Why gluten intolerance and a healthy body aren’t a match made in heaven
Gluten intolerance: how eliminating gluten, dairy, processed foods improved my life for good
Discover how gluten intolerance can do harm to your body and what you can do to tackle it.
I used to eat gluten, bread, cheese and pasta nearly every day. Bread and cheese were my two favourite foods, until one day, I had no more energy, felt exhausted, my weight had sky-rocketed. This is when I started a marathon of visiting doctors.
They all said I was fine and it was in my head. According to doctors, my thyroid was within “normal” ranges, but thankfully, an open-minded, holistic doctor noticed something was wrong, so in 2011 I got my first diagnose of hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue, conditions where the thyroid is affected.
I ditched sugars, processed foods, grains, dairy and toxic chemicals
Throughout the years of my wellness journey to get rid of my symptoms, I decided to ditch sugars, processed foods, grains, dairy and toxic chemicals. And step-by-step, I introduced a whole-foods-based (first Paleo) and later an AIP (autoimmune protocol) friendly ketogenic approach to food which gave me my life, vitality, happiness and energy back!
Gluten-free lifestyle can be overwhelming at first
Going gluten free and dairy free is overwhelming. The reason why is because it is absolutely hidden everywhere. You can find it in the processed foods we buy, even in meat, but also in makeup, creams, beauty products, supplements, medication, and so on.
Many years ago, when I still ate gluten, cheese and grains I started to pay attention that soon after eating certain foods, I felt tired and groggy and needed a nap.
This is when I started asking myself, isn’t food supposed to give you energy instead of making you feel tired, so badly that you need to nap?
My holistic doctor, the one that also diagnosed my thyroid problems, explained to me that I have a sensitivity to gluten and dairy products. This is when I started digging deeper about gluten, dairy,grains and food sensitivities.
In a medical study of the opioid effects of gluten exorphins, they say that some people, and I discovered I am one of them, may develop diseases that may be related to gluten intake. For someone who can’t digest the gluten proteins, gluten becomes a toxic opioid. Cocaine and heroine are also part of the opioids family.
The study says ” these compounds have proven opioid effects and could mask the deleterious effects of gluten protein on gastrointestinal lining and function. Here we describe a putative mechanism, explaining how gluten could “mask” its own toxicity by exorphins that are produced through gluten protein digestion”
Is Gluten-intolerance the latest health trend or can it really provoke chronic illness and inflammation?
Some people are gluten-free to follow the latest health trends, but for many others, myself included, I have found that making this switch has helped me with a range of my chronic health issues. (fatigue, anxiety, digestions, itchiness, depression)
People with thyroid problems are also advised to go gluten and often also dairy free for life. This is because these ingredients trigger inflammation and that is the last thing you need when you are trying to heal.
As we know the health of our gut, affects our entire body, brain included, so it’s important to keep it vital and free of inflammation.
Determine gluten intolerance via the autoimmune protocol and reintroduction diet
Some MD’s claim that the best way to determine gluten intolerance is via tests, but I find that the best way is to follow the autoimmune protocol, and then start reintroducing foods.
Your bodies reactions are the best tools to indicate if you have a problem. Tiredness, bloating, depression, angriness, etc can all come forward from foods that are not matching your body type.
Look for a holistic or open-minded functional practitioner who can guide you in this process. If your doctor dismisses your concerns, persist or find someone else.
Celiac disease versus gluten intolerance
Celiac disease is a major public global health concern. The exact global prevalence of celiac disease is not known, but about 1 percent of Americans have celiac disease.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune response that causes gluten to trigger your body to attack your own intestinal walls.
Some 6 percent may have “non-celiac gluten intolerance.” Although your body is treating gluten as an enemy, this reaction isn’t measurable like an allergy or autoimmune response.
You may also have other gut related issues, food sensitives, fodmap problems, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut syndrome, ammonia excess, and so on, so ensure to work with your doctor or naturopath to figure out which could be your issues.
Put simply, the possible causes of your problems imply different treatments, and they may also overlap.
There’s no test for the innate immune reaction that may cause non-celiac gluten sensitivity, as I said before, the re-introduction diet works really well to follow up on reactions these foods provoke.
Celiac disease is a very serious illness and you need to be 100 % gluten-free for life!
Celiac disease is a serious illness that needs to be monitored over time and you will have to be 100 % gluten-free for life. Celiac disease leaves you at increased risks of developing cancer, including intestinal lymphoma and small bowel cancer.
People with celiac disease are also more likely to develop osteoporosis, chronic fatigue, and thyroid problems.
The only way to identify if you have celiac disease is by testing for it.
Some helpful tips from Jennifer Fugo, gluten-free expert and founder of the gluten-free school
- “If you are like many people, you may discover that you are sensitive to gluten and you should completely eliminate this ingredient from your diet. Knowing where to start and understanding a few key initial steps can take you from confusion to confidence.”
- “First, get to know where gluten hides. This spongy protein occurs in grains such as wheat. An easy way to remember gluten-containing grains is to think of the acronym BROWS which stands for barley, rye, oats, wheat and spelt. While other grains contain gluten, such as farro and einkorn, which are less frequently found in the American diet.
- “Many amazingly delicious and nutrient-dense foods are naturally gluten-free, such as vegetables, nuts, seeds, meat, fats, etc. “
- “The most nutritious and safe foods to eat are the ones that are naturally gluten free and are not processed.”
- “Before buying anything, take your time to discover and scan the ingredients on the labels, look for gluten-free and check any other questionable harmful ingredients. Contact companies if you think their products might be gluten free if they aren’t labelled as such. ”
Going gluten and dairy free was a big part of my health recovery. In the beginning, it was very challenging and confusing, but after many years, it just became a simple part of my routine.
Gluten-free and grain-free bread alternatives
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I changed the way I eat in 2011 when I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue and adrenal fatigue, conditions where the thyroid is affected. I had no energy, was exhausted, desperate, and my weight had sky-rocketed.
Because of that, I decided to ditch sugars, processed foods, grains, dairy and toxic chemicals. And step-by-step, I introduced a whole-foods-based (first Paleo) and later an AIP (autoimmune protocol) friendly ketogenic approach to food which gave me my life, vitality, happiness and energy back!