Gluten is like an elastic protein that ‘glues’ substances together and this comes into play in baking as it causes flour to rise in breads etc. It can be found in grains like barley, spelt rye, semolina and largely in wheat.
Many people have a sensitivity reaction to gluten which goes by unnoticed. Intolerance to gluten can cause anything from rashes and headaches to serious diseases associated with the immune system like arthritis, celiac and Crohns disease and create symptoms similar to IBS.
Many people that come to the clinic and have sensitivity testing find, to their surprise, that they are sensitive to wheat and yeast but the idea of giving it up is difficult as they don’t know that there are lots and lots of gluten free, and yeast free foods out there. These can be found in your local supermarket now and if you want to go even further the health food store or organic food store has an abundance of foods, such as breads and pastas. This means that you don’t really need to alter your diet that much, you just need to buy different brands. Even bakeries are now making breads that are gluten and wheat free.
If your sensitivity test says you are in fact sensitive to the above you need to avoid all foods with wheat and yeast and start to buy the different brands. Start to read labels on cereals, bread, pasta, all cakes and biscuits, even pita, ice cream and bread mixes. You will find there are a lot of foods with these substances hidden in them and that is what is making you ill. Try to go for gluten free, wheat free, and yeast free labelled food as this makes it easier. Take a walk down the health food aisle in your supermarket and see what is there. They even have chocolate biscuits that are gluten free…and they are yummy.
As a rule, processed meats are not really good for any of us but specifically if you have an intolerances to the above. Many processed meats will not only cause inflammation in the body but in some cases can be carcinogenic.
Unfortunately you will need to also stop drinking beer and liquors that contain the substances – even some whiskey’s, gin and vodkas but the good news is that some sensitivity tests will determine whether you are in fact also sensitive to these or not. Also watch your sauces such as Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and malt products as well as company prepared salad dressings. This should not be a huge issue for you because once again you can buy substitutes and realistically we don’t eat that much sauce on our foods anyway.
So if you have been struggling with your digestion for some time, suffering from constipation, diarrhoea, unexplained aches and pains anywhere in the body or have arthritis or any immunity disease you need to look at what you are having that your body is sensitive to and is making you ill.
There are two ways to do this. The first is a blood test which will measure what is in your blood and body at the time it is taken and how allergic you are to it. The second is also a hair or saliva analysis which will tell you about the amount of inflammation in your body. I like to use both to come up with recommendations for my clients as to what supplements to take and what foods to eat. Why both? Because it gives me a really clear picture as to what is happening in your body. There are other ways that intolerances can be diagnosed apart from the above but it becomes more complex and expensive.
So if you have any issues in the above categories start by doing a simple test for yourself. Even before the tests mentioned above with your practitioner. Just eat gluten free and low GI for about 3 weeks to a month, increase the amount of water you drink (up to 2 litres is great) and see how you start to feel after a couple of weeks. If your bloating and bowel movements start to change, if you feel healthier and lighter and have more energy then get yourself to a natural therapist who can do the tests and tell you what is causing your inflammation. Then go see your local doc for a blood test to find out what full blown allergies you actually do have. By the way, it’s not only digestive sensitivities that can make you feel bad. What about bleach, make up and deodorants? All these can be tested for and then you know exactly what you need to get healthy.