Who Should Avoid Gluten?

Pizza, cookies, cakes and pasta all contain one common ingredient – gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye that helps to bind breads, pasta and desserts to create a denser product. Gluten is a common additive to processed foods, and has been linked to weight gain, allergies, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and is the cause of the serious condition, Celiac Disease.

Gluten-sensitivity can be difficult to diagnose. Elimination diets and food journaling can determine whether such a sensitivity exists. What is an elimination diet? Removing common allergens (wheat, eggs, dairy, soy, corn) from your diet for a period of time and reintroducing those foods one at a time to determine any reaction.

Celiac Disease
In the past few decades, more people have begun to notice that consuming bread products which contain gluten have been related to gastrointestinal issues, like nausea, stomach pains, diarrhea, and in severe cases – vomiting and weight loss. Sometimes this is due to an autoimmune condition known as celiac disease. Celiac disease is a progressive deterioration of the villi, or hair-like projections, within the small intestine, caused by a reaction to gluten. Villi absorb vitamins and nutrients our bodies need to sustain energy. When these villi begin to flatten as a result of gluten consumption, malabsorption can occur – causing anemia, irritability, weight loss, stomach pains and other gastrointestinal complications. Although there is no cure for celiac disease, a gluten-free diet can slowly reverse damage to the small intestine. A gluten-free diet eliminates all forms of barley, wheat and rye – even in the smallest amounts.

Have you ever considered an elimination diet to test whether you have food sensitivities? Learning the basics of raw foods can help you do it, deliciously! Click “here” for more information on the May 9th and May 13th classes.

 
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
There are other digestive problems associated with gluten that are not Celiac Disease. In fact, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has some of the same symptoms as Celiac disease, but gluten has not been directly linked as a cause. However, those suffering from IBS often find relief from their symptoms by following a gluten free diet.

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