•Gastrointestinal issues (including acid-reflux, heartburn, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea IBS (irritable bowel syndrome))
•Autoimmune diseases (including autoimmune thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes)
•Skin rashes (including dermatitis herpetiformis, eczema, psoriasis)
•Weight loss or weight gain
•Bone loss (including osteopenia, osteoporosis)
•Unexplained bouts of dizziness or ear ringing
•Irritability and behavioral changes
•Cramps, tingling and numbness
•Decline in dental health
•Cakes and pies
•Cookies and crackers
•Imitation meat or seafood
•Processed luncheon meats
•Sauces, including soy sauce
•Seasoned rice mixes
•Seasoned snack foods, such as potato and tortilla chips
•Soups and soup bases
•Vegetables in sauce
One time I brought my friend a pizza with a crust made from flax seed and vegetables. She looked at and asked if is there was any gluten in it.
After I reassured her that there wasn’t any, she bit into the pizza and burst into tears. My first thought was, “oh no, it doesn’t taste that bad does it?” I asked her what was wrong. She looked at me with tears running down her face said, “I thought I would never eat pizza again.”
My friend suffers from celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disorder caused from a gluten allergy. The gluten reacts in the small intestines causing inflammation. The body does not absorb essential nutrients. Having undiagnosed celiac disease can lead to malnutrition.
With food allergies being so hard to diagnose and having so many symptoms, there are many people, up to 15 percent of the US population, who need to change their diets because of gluten sensitivity. The gluten allergy runs the gamut from being mildly intolerant to having celiac disease.
Gluten sensitivity is triggered by gluten contact and alleviated by taking gluten out of the diet. Gluten is the protein commonly found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale and causes dough to have a nice elastic texture. With gluten being in so many products, it is hard avoid.
Some of the foods that do not have gluten that can be use in place of wheat flour in food preparation include corn, flax, beans, rice, soy, nuts, potatoes, tapioca, arrowroot, amaranth and buckwheat, which in spite of its name is actually a fruit seed related to the rhubarb. I have recently discovered coconut flour works well as a replacement for wheat.
A few years ago the label gluten-free would usually mean it tasted bad. Today with creative chefs, research and new foods products, gluten-free can taste really good.
If you feel like you have signs of being intolerant be sure to check with your healthcare professional.