We’ve all been at that party with that one annoying person that asks if the rhubarb pie contains gluten. Having a gluten allergy seems like the newest fad, and an ailment people ascribe to themselves to seem more unique - however, it is a very real allergy that can aggravate serious diseases like celiac disease. Read to on to discover whether or not you should be tested.
Over 55 diseases have been linked to gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. An estimated 99% of people who have gluten intolerance or celiac disease have never been diagnosed, and as much as 15% of the United States population is gluten-intolerant.
Signs and Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance
Below is a handy guide to see if you match any of the descriptions attributed to a gluten allergy:
- Digestive issues, like gas, bloating, stomach pain, diarrhea, and even constipation - it really runs the gamet. Constipation is most apparent in children after eating gluten.
- Keratosis Pilaris - commonly known as “chicken skin” on the backs of your arms. Why does this happen? It’s actually caused by a fatty acid deficiency and vitamin A deficiency, in which gluten is damaging the gut.
- Fatigue, brain “fog”, or feeling exhaustion after eating a meal with gluten in it.
- Being diagnosed with a disease like Rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Lupus, Ulcerative colitis, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis.
- Feeling dizzy or off-balance.
- Hormone imbalances or infertility.
- Being diagnosed with chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. If you are diagnosed as such, it means your doctor cannot accurately pinpoint your pain or the root cause of your ailments.
- Mood problems, like anxiety, depression, ADD, or mood swings.
- Pain, inflammation or swelling in your joints like knees, fingers, or hips.
How to Test for Gluten Intolerance
The best way to determination if you have a gluten allergy (without going to the doctor), is to go on an elimination diet - nix gluten for 2 - 3 weeks and then reintroduce it. It’s important to remember that gluten is a huge protein, so it can take several months to a year to clear it from your system - thus, the longer you take to eliminate it from your diet before reintroduction, the better.
If you feel much better off gluten, or much worse when you reintroduce it, then gluten is probably not for you. Be sure to eliminate gluten completely from your diet - otherwise, this trick of the trade will not work.
How Can I Treat My Gluten Intolerance?
Again, eliminating gluten from your diet 100% means actually eliminating it 100% - don’t cheat! Even tiny amounts of gluten from medications or supplements can set off an allergic reaction. The 80/20 rule, or the “we don’t keep it in the house, we just eat it when we eat out,” is not an effective rule. And if you truly want to know without a doubt whether or not you have a gluten allergy, get tested at the doctor - it’s the only way to be sure!
N’ICE Lozenges are Gluten-Free