The avoidance of gluten has become quite the popular trend, and you can now find “gluten free” foods and snacks at almost any store. People often avoid gluten without medical reasons and just seem to feel better when wheat, barley and rye are not part of their daily intake. Gluten intolerance triggers an immune response in the small intestines and is a condition called Celiac disease which is diagnosed by blood work or a biopsy. You could actually have an allergy to wheat which could be diagnosed by a skin scratch test with an allergist. But just being gluten sensitive has probably previously only gotten a chuckle until now.
A recent study looked at both people with Celiac disease and those who are gluten sensitive and found proof of both an immune response and intestinal cell damage in both groups’ blood work. After a period of time passed while eating a gluten restricted diet, the labs were redrawn and improvements were seen in both groups. This is encouraging for those of you suffering from gluten sensitivity and gives validity to your symptoms. People who are gluten sensitive can experience abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating, fatigue, headaches and other symptoms all as a result of eating gluten.
If you feel you may be gluten sensitive, the best thing to do is to avoid gluten. While over the counter medications may help with symptoms, they are not a fix to the problem. Be careful and read all of your food labels - you would be surprised where gluten is hiding! Having a trial period to see if your symptoms improve is helpful when talking with your doctor and when determining if other tests should be done. No one knows your body like you do, and if you feel that gluten is hurting you, stay away.