Gluten sensitivity and gluten intolerance has been the subject of many debates. Medical professionals from doctors and research scientist to food growers and producers. However, despite what other may say about the subject, bottom line is how you physically, mentally and spiritually feel.
Have you been plagued with debilitating headaches? Or painful muscle tension that has prevented you from enjoying daily activities you once made part of your daily routine?
Or have you started up a new running routine or yoga class just to try to get your anxiety under control. No time for running, yoga or meditation, well then you could try a daily cocktail of pharmaceutical products.
(Hold on one second before comment on the last statement. I was on that regimen for nearly 5 years. And when I thought I couldn’t keep up with everything life demanded from me that pharm cocktail helped me pull through.)
Whether your pains and sufferings are physical or mental.
They affect the quality of your life, and the relationship you have with those around you.
Studies have shown that chronic pain can lead to depression, anger and irritability. Also, being able to concentrate for periods of time may become arduous.
This is why I want to tell you about gluten sensitivity. And how it is having a direct impact on your physical and mental health. As well as your moods and behavior.
Gluten and behavior
Gluten sensitivity is a reaction in the body causing an immune response when gluten containing foods are ingested.
Although gluten sensitivities have become more and more common, physicians and researchers are still investigating this protein. And the many ways it can manifest itself within a patient.
I think one reason for the delay in identifying many of these manifestations is data. There is much of the population that may be unaware that they’ve developed a sensitivity to gluten.
As people continue through life, job, career, marriage and children, not necessarily in that order. They begin with daily indigestion. Ok, pop an antacid, no big deal, oh and let me get a few extra to keep in my car.
Or, they may become worried all the time, irritable, trouble sleeping and contribute this change in behavior to stress. Both of these examples are very plausible to a majority of you reading this article, and there is most likely a good treatment plan to take care of the symptoms.
What’s wrong with treating the symptoms?
Well, nothing, if you never want to start feeling better.
Keep reading and I’ll tell you why gluten sensitivity and its awareness is important to keep yourself healthy.
According to Medline Plus, An autoimmune disorder occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys healthy body tissue by mistake. Celiac disease is also listed there as an autoimmune disorder with several others.
Gluten sensitivity causes an immune reaction that attacks normal and healthy body tissue. This reaction can then lead to a full autoimmune disorder. These symptoms have been found in celiac disease sufferers. Muscle twitches, tingling limbs, depression, chronic anxiety and symptoms as severe as schizophrenia have been reported. Celiac patients must completely remove all forms of gluten from their diet in order to circumvent irreversible neurological damage
Leaky Gut Issues
What the heck is leaky gut??!!
Ok, so we’ve been reading about how gluten sensitivity will cause an allergic reaction within your body. Then causing the body to make antibodies to fight off these foreign substances. Many times your body will react to healing with inflammation, in this manner.
If you are sensitive to gluten and ingest gluten the first part of the body that is affected are the intestines. This allergic reaction causes the intestinal lining to become more porous (SCDLifestyle explains it well in this article). The problem with the lining of the intestines becoming more porous is that toxins that can not be digested often flow through these larger pores and into the bloodstream.
There are several symptoms associated with leaky gut, these include bloating, constipation, ongoing diarrhea and gas.
Leaky gut also contributes to a weak immune system because your body is essentially fighting with itself to get rid of the toxins and neurotoxins that have infiltrated it, causing inflammation of tissues. This inflammation then shows its ugly self in the form of chronic headaches, brain fog, fatigue and anxiety.
Doctors, researchers and scientists have been able to make a connection between gluten sensitivities, leaky gut (intestines becoming more permeable) and autism.
I want to be clear that gluten sensitivity does not cause autism.
However, according to Autism Speaks.org, many parents of children with autism have reported a significant improvement when they switched their child to a gluten free diet.
Neurotoxins produced to counter the intake of gluten have a great effect on the neurological system. Which over time can affect your mood and overall feeling of wellness.
Do you have any reason to think that you may be sensitive to gluten?
Do you live a relatively healthy lifestyle but still feel that your body is under stress by factors you just can’t figure out?
Or are you just ready to make a few changes in your eating habits to start feeling better, then you may want to consider eliminating gluten from your diet.
However, before diving right into a new lifestyle it is important to note why you are making this decision.
First, make an inventory list of all your symptoms or ailments that are directly affecting your quality of life. Then rate each one on a scale from 1-5, 1 being the least disruptive and 5 being the most disruptive.
Put your inventory list on your refrigerator or pantry door, somewhere you can easily find it – at least on a weekly basis.
Then, once you’ve cleaned out your pantry, refrigerator and snack drawer and have maintained a gluten free diet for at least 1-2 weeks, I would encourage you to go back to your inventory sheet and reevaluate your symptoms.
From my experience, it took about 6 weeks before I began to see and feel considerable changes in my body. I was able to decrease the amount of anti-anxiety medication I was taking. My clothes started fitting better, especially around my waist and midsection. Occurrences that would’ve cause me to ‘fly off the handle’ just didn’t have the power over me as it once did.
People who see the greatest benefit from a gluten free diet are more than likely gluten sensitive. And since autoimmune gluten sensitivity/intolerance is hereditary, you may learn valuable information that could prove helpful to family members.