Gluten Free diets have become very popular lately and people everywhere are going GF. In this post you will learn what GF is and how to determine whether you should follow a gluten free diet. If you are intolerant, it goes without saying. Of course there are benefits to going GF even if you are not gluten intolerant.
Before rushing out to buy all the expensive gluten-free food products that you can lay your hands on, it might be an idea to establish whether you are indeed gluten intolerant.
This reminds me of an incident years ago when I believed that I was suffering from recurrent flu. I took all the normal remedies for flu, yet found no respite from the symptoms. Long story short, after consulting with a doctor, the diagnosis was rhinitis. You see, rhinitis has many of the same symptoms as flu, so be careful with any self-diagnosis that you make. I wasted a bucket full of money on unnecessary flu alleviating medication, instead of just boosting my immune system naturally…
Food manufacturers have jumped on the gluten-free bandwagon and use fear to motivate you to buy their wares. While gluten intolerance is a problem for some people, not everyone who suffers some of the symptoms is truly gluten intolerant.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in rye, oats, barley and wheat. If you are on a gluten-free diet, you will not be able to eat pizza, cereal, pasta and bread. Gluten is also found in certain packaged foods as it thickens the ingredients in that food.
Test the waters before making a self-diagnosis of gluten intolerance
To test your gluten tolerance, you should cut out sugar, processed and fried foods alternately from your diet for 1-2 weeks. If you feel better, then this is what was causing your symptoms – not the gluten. If, however, you still have symptoms, then in all probability, you need to start a gluten-free diet.
Some of the symptoms of gluten intolerance include fatigue, vomiting, unexplained weight loss, iron deficiency anemia for no reason, fatty stools and diarrhea and abdominal pain and or bloating. You may also experience itchy skin, numbness and tingling in your extremities, anxiety and depression, osteoporosis, joint pains and headaches. However, many of these symptoms can also be ascribed to several other conditions.
All of these symptoms make it challenging to pin down a firm diagnosis of celiac disease as they are present in many medical conditions. The other problem is that many of these symptoms can indicate candida or yeast infection. Obtain certainty regarding your diagnosis by having a blood test or a biopsy of your intestine. If you are not ready for these tests, then begin with a wheat allergy test to see whether you need gluten-free food.
Gluten Free Take Away
If you want to give gluten free a go, consider using a gluten free meal replacement first and see if that improves your symptoms. You can use it even if you simply want to cut back on gluten, but don’t have the time, money or inclination to buy or cook gluten free from scratch. The gluten you’ll be missing over 2 meals a day will add up to a significant saving over time and your body will thank you. Find out more about gluten free meal replacements here.
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to add your comment regarding gluten-free foods, symptoms and ideas.