Here’s Why You Should Avoid Eating Gluten
Gluten sensitivity is not one single problem, despite how simple its name seems. Gluten sensitivity consists of many different problems that tend to get (wrongly) lumped together.
Gluten is found in many commonly eaten grains. And grains tend to cause inflammation in the body, which is the underlying problem with most chronic diseases.
The common symptoms associated with gluten sensitivity are never pleasant. They could be caused by gluten itself or they could be caused by fructans, one of the sugars in wheat.
Avoiding gluten is a good idea for most people, if not pretty much everybody these days.
Just What is Gluten, Anyway?
We hear about gluten all the time. But most people can’t explain clearly what it actually is.
Gluten is a protein found in many grains, particularly wheat, rye, and barley. The gluten protein is what makes pizza dough elastic and bread chewy. This is why gluten is added to many foods, as well as to personal care products like makeup, soap, shampoo, hair styling goop, and toothpaste. Basically any product that needs to have an elastic, sticky quality might contain gluten.
Symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity
When you come into contact with gluten, most notably through food, it can cause significant symptoms. Some of the most common are bloating, gas, upset stomach, headache, brain fog, diarrhea, stomach cramping, fatigue, skin problems, joint pain, even neurological problems like ADHD and depression.
Gluten can cause a condition called leaky gut, where material can pass through the wall of your digestive tract. A leaky gut can cause an unhealthy immune response and even cause you to become sensitive to other foods that you eat routinely. This is one of the main liabilities of eating gluten, whether you get symptoms from eating it or not.
Why Can Gluten Cause So Many Symptoms?
People who have trouble with gluten may have it for several different reasons. The most well-known is called celiac disease, which is an inherited genetic disorder. About 1/100, maybe 1/200 people suffer from this. When people with celiac eat gluten, it does serious damage to the intestinal lining – and that damage is at the root of most of the symptoms.
More common than celiac disease is non-celiac gluten sensitivity, which results in a leaky gut and an unhealthy immune response, or both. These reactions are caused by the presence of gluten in the gastrointestinal tract.
Then there are people who don’t seem to react to gluten, but instead can’t break down fructans (one of the sugars in wheat). These fructans can cause symptoms that can easily be associated with gluten sensitivity. About 95 percent of the fructans in the typical American diet come from wheat and onions.
Two Big Questions That Arise
- How would you know if your symptoms are from gluten, fructans, or something else?
- How do you determine which of the various problems you might have? Celiac? Leaky gut? Inability to break down fructans?
Here’s the Most Practical Answer and Solution
Stop eating grains.
It may be a good idea to ditch the onions, also, until you determine if the fructans in onions are part of the problem.
If your symptoms start to clear up, you know you’re onto something. But be aware that gluten can stay in your system for up to six months, so it can take a while to feel the full positive effect of eliminating it from your diet.
Furthermore, since gluten stays in your body for a long time, you can’t eat it occasionally and hope to reap the benefits of a gluten-free or grain-free diet. You need to drop it altogether.
So, where does that leave us? Well, it’s simple. You should definitely eliminate gluten from your diet. In fact, your best bet is to limit eliminate grains altogether. Try it and watch your health and wellbeing improve.