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How To Manage A Gluten Intolerance/Allergy

With diet fads, products, and new ways to lose weight coming out everyday, it seems we are being inundated with more information and ads than we could possibly ever examine in our lifetime. The problem comes as some advertisers try to make money by taking actual medical conditions, marketing them as weight loss plans. No one knows this more than those diagnosed with gluten intolerance. Researchers aren’t exactly sure the root cause of gluten intolerance but some findings suggest it can be hereditary. Gluten itself is a form of protein and it can be found in oats, wheat, rye, barley and is frequently used as a thickening agent in some processed foods. Those with gluten intolerance have to give up foods like cakes and baked desserts, bread, cookies, pasta, and pizza. It’s a growing problem as research shows that an estimated 18 million Americans show signs of gluten sensitivity. What are the signs and symptoms? What can you do about it, is there any treatment? Let’s take a walk through this condition that seems to be affecting so many these days.


Celiac Disease: Signs And Symptoms

Celiac Disease is a disease where one’s body is intolerant to gluten and when gluten is introduced into their digestive system, the body reacts to this as a type of allergy and it starts to destroy the lining to the small intestine. It is quite serious and everyone should be aware of the warning signs and symptoms:

  • Pain in the abdomen, stomach area
  • Gas and bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Upset stomach
  • Weight loss
  • Irritability (especially in children)
  • Lower growth rate in kids
  • Feelings of weakness and fatigue
  • Unusually bad smelling stools
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Pain in the joints
  • Occurrences of osteoporosis
  • Tingling sensation in the feet and hands
  • Headaches
  • Mouth sores

The signs, symptoms, and situations are different for everyone, but these are ones to look for. These symptoms can be similar to those of other medical conditions, that is why regular visits to your doctor and open communication are so vitally important.


Treatments And Helpful Ideas

The only known treatment for celiac disease and gluten intolerance is to operate under a strict no gluten diet. Your doctor can do a blood test to determine if you have a true allergy to gluten and if you do your research about gluten free diets and are still unsure, a registered dietitian can help guide you to a new way of eating to keep you healthy and on track. Some helpful ways to manage your gluten intolerance are:

  • Avoids sweets and baked goods like pies, cakes, cookies, etc
  • Stay away from ALL products containing wheat, barley, and rye like breads and pastas
  • Avoid processed meat and processed foods like some types of salad dressings, lunch meats, soup stocks, etc
  • Check the ingredients on EVERYTHING, especially marinades, seasonings, and thickening agents because there are several additives that do contain gluten
  • Eat more vegetables and fruits
  • Make sure you choose whole grains like rice, buckwheat, millet, beans, nuts and seeds
  • Opt for fresh fish, meats, chicken and fish and fresh dairy products
  • People with celiac disease can often be low in essential vitamins and minerals. Be sure your diet and vitamin supplements have calcium, iron, fiber, zinc, magnesium, niacin, folate, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and vitamin D. As always, check the ingredients on your supplements and make sure there is no gluten included


These are all great choices, but as you know, every person is different and every condition can vary from person to person. Always ask your doctor’s advice on your new food path. And be patient, sometimes it works on a trial and error basis.


Educate Yourself

Having to change your diet and lifestyle to be gluten free won’t be easy, but so worth the time and effort for you to feel good again. Get your reading glasses ready, not only do you need to do your research on gluten intolerance but you will have to read EVERY SINGLE LABEL on EVERY SINGLE THING you buy, food related, supplement and vitamin related, even medicines. As this has become a growing issue for many, you most likely have people you know in your family or circle of friends and acquaintances that deal with these issues. Ask questions, learn from each other, share recipes and tips. Having a bond with others who share the same struggles can bring about a really great support system. It can turn what seems a negative into something positive, and that’s the key to a happy, healthy life!



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This article is intended to provide an understanding of and knowledge about “health topics” as expressed through the perspective and research of the author. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice or counsel, including the diagnosis or treatment of any condition. Always seek the advice of your qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, illness or treatment of any listed or non listed situation above. By using this site, you signify your assent to our Terms and Conditions.




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