By now, you have all heard about gluten and how some have an intolerance to it. But what is it really? And how does it affect the body?
Gluten is composed of two storage proteins found in wheat and other grains, like barley and rye. Dough’s elasticity, shape, and chewy texture are all due to gluten. And gluten is in almost everything! From soy sauce, to imitation meat, gluten can be found.
Some people have an adverse reaction to gluten consumption, and others have an intolerance to certain wheat products. Oftentimes in these cases, the body responds with an auto-immune attack and treats wheat as a threatening foreign body. In the instance of someone with Celiac disease, consuming gluten can cause serious intestinal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, vomiting, and even migraines and joint pain.
In the United States alone, it is estimated that 15% of the population is gluten intolerant. These symptoms below are indicators of gluten intolerance. Look to see if you might be in that 15%.
1. If you eat gluten and afterwards feel exhausted, tired, and have difficulty clarifying thoughts (brain fog).
2. Keratosis pilaris (otherwise known as “chicken skin”) results from fat malabsorption caused by intestinal damage induced by gluten.
3. If you currently have any auto-immune disease such as Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Multiple sclerosis, or any other, you should check to see if gluten intolerance is affecting your condition.
4. If after consuming gluten you feel dizziness, vertigo, or any other neurological symptoms.
5. If you eat gluten and then experience moderate to severe migraines, or reoccurring headaches.
6. If you ingest gluten and experience swelling in your fingertips, hands, hips, knees, or irritation in any of these areas.
7. If you eat gluten and suffer from chronic weakness or pain similar to fibromyalgia.
8. If after consuming gluten you experience issues with your mood, such as depression, anxiety, and mood swings.
After reading these 8 indicators, if you feel you might have an intolerance to gluten, or even if you think you might have a reaction to wheat consumption, try eliminating gluten from your diet for 4-6 weeks and see how you feel. Gluten can take months to fully be removed from the body because it is such a large protein, but better to start now then later.
Written by Raven Fon