DO YOU NEED TO BE GLUTEN FREE?

By now you have all heard the term "GLUTEN FREE" and most likely you have noticed the grocery stores exploding with Gluten Free products.  In many ways it has become trendy however there is nothing trendy about this dangerous little protein. 


For some people Gluten is a life or death situation.  These are people diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  For others there exists a simple sensitivity and underlying disorder.  You may never know you are sensitive except for ongoing nagging health issues that you can't seem to shake.
 
I personally battled numerous issues on the list below for years including digestive issues, constipation, keratosis pilaris and migraines.  Years before gluten was a household name I eliminated the protein here or there but never really did it 100%.  Then finally one day I did a hard core 6 week elimination diet.  After 6 weeks I slowly  introduced gluten back into the diet and what occurred could not be denied.  Headaches, rashes and all other symptoms came back with a vengeance.  Many of my clients go on an elimination diet to not only lose weight but to test their tolerance to gluten.  For many we just can't break down the protein appropriately.  Environmental changes, toxins and altercations to how our food is processed has created a protein source that is not our grandmothers gluten.  


 
As many as 20 million Americans could be affected by a gluten sensitivity and not know it. Find out if you might be experiencing a gluten sensitivity with this checklist. 
 

1. Weight Gain or Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea and even constipation.

2. Keratosis Pilaris, (also known as ‘chicken skin’ on the back of your arms). This tends be as a result of a fatty acid deficiency and  vitamin A deficiency secondary to fat-malabsorption caused by gluten damaging the gut.

3. Fatigue, brain fog or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten.

4. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis.

5. Neurologic symptoms such as dizziness or feeling of being off balance.

6. Hormone imbalances such as PMS, PCOS or unexplained infertility.

7. Migraine headaches.

8. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. These diagnoses simply indicate your conventional doctor cannot pin point the cause of    your fatigue or pain.

9. Inflammation, swelling or pain in your joints such as fingers, knees or hips

10. Rashes and specifically dermatitis herpetiformis

11. Mood issues such as anxiety, depression, mood swings and ADD.

 

If you resonate with any of the above don't run out and stock a pantry with gluten free cookies and crackers because that is not healthy nor a nutritious choice.  If you need a treat know there are those options but for the most part focus on a whole food diet rich in fruits and vegetables, lean protein, nuts, beans, rice and grains like quinoa.  Your body will thank you and one day you will be saying gluten who?! :)

 

Jennifer Kamstock, MS is a licensed holistic nutritionist and speech language pathologist. She is the author of "The Everyday Detox", host of the TV show Fight It or Bite It and health/wellness host/spokesperson for livestrong and ehow. As a comedianne and actress she can currently be seen in the recurring role of investigative reporter Brittney Bowers on Disovery's Dark Secrets and the comedy Focus Groups.  For requests or health inquiries contact [email protected].

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