Gluten Sensitivity or Gluten Intolerance

1 Feb

Gluten Origin

Gluten Origin. Photo Credit: http://gluten-intolerance-symptoms.com/

Have any of you experienced Gluten Sensitivity or Gluten Intolerance symptoms without even knowing it? Some symptoms include (but are not limited to) >> Weight loss or weight gain, Nutritional deficiencies due to malabsorbtion e.g. low iron levels, Gastrointestinal problems (bloating, pain, gas, constipation, diarrhea), Fat in the stools (due to poor digestion), Aching joints, Depression, Eczema, Headaches, Exhaustion, Irritability and behavioral changes, Infertility, irregular menstrual cycle and miscarriage, Cramps, tingling and numbness, Decline in dental health – just to name a FEW~

So what is Gluten?

Gluten is a composite of the two proteins gliadin and glutenin. The word gluten is derived from the Latin word for “glue.” Gluten is a mash up of starch, gliadin and glutenin and is found in grass related grains such as wheat, rye, barley and sometimes oats. Most breads, pasta, crackers and cookies contain gluten since they are typically made with wheat flour.

Gluten intolerance is categorized as an autoimmune disorder, meaning the immune system attacks it’s own body’s tissues. When a person with a gluten sensitivity eats, say, a plate of spaghetti, cells present in the small intestine misread the molecules in the grain as a foreign invader. There is then an interaction resulting in programmed cell death and an immune response, which results in the typical symptoms of gluten intolerance. It is important to identify a gluten intolerance and act accordingly because over time when someone with a gluten intolerance continues to ingest gluten, damage to the small intestine occurs. In its most severe form, gluten intolerance can manifest in the form of celiac disease, which can be not only uncomfortable to a person, but indeed dangerous as well. – Source: Food Intolerance

I’ve been wondering if I am myself intolerant to Gluten I have a lot of symptoms and not a lot of answers. I’ve been struggling for what seems like years now and have seen so many doctors for various issues like and no one ever could figure out what was wrong with me. So I just go back home and try to find another ‘expert’. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Abdominal Pain and Cramping
  • Alternating Bouts of Diarrhea and Constipation
  • Anemia
  • Bloating
  • Depression, Anxiety and Irritability
  • Dermatitis Herpetiformis (skin rash)
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Infertility
  • Numbness or tingling in hands and feet
  • Peripheral Neuropathy (including either a tingling or sensation of swelling your toes and fingers)
  • Vitamin and Mineral deficiencies

So I’ve recently started looking into this “Gluten Free” stuff written on numerous products these days – hey it got me curious; esp after seeing so many food documentaries like: FOOD, INC; Food Matters …etc. Anyway, I researched it and found a bunch of issues that I’ve been facing… then it hit me… could I have a gluten intolerance? I’m a bit skeptical about going to a doctor to get tested for it since the best solution they have for me is to “just lose weight” and “use this pill”.
SO I have taken it upon myself to try and go Gluten Free for the next few weeks and see if I truly notice/feel a difference in my body/mind and over all health.

HOW TO FIND GLUTEN INGREDIENTS: 

Most of the Gluten Free stuff says so on the label in this day and age but incase it doesn’t I will post some here. BTW cosmetics must also be Gluten Free; make up, lotions…etc its like a whole new world.

Source: http://www.glutenfreeindy.com/foodlists/index.htm

If something doesn’t say “GLUTEN FREE” on the label, you should look out for these key words in the ingredients:

Definitely Contains Gluten

  • wheat
  • rye
  • barley
  • malt (usually made from barley), malt flavoring, malt syrup, malt extract, and malt vinegar
  • kamut, triticale, spelt, durum, farina, eindorn, semolina, bulgar
  • cake flour, matzo, matzah
  • couscous
  • wheat starch, modified wheat starch, hydrolyzed wheat protein

Might Contain Gluten
The following ingredients might contain gluten. Remember that wheat will be declared if an ingredient has any in it, but barley may not be. See the Gluten-Free Living website for an explanation as to why these are questionable.

