Written by Dr. Sandra Miranda, ND
Wondering what the fuss is about gluten? Here is a nice summary.
Gluten is a protein found in certain grains such as wheat, barley, rye, kamut, spelt and yes even oats! Gluten acts as the “glue” that holds the grain together and allows it to keep its shape.
You can find it in our regular breads, doughs, baked goods, cereals but it may also be found in more unsuspecting places as a cross-contamination such as soy sauce, salad dressings, condiments, deli meats, etc.
Many people have sensitivities to gluten which means that they can have delayed reactions (up to 3 days later) to this protein and feel symptoms such as bloating, gassiness, joint & muscle pain, foggy brains, fatigue, or skin problems, etc. These sensitivities are very different to the regular gluten allergy (which is more of an immediate reaction) known as Celiac disease. You don’t need to be diagnosed with Celiac in order to have a problem with gluten grains.
One of the easiest ways to figure out if you are sensitive to gluten is to eliminate it from your diet for 3 to 4 weeks which is enough time to give your body time to reset. You would then introduce it for 3 days in a row (remember the reactions can be delayed) and see how you feel. If you start feeling digestive problems or any of the above signs of inflammation then that would be clear indication that you are sensitive to gluten.
The reason why we may be seeing so many sensitivities to this grain nowadays is because even though gluten is not GMO (genetically modified), it has been hybridized into strains that we cannot digest. Gluten has been so highly processed and sprayed with glyphosates that most of our gluten products has as much as 40% extra gluten in them than what they used to have years and years ago. In the past the grain was fermented to the point that a lot of gluten in the wheat was reduced and therefore nobody had the gluten toxicity problems that we see today.
Gluten has cause so many inflammatory, digestive and immunological problems. Why should we include such a toxic food in our diet as our main staple? The problem is not having it once in a while as treat but the problem occurs when we are eating gluten on a regular basis. It is so much easier to have a gluten-free diet nowadays because there are so many other options in stores. So how about it, are you up for a 3 to 4 weeks gluten elimination? I promise, your body will appreciate it!