Tuesday, April 20, 2010

2 serious reasons you need to stick to your gluten free diet

 Are you careful enough on your gluten free diet? Do you sometimes just feel like cheating?  If you have a gluten intolerance or have been diagnosed with celiac disease you really need to take it seriously.

Even if you do not  experience noticeable symptoms when you cheat, there may be health consequences of eating gluten which can be serious. Here's why.

Reason #1: Gluten can inflame or damage the intestine
For those with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance gluten damages the small intestine. There is no cure for celiac and no one outgrows it or develops a tolerance for gluten. It is genetic and runs in families. When you cheat and eat gluten, you inflame your intestines which can cause further damage.

Reason #2: Malnutrition
For those with celiac or gluten intolerance, damage to the small intestine is aggravated by eating any food with gluten. The impaired intestine is not able to digest or assimilate food properly. Gluten interferes with your intestine's ability to digest and assimilate vitamin and minerals. This can lead to many health problems including problems with nails, skin, eyesight, learning, memory, anemia, thyroid problems, etc.
If you know that you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, the best way to stay  healthy is to stick to your gluten free diet.

For those sensitive to gluten, gluten damages the villi of the small intestine. The villi are like small little fingers that line the small intestine. They absorb nutrients from the food we eat. When the villi are flattened or destroyed by gluten, nutrients are not absorbed. So, no matter how good your diet or no matter what medication you are taking, if your villi are not working well, you may not receive the benefit. In addition, you may experience symptoms like loose stools, bloating, gas, and stomach discomfort. Anemia, osteoporosis, diabetes, thyroid disease and infertility are not uncommon in those with damaged villi and gluten intolerance.

Although the effects can be serious, the villi can repair themselves when gluten is not eaten.  Gluten is found in wheat, spelt, farina, semolina, triticale and kamut, barley, and rye. Oats do not contain gluten, but can cause problems because of crosscontamination. So only oats that are marked gluten free should be trusted.

If you are not sure if you have celiac disease or not sure if you are sensitive to gluten, talk to your doctor.

We are not medical doctors and are not trying to diagnose or treat disease. The information in this blog is for educational purposes only. Always check with your doctor before making any changes in your diet.