  • natural flavorings (barley is commonly used, and doesn’t have to be declared, but almost always is).
  • brown rice syrup
  • oats (mainly due to cross-contamination issues). Three sources are now available for pure oats.
  • dextrin
  • seasonings and seasoning mixes
  • processed cheese
  • flavored yogurts
  • alcoholic beverages At this time the manufacturers are not required to list ingredients.
  • pharmaceuticals. (at this time the manufacturers of medications are not required to specify gluten in the ingredients.)
  • soy sauce – Most brands have wheat as a major ingredient, although there a few that don’t. (See Condiments)
  • modified food starch
  • some cheeses
  • flavored meat products

In the meanwhile, if you think YOU or someone you know may be experiencing Gluten Sensitivity or Gluten Intolerance Symptoms, here are some great resources:

BOOK I BOUGHT: (Kindle Edition available too)
Living Gluten-Free For Dummies; by Danna Korn (www.dannakorn.com)
http://www.amazon.com/Living-Gluten-Free-Dummies-Danna-Korn/dp/0470585897/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1328030552&sr=8-1


GREAT WEB RESOURCES:

GLUTEN FREE NETWORK: http://glutenfreenetwork.com/faqs/symptoms-treatments/gluten-intolerance-symptoms-how-do-you-know-if-gluten-is-making-you-sick/
FOOD INTOLERANCE: http://foodintoleranceinfo.com/gluten-intolerance/what-are-the-10-most-common-symptoms-of-a-gluten-intolerance
GLUTEN INTOLERANCE SYMPTOMS: http://gluten-intolerance-symptoms.com/

Feel free to comment; add your thoughts/experiences and other sources too!

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6 Responses to “Gluten Sensitivity or Gluten Intolerance”

  1. j.p. February 1, 2012 at 9:47 am #

    DEAL! I will update next week!

  2. j.p. February 1, 2012 at 9:51 am #

    Well these days most of the Gluten Free stuff says so on the label. BTW cosmetics must also be Gluten Free; make up, lotions..etc its like a whole new world.

    If something doesn’t say “GLUTEN FREE” on the label, you should look out for these key words in the ingredients:

    Contains Gluten
    wheat
    rye
    barley
    malt (usually made from barley), malt flavoring, malt syrup, malt extract, and malt vinegar
    kamut, triticale, spelt, durum, farina, eindorn, semolina, bulgar
    cake flour, matzo, matzah
    couscous
    wheat starch, modified wheat starch, hydrolyzed wheat protein

    Might Contain Gluten
    The following ingredients might contain gluten. Remember that wheat will be declared if an ingredient has any in it, but barley may not be. See the Gluten-Free Living website for an explanation as to why these are questionable.

    natural flavorings (barley is commonly used, and doesn’t have to be declared, but almost always is).
    brown rice syrup
    oats (mainly due to cross-contamination issues). Three sources are now available for pure oats.
    dextrin
    seasonings and seasoning mixes
    processed cheese, flavored yogurts
    alcoholic beverages At this time the manufacturers are not required to list ingredients.
    pharmaceuticals At this time the manufacturers of medications are not required to specify gluten in the ingredients.
    soy sauce – Most brands have wheat as a major ingredient, although there a few that don’t. (See Condiments)
    modified food starch
    cheeses
    flavored meat products

    I will add this to the main post as well.

  3. Gigi Katz February 1, 2012 at 9:51 am #

    Thanks for sharing!! I had no idea of gluten’s specifics but also noticed some foods are heavier and harder to digest then others. I’ve wanted to try and cut out all gluten a while ago, but it’s hard to tell exactly what has it and what doesn’t. I hope this gives you an answer! 🙂

  4. Gigi Katz February 1, 2012 at 9:58 am #

    between “cake flour, matzo, matzah” and “soy sauce, modified food starch, cheeses, flavored meat products” this leaves me with nothing to munch on..

    no sushi, no every other damn modified food starch ingredient, although I try and stay away if the label says anything modified on it, no cheese?? this one’s a deal breaker 😦 now i’m dying to know what exactly are “flavored meat products” lol

    but this is a great list thank you! had no clue at some of this stuff O.O

    • j.p. February 1, 2012 at 10:01 am #

      It’s not a problem, I’m going to try to be at least 90% Gluten free for 30 days and see if I feel any difference!

      It’s actually not so bad, a lot of Gluten Free options out there, go to FreshDirect.com and search for Gluten Free and you will see a truck load!

      • Gigi Katz February 1, 2012 at 10:11 am #

        keep us updated, even after a week or so some people with severe food sensitivities can feel much better with symptoms slowly subsiding 🙂 30 days is a very good time-frame to see results! I’m jumping on the plan as soon as I hear positive anything from you !

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