Here are some helpful tips and strategies when navigating the waters of food intolerance, namely, wheat, gluten and diary
The prevalence of gluten sensitivity (non Celiac disease) is approximately 6% of the USA population (wheat allergy and Celiac disease around 1%)
Study in journal BMC Medicine finds: “gluten may set up a reaction in your intestines and affect the immune system”, even present in those without Celiac disease.
Research finds that gluten sensitivity is very different from Celiac disease.
Those affected by possible food intolerance need proper evaluation, before going on strict food group elimination to prevent nutritional deficiencies and calorie deficits, especially when gastrointestinal symptoms
are present. Laboratory tests and biopsy can pinpoint Celiac disease, in which avoiding wheat and gluten is essential to avoid complications such as malabsorption of
Those who believe they are “gluten sensitive” often complain of gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain and change in bowel habits,
however, some also state they are “foggy”, have ADHD like behavior, have headaches as well as joint pain.
Get a proper evaluation to ensure the correct diagnosis and plan.
Elimination diets are often very helpful in determining whether exposure and/or avoidance to various food groups such as diary, wheat and gluten
provoke a variety of unpleasant symptoms. Always seek the advice of an experienced practitioner to ensure you do not have a food allergy to wheat, milk, or other
pathology, such as Celiac disease.
Common symptoms of food intolerance include:
- bloating (also seen with milions who have IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome)
- abdominal discomfort
- excess gas
- non specific symptoms such as fatigue, aches and pain, headache as well as “brain fog”
Prevalence of food allergy is much less common than food intolerance syndromes. Remember, never eat a food, even in a small amount if you suspect a food allergy, and always
be prepared, if you have a history of a food allergy, and have an allergist directed food allergy action plan in place.
The most common food intolerance is lactose intolerance, not an immune reaction or allergy, more common among Asian and African ethnicity, This is due to a deficiency in the enzyme, lactase, necessary
to properly digest diary products. Enzyme replacement or avoidance can help some ease their digestive symptoms..
GI related symptoms are a good reason to consider an elimination diet, avoiding food groups for weeks and months and then re-introducing the food yet
again to determine if an intolerance exists. Again, this is best done in consultation with a practitioner experienced in food elimination diets.
Bottom line: get help, if you are thinking about an elimination diet, work with an experienced specialist before making any big changes
to your dietary regimen, this will help reduce the likelihood of nutritional deficiencies and an unbalanced diet.