Symptoms of gluten intolerance, also called gluten sensitivity, can be mild to severe and include things such as weight loss or gain, fatigue, bloating, pain, gas, constipation, diarrhea, aching joints, depression, headaches, irritability, amnesia, osteoporosis, leg numbness and dozens more disease-like conditions after eating certain grains and other foods containing gluten.
A sensitivity to Gluten is very different from an Allergy to Gluten which is a condition called Celiac Disease. If you have been tested for Wheat Allergies also called Celiac Disease and results were negative, you might be sensitized to the protein in grains such as wheat, rye and barley due to years of eating gluten-filled foods, even though you are not truly allergic to it. This can occur when your ability to break down and assimilate specific amino acid links, called peptide bonds, in gluten molecules is compromised.
When a person is unable to breakdown gluten molecules various types of inflammations and disorders can occur including things such as Leaky Gut and other gastrointestinal troubles. The villi in the intestinal tract for some people may become flattened. The damaged villi can lead to responses such as malabsorption, nutrient deficiencies or other digestive disorders.
Gluten has a unique amino acid sequence which may cause irritations regularly. The reason that so many people may be suffering with a negative response to gluten is because so many foods in our American diet contain gluten; even foods that are not grain-based! Read labels carefully because gluten may be hiding in some surprising foods such as ketchup, soy sauce, couscous, hot dogs, potato chips, beer, tabouleh, even ice cream, cold cuts, salad dressings, root beer, puddings, sausages, flour tortillas , and meat substitutes such as Seitan!
The main treatment for gluten intolerance or sensitivity has been to remove offending foods from the diet. Although removing foods that contain gluten is a good start, it is not always possible to be 100% gluten-free. But there are some things that may be helpful so that eventually you can tolerate moderate amounts of gluten without uncomfortable side-effects.
insufficient enzyme supply is often the cause for improper digestion of any food.Enzyme production begins to decline with age; there is also a decline of enzyme production at times when there is higher stress. Whenever you are too cold, too hot, ill, recovering from an injury, or highly upset emotionally, the production of enzymes will decrease. Unlike animals who tend to walk away from their food when they are upset, we as humans often eat anyway – and sometimes even more during or after stressful events. The consumption of foods during times when the body is unable to fully manufacture enzymes causes distress and symptoms will occur. Digestive symptoms also occur more often in our modern society because we eat highly heated foods (above 119 degrees F enzymes are destroyed), we eat foods that are processed and filled with preservatives. All of these things detract from the live enzymes present in fresh foods.
Other reasons people may be more sensitive to digestive upsets including tolerating gluten – certain medications inhibit the production of stomach acid. Medications such as Tums, Rolaids, Maalox, Alka-Seltzer, Nexium, Tagamet, Zantac, Prilosec, Protonix may quell your acid reaction but they may also prohibit complete digestion and cause a B 12 Deficiency as well.
Even the American Journal of Medicine (JAMA) in December 2013 stated that B12 levels were significantly decreased when using gastric acid inhibitors. Vitamin B12 is critical for support and production of the myelin sheath, or insulation around your nerves, it also regulates hormone and neuro-chemical production, helps to prevent anemia, and enables the cells lining the GI tract to heal and regenerate.
Those people that suffer from any form of pancreatic insufficiency will have even more trouble breaking down foods because it is this organ that manufactures some of the most important digestive and systemic enzymes for the body. People who eat too quickly and do not chew their food well are also more susceptible to digestive distress.
If you want to get back to feeling better after a meal, you might consider trying the Seven Steps to Taming Your Gluten Intolerance after you make a list of all of your symptoms and rate them from most severe to least severe:
- Remove wheat and grains and foods containing gluten for a period of 30, 60, or 90 days depending on the severity of your symptoms (Foods such as Barley, Bran, Buulgur, Couscous, Durum, Farina, Faro, Kamut, Malt, Matzo, Orzo, Panko, Rye, Seitan, Semolina, Spelt, Tritcale, l Udon, Wheat, Wheat bran, and Wheat germ).
- Make certain you drink adequate amounts of purified water between meals
- Eat plenty of dark leafy greens. Dark greens, seaweed and algae such as Spirulina help to soak up toxicity – just like the green plants do for us in nature from the depths of the oceans to the mountain peaks.
- Try taking a 100% plant based enzyme complex with each meal. (some individuals may also need Pancreatin or HCI on top of this) We will always be dependent on enzymes that exist in nature. AbsorbAid Platinum is a long-standing and tested brand.
- Exercise to boost circulation to help move blood supply filled with nutrients to areas of importance. Being sedentary is never a good thing.
- Take a wide-spectrum probiotic blend to fortify your immune system.
- Finally, go back and look at your list after 30 days – if symptoms have been reduced but not fully, try this for 60 days. Once you are basically symptom free you may re-introduce small amounts of gluten and determine if your body is more able to tolerate the molecules.
Here are some foods that you may be able to tolerate in the grain category even if you cannot eat wheat, barley, rye ..
- Nuts / beans / seeds
- Potato starch or flour
Enzymes are necessary for every single metabolic process your body undergoes – they are critical to health and help to sustain life!
Live well – Love life!