Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat and rye. It is what gives wheat its elasticity. Gluten has adverse health effects on many people, especially those who suffer from celiac disease. Gluten hinders normal digestion in the small intestines and this leads to vomiting, diarrhea, pain in the joints, flatulence and severe headaches.
As awareness about the effects of gluten continues to grow, an increase in gluten-free food options has been introduced in supermarkets. This provides healthy food options such as grass fed beef jerky for people who react negatively after consuming foods containing gluten.
You should avoid gluten due to the reasons below:
Nutrient deficiencies in patients with celiac disease
When you consume foods that have gluten and you are suffering from celiac disease, your immune system will attack your intestines as it tries to fight the harmful gluten proteins.
When your intestines degenerate, normal digestive processes will be compromised leading to nutritional deficiencies as a result of lack of absorption of vitamins.
It worsens irritable bowel syndrome
Many people suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, though the diagnosis and treatment varies from one person to the other.
Irritable bowel syndrome predisposes you to the negative effects of gluten such as bloating, diarrhea and abdominal pains. This is the case even if you are not allergic to gluten or don’t have celiac disease.
Gluten causes neurological disorders
Professionals in the fields of medicine and nutrition are waking up to the far reaching implications of gluten beyond the digestive system.
According to medical studies, the brain can suffer damage as a result of an autoimmune reaction to gluten. This is known as gluten ataxia.
Further, as gluten inhibits absorption of nutrients into the body, reduced levels of vitamin B-12, which is needed for nerve protection, will lead to development of ataxia.
Some of the symptoms of gluten ataxia include dizziness, difficulty with movement and coordination, lethargy, seizures, nausea and vomiting.
Other studies have also linked gluten to neurological diseases such as schizophrenia, nerve pains and autism. These are thought to occur when toxins that leak from the intestines travel to the brain through the blood.
The effects of gluten exist and should not be ignored.
Visit a nutritionist
There are those who will argue that eliminating gluten from wheat denies you the necessary dietary fiber that you get from whole wheat.
If your reaction to wheat products is severe, you need to talk to a nutritionist to assist you to come up with healthy replacements for the fiber found in wheat.
You should see a doctor as soon as possible to conduct the necessary tests
You could be intolerant to gluten, or even be living with celiac, but you may not know it. Some of the symptoms you’ll suffer may not be easily attributed to celiac as the disease may not manifest the normal abdominal symptoms in your body.
Try eliminating gluten foods
You could also try to avoid gluten foods for a couple of months, especially if you have noticed any of the symptoms stated above. Keep a journal to record your progress.