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Gluten Sensitivity

Gluten SensitivityA lesser form of these symptoms are found in people who have what is called “gluten sensitivity.” Up until a few years ago, this term had doctors rolling their eyes, but it is now being treated much more seriously. What is gluten sensitivity and how is it different from celiac disease induced gluten intolerance? A patient who’s gluten sensitive will have a negative reaction to gluten similar to someone suffering from celiac disease, but will test negative for the disease. If a person is want to know how to lose belly fat then finding out your sensitivity is an important step. Typically, “testing negative” means that the villi in the intestines appear undamaged. Because the villi are intact, the sufferer has a gluten allergy and is caused by something other than the autoimmune disease. They also avoid most of the severe, long-term illnesses associated with celiac disease.


While the symptoms of both celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are terrible, it is important to remember that gluten is not inherently toxic and does not positively or negatively affect most people. It is true that celiac disease is often misdiagnosed. Elisabeth Hasselbeck, a famous TV personality who suffers from the disease and who wrote a book about it called The G Free Diet, says that when she first started showing her painful symptoms of gluten intolerance she was misdiagnosed as having IBS (irritable bowel syndrome.) However, even accounting for numbers of misdiagnoses, many doctors and health officials place the occurrence of celiac disease as 1% of the population worldwide.


Why gluten free?

Even though for most gluten inherently poses no threat, many people still choose to cut it entirely from their diet. Is this a foolhardy move? Not necessarily. Gluten is found in many carbohydrate-rich foods, so for many people cutting it from their diet actually improves their nutrition and health. You can also find different programs that have diet plans that you may be able to adjust to your particular need.  Have a look at programs by people like Isabel de los Rios (author or beyond diet),  Shawna Kaminski, and Flavia Del Monte. Those who wish to practice gluten-free lifestyles, however, often find themselves very limited not only with food but also in their allowable choices of cosmetics, hair dyes, and medications. Gluten sometimes appears in the most unlikely of places; some claim that it is even found within the adhesives on the backs of stamps. Additionally, gluten is often hidden within foods or in some cases, as in with oats, is more often than not grown so close to glutinous foods that cross-contamination occurs.



This of course begs the question: if there is so much that has gluten, then what is gluten not found in? Actually, that list is somewhat long, too. For instance, gluten is not found in fruits, vegetables, or nuts. It is also not found in many grains, such as quinoa, buckwheat, corn, and millet. Partly because of this, many who practice a gluten-free diet also engage in a vegan diet plan or vegetarian diet plan, cutting out even more high-fat foods such as cheese, although this is not necessary. While gluten is found in bleu cheese, most cheeses are safe for consumption. Gluten is also not found in chicken, fish, eggs, lamb, or beef.


So, what is gluten? Probably nothing you have to be concerned about. What is gluten’s role in health? For most people, it doesn’t really serve one. Should you avoid gluten, even if you don’t have celiac disease? You certainly don’t have to and it most likely won’t make a difference in your health either way. But if you want to limit your intake of carbohydrates and/or empty calories, then feel free to live a gluten-free lifestyle. Bon appetite!


Chances are, before a few years ago, you never heard of it, but now everyone is talking about this substance. Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Esposito, and Keith Obermann have come out to publically announce their gluten-free lifestyles and some people even claim that gluten is responsible for a whole gamut of diseases, from headaches to autism. Even in programs that recommend exercises for pregnant women claim the dangers of gluten whether true or not. Gluten appears to be on everyone’s public enemy #1. But exactly what is gluten and what does it do? Is it as dangerous as some claim, if so why have we not heard about it before?


So, what is gluten? 

bread 1Gluten is a composite belonging to a large family of proteins and is found primarily within the mature seeds of wheat, barley, and rye. It is also responsible for the elasticity of dough. That doesn’t sound so bad, does it? So, what is gluten responsible for in humans? For most people honestly not much. Being a protein, it adds a little bit to your diet but in itself it doesn’t serve any long-term health benefits or, conversely harm the body in any way. For most people, gluten is just one of those many innocuous and ignorable ingredients found in many foods such as bread, bran, cereal, pasta, beer, couscous, and graham crackers.


When is gluten a problem?

Gluten does present a huge problem, however, for a small number of the population who have a very painful and potentially dangerous disease called celiac disease. Celiac disease is not a gluten food allergy, so what is gluten’s role in it? Unfortunately, celiac disease, worse than being a food allergy, is a very painful autoimmune disorder wherein after ingesting gluten the sufferer’s body attacks the little finger-like villi of the intestines, destroying them. In the short term, this causes many unpleasant symptoms such as extreme gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, fatigue, and nausea. In the long-term, it destroys the villi in the stomach, severely limiting the sufferer’s ability to absorb food. This can lead to a host of secondary diseases caused by malnutrition such as delayed puberty, osteoporosis, intestinal cancer, liver disease, and infertility. The cause of the disease is genetic and no one yet seems to understand the root cause that triggers the immune system to behave this way in the presence of gluten and/or resulting in gluten sensitivity.


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