The Truth about Gluten-Free Diets
Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow credit a gluten-free diet with helping them obtain their fab figures, and there are gluten-free sections in almost every grocery store. So what's all the hype about?
What's the Problem With Gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in many different grains, including barley, wheat, rye and spelt. Gluten-intolerant individuals are unable to digest gluten adequately, which causes a sticky, glue-like residue to build along the digestive tract walls. This substance affects how other nutrients are digested and absorbed. Studies show that glucose intolerance (GI) is on the rise, now affecting as much as one-third of the American population!
How Do You Know if You Have Gluten Intolerance?
Those who have GI can have a wide array of symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Some of the symptoms associated with GI to look out for include:
- Bloating after meals
- Digestive pain
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Excessive hunger
- Weight gain
- Weight-loss resistance
- Mental fog
- Unclear vision
- Canker sores
If left unchecked, though, GI can cause more serious health conditions. The following medical conditions have been linked to GI:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Autoimmune disorders
- Multiple sclerosis
- Heart disease
Also, if any of your family members experience issues with the medical conditions above, you may have an increased risk of being gluten-intolerant. To determine whether you suffer from GI for certain, you can ask your doctor to perform a blood test. Before you do that, try this simple test: Avoid eating gluten for two to three weeks, and then slowly add it back into your diet. Journal the results to see if you experience any of the symptoms listed above, such as bloating, gas, digestive pain or other side effects. If so, see your doctor for a blood test, because having a gluten-free diet may help you reach your health and weight goals much faster.
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