A gluten allergy is the body's inability to digest or break down the gluten protein found in wheat and some other grains.
A gluten intolerance or sensitivity can range from a mild sensitivity to gluten to full-blown celiac disease
Approximately 1 in 7 Americans may have some form of gluten allergy or intolerance according to some estimates. In addition, nearly 1% of people suffer from celiac disease, a severe autoimmune disorder in which a person's immune system attacks gluten in the small intestine.
Whatever the reasons, gluten intolerance is becoming so common that, for many people, special diets are no longer special at all.
For those with celiac disease, gluten intolerance is not just an inconvenience—it can be debilitating. People with celiac disease cannot eat any foods containing gluten without causing long-term damage to their health due to inflammation in the small intestine and nutrient deficiencies. Currently there are no known cures. An individual with a gluten allergy or sensitivity may choose to eat some or no gluten-containing foods depending on her tolerance or the severity of his or her symptoms.
Wheat is one of the main staples of a Western diet and therefore is public enemy number one for those with gluten allergies. In addition to wheat, all of its forms are off limits for sufferers including:
Wheat starch, wheat bran, wheat germ, couscous, cracked wheat, durum, einkorn, emmer, farina, faro, fu (common in Asian foods), gliadin,graham flour, kamut, matzo, semolina and spelt.
The list of gluten-containing grains doesn't end at wheat however. Other offenders are:
Barley, bulgur, oats (oats themselves don't contain gluten, but are often processed in plants that produce gluten-containing grains and may be contaminated), rye, seitan, triticale and Mir (a cross between wheat and rye) and veggie burgers (if not specified gluten-free).
Gluten may also show up as ingredients in barley malt, chicken broth, malt vinegar, some salad dressings, soy sauce, as well as in many common seasonings and spice mixes. Therefore, gluten-free cooking presents many challenges.
What to Eat
The list of off-limits items may seem daunting but, thankfully, there are plenty of replacements on the menu. Lots of foods are naturally gluten-free, including fruits and vegetables, beans, seeds, legumes, nuts, potatoes, eggs, dairy products, corn, rice, fish, and meats. Many other grains and foods are gluten free as well, including:
Amaranth, arrowroot, buckwheat, cassava, millet, quinoa, rice, sorghum, soy and tapioca.
At first, it may seem daunting to go gluten-free but, for many, the advantages far outweigh the inconvenience.
The first step is to get rid of all the gluten-containing products in your kitchen and stock it with alternatives such as gluten-free breads, pasta, crackers, and cereals. For baking, substitute flours like buckwheat, corn, millet, rice, sorghum, or quinoa. You'll need xanthan gum or guar gum as a substitute for gluten when baking. Sticking to unprocessed, fresh, whole foods will naturally keep a person's diet gluten-free, as well as help heal the intestinal tract of any existing gluten damage that may have occurred.
A Note About Eating OutEating in restaurants can be a particular challenge for people with gluten allergies, but if an individual sticks to the above items, such as grilled meats and steamed vegetables, she should be able to dodge the gluten bullet.
Foods to avoid in restaurants include fried foods, certain sauces, or anything that has been fried in the same pan with a gluten-containing food.
Those with celiac disease must be especially cautious when eating out and make sure that dietary restrictions are communicated to the chef in advance. Certain restaurants are almost certainly out of question for those on a gluten-free diet, including fast food restaurants, buffets, salad bars, and most bakeries.
Great alternatives to the typical Western diet include a diet higher in nuts and seeds, with a big increase in vegetables and fruits.
This will have amazing weight loss benefits to you as well! :)
One thing to think about with a Gluten-free diet is how to continue taking vitamins and supplements, because a lot of companies still contain some form of Gluten in their products.
This is not a problem here at Lanpher Chiropractic Clinic!
We have an entire supplement line from Anabolic Labs that is certified Gluten-free!
Dr. Lanpher also has considerable experience in nutritional counseling, allergy testing and supplement recommendation. He would love to chat with you if you have questions about Gluten intolerance. He can also perform some allergy testing to see if you are sensitive to Gluten. And don't forget... adjust you! ;)
Don't just wonder about your digestive symptoms of gas, bloating, or intense pain in your stomach or lower abdomen after eating; and don't just take an over the counter product that counter-act the symptoms!
If you are having symptoms, you are hurting your whole digestive system, and you could be one of those who actually has the auto-immune form of intolerance: Celiac disease.
It could also be an intolerance or sensitivity to another food, either way .....
Dr. Lanpher can help get to the bottom of the problem, and find out WHY those symptoms are happening! Let him help you, and feel great after every meal :)
Call us today at 605-334-8073