Bloating, fatigue, depression, headaches, skin disorders, iron deficiency? You may have problems with Gluten
The buzzword over the last few years has been “gluten.” Gluten is the protein found in grains that we commonly eat such as wheat, rye, spelt, barley and more. Gluten can be toxic to some people. Did you know that 1 in 7 people are “gluten sensitive” and 1 in 100 people are celiac?
Celiac is a serious medical condition in which the small intestine becomes damaged from ingesting gluten in the diet. This protein cannot be broken down and causes inflammation and damage to the small intestine. Once the intestine is damaged, critical nutrients, minerals, & fats cannot be absorbed (iron, B12, calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, essential fatty acids). 95% of Americans with celiac are never diagnosed and it takes an average of 10 years to be finally diagnosed.
Gluten sensitivity is a milder condition in which the body is intolerant/sensitive to gluten causing similar yet less severe symptoms. A sensitivity does not mean for life, and it can be as simple as reducing intake of gluten.
Risk factors for celiac include a family member that suffers from celiac, Type 1 diabetes, or European Irish descent. In our clinic, we often question gluten when patients are suffering from chronic low iron (anemia), B12 or Vitamin D, which are routine blood tests for Naturopathic Doctors.
Other symptoms include and are not limited to are bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, gas, fatigue, depression, migraines/ headaches, weight gain or loss, breathlessness and skin disorders. Celiac symptoms can differ in each person making it difficult to diagnose. Naturopathic doctors offer an easy in office test to screen patients for both celiac or gluten /wheat sensitivities, however the gold standard diagnostic test is a biopsy of the small bladder.
Treatment for celiac is a gluten free diet. The current market has been great at providing products to make life much easier. It is also important to treat nutrient deficiencies and heal the intestine, while adhering to the lifestyle change. The difference is life changing for many people.