More than 55 diseases are linked to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. It is estimated that 99% of people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease are never diagnosed.
In addition, studies have shown that up to 15% of the US population is gluten intolerant. Can you be one of them?
You may have gluten intolerance if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Digestive problems such as gas, bloating, diarrhea and even constipation. I have children who are constipated especially after eating gluten.
- Keratosis pilaris, (also called “chicken skin” on the back of the hand). This is the result of fatty acid deficiency and vitamin A deficiency caused by malabsorption of fat caused by gluten, which damages the gut.
- Fatigue, brain fog, fatigue after eating gluten.
- Diagnosis of autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma, multiple sclerosis.
- Neurological symptoms such as dizziness and loss of balance.
- Hormonal imbalances such as premenstrual syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome, and unexplained infertility.
- Migraine headache.
- Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. These diagnoses indicate that a typical doctor cannot determine the cause of your fatigue or pain.
- Inflammation, swelling and pain in joints such as fingers, knees and hips.
- Depression, depression, depression, ADD.
How to test for gluten intolerance?
One of the best ways to determine if you have a problem with gluten is to go on an elimination diet, removing it from your diet for at least 2-3 weeks and then reintroducing it. Keep in mind that gluten is a large protein and can take months or years to clear from your system, so the longer you leave it out of your diet before reintroducing it, the better.
Dr. Amy Myers says, “If my patient’s gluten intake is significantly improved or worsened by re-injection, gluten may be a problem for them. The best advice I can share with my patients to get accurate results from this trial is to eliminate it from your diet. 100% gluten.”
How to treat gluten intolerance?
100% elimination of gluten from the diet means 100%. Getting even a small amount of gluten from cross contamination or from medications or supplements is enough to trigger an immune response in your body.
The 80/20 rule, or “We don’t eat it at home, we only eat it out,” is a complete fallacy. A 2001 article noted that eating gluten once a month increased the risk of death from celiac disease or gluten sensitivity by 600 percent.