten Free?

Eating gluten free is something you will determine with your doctor or healthcare provider.  If it is determined you have gluten sensitivity or celiac, you will most likely be consuming a gluten-free diet.  Some foods in the store contain gluten-free foods, but the most important aspect about this diet is you need to be all-in in order to eliminate symptoms.  If you consume gluten-free pasta prepared in a pot or on a counter with gluten-containing flour or other products, your food is now contaminated.  In addition, when you eat in a restaurant or out somewhere, you will need to specify that you would like your food prepared gluten-free.   Any small traces of gluten can cause a big problem if you are gluten sensitive or if you have celiac.

Your Challenge

If you feel you have symptoms of gluten problems, challenge yourself to research some foods that contain gluten.  Also, challenge yourself to schedule a visit with your doctor within the next month for a diagnostic.  If you have any gluten problems, your next step will be to determine an action plan of how you will eat.  Explore the store and look for products which state “gluten free” on its packaging to determine which are gluten-free.







About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

Comments are closed.