Gluten sensitivity can manifest itself in several ways. Here are some of the most common.
First, a quick refresher on what gluten is exactly.
Gluten is a storage type protein that is commonly found on a cellular level in many of the different food stuffs in the grain family.
Gluten gives cereals and grains and especially bread certain specific qualities among them doughiness and elasticity.
However, in some individuals gluten poses a problem.
For individuals with a gluten sensitivity there is a difficulty in digesting the gluten found in bread or grain containing products.
For these individuals it becomes important, in order to avoid intestinal problems, that they maintain a gluten free diet.
In this type of enteropathy gluten can not be properly digested, sometimes due to Celiac disease which affects no less than 0.5 percent of the population.
Such persons either have a gluten sensitivity (which is like an allergy) or Celiac disease.
Estimates suggest that nearly fifteen percent of all persons in the United States have either the gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease.
However, be advised that many of such people are able to live healthy and happy lives providing that they remove the gluten from their diet and see their doctor regularly.
If you believe you may be afflected with a gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease please see your doctor as soon as possible.
Another important factor to remember when considering gluten sensitivity is the history of the disease.
To be frank about it, gluten allergies are well understood even today.
For many years, before advanced medical screening made the detection of gluten intolerance easier for doctors, people were uncertain why some individuals had trouble with their intestines as well as certain skin disorders.
By world war II many in the medical profession were slowly sensing the connection between a gluten sensitivity and the claims of distress that were being presented by many patients.
Through a process of elimination (a gluten free diet really) the gluten intolerance was ascertained and treated.
Because gluten is present in many of the grains in the grain family as well as cereals, many individuals with a gluten sensitivity feel that they must miss out on their favorite foods due to this complication.
While it is true that in order to comply with a gluten free diet certain grain staples such as wheat and cereal must be eliminated from your diet, there are many gluten-free alternatives for each and everyone of these products.
Since the detection of a gluten sensitivity has become so much easier for doctors, we have discovered that a much larger percentage of individuals struggle with some form of a gluten allergy or even Celiac disease.
These changes in detection really only came to light in the last several years and as a result of them we have learned that there are many individuals, much more than previously thought, who struggle with gluten issues.
New websites have sprung forth to address the gluten issue and more people than ever have come to discover that they have a gluten sensitivity.
For many, the news that have a gluten sensitivity is actually welcome news. For a long time they had been struggling with certain symptoms such as intestinal difficulties and fatigue and simply had no clue what was wrong with them.
For these individuals there is now light at the end of the tunnel.
They see that having a gluten allergy isn’t a death sentence, it is, in fact, far from it.
With some changes in diet and a commitment to live gluten free these individuals are finding themselves healthier than ever.
The other question that comes up is whether people with a gluten sensitivity will have to give up some of their favorite foods that contained grains or cereals or were heavy in carbs.
In some cases the answer to this question is yes. Certain foods, those with gluten will have to be eliminated in order to be healthy and at peak performance.
However, as I alluded to earlier recent advances in medical detection have yielded interesting results.
We have learned that many more people have some form of gluten sensitivity than was previously thought.
As a result of this new, healthier food choices have become available for individuals who are gluten intolerant.
For instance, if you were to go to your favorite search engine and type in “gluten free beer” or “gluten free pizza” you would discover that many alternative options have sprung up in recent years to try to cater to the gluten free crowd.
That’s how many people suffer with some form of gluten sensitivity.
So many in fact that a cottage industry has sprung forth in order to allow people who have chosen to live gluten free to do so without giving up some of their favorite things.
You can even find gluten free bread these days. Who would have thought that was possible.
Also, a lot of these products without gluten taste fantastic. Sure your gluten free bread won’t be exactly like how you remember fresh baked bread but it will have it’s own qualities that you may grow to enjoy.
It won’t have the elasticity of glutenous bread and therefore will be easier to digest as well.
The point is that these gluten free products have really improved in the last few years to the point that, in many cases, there is no discernable difference in quality between a product with gluten and one without it.
I know that for a few individuals out there it seems like a lot to sacrifice to lose gluten.
I can assure you that not only will you feel healthier, but you won’t have all those negative side effects that are caused by a diet full of gluten.
As a result you will be more effective and efficient. Now who wouldn’t want that.
Plus as I said the new products really aren’t all that bad. There are now some great gluten-free possibilites.
I hope you realize that having a gluten sensitivity doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
For many a gluten sensitivity is the motivation for them to start living a healthier lifestyle.
Gluten Allergy Symptoms
My gluten allergy symptoms did not appear all at once that much is certain.
I was actually becoming accustomed to a very many of the things when I realized that certain feelings were just not going away.
So I made an appointment with my general practioner to find out if I could be gluten intolerant.
I realized that it was possible that I could have any number of afflictions, but I was scared of being sensitive.
What I found out really changed my life in ways I never could have thought possible.
I learned that I was, in fact, gluten intolerant and that I would have to give up gluten and do on a restricted diet.
This was easy enough to accept at first, however I knew that just changing my diet would not get rid of the gluten allergy symptoms.
I knew I would need to take a more proactive role in my recovery.
Things started off well enough. I felt like some of the symptoms were starting to go away quickly after I started on my gluten free diet which was difficult enough to maintain for the first few weeks.
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I have to say that I never really believed that I was a big carb person. Now my daughter is a big carb person but that’s a story for another post.
All I really thought was that I liked bread a little but I didn’t think it would be too difficult to give up, especially if it would alleviate all those damn gluten allergy symptoms. Little did I know I was in for a shock.
It turned out that I really have a strong attachment to grains and cereals. I never realized that just be eliminating gluten from my diet, I would also have to eliminate so many of the foods that I am just flat out used to eating.
(That would be the toughest part!) Because I really always thought that if I was having these incredibly difficult gluten allergy symptoms that I would be willing to do what it took to get rid of them and I knew that meant starting a gluten free life.
And, to be honest, I was excited about it all at first, I thought why not live as a healthier me. But I didn’t know it would be so hard, even if it is easier on my intestines.
Well, the first few days went pretty good. I was diminishing with the gluten related allergy symptoms and starting to feel much better day in day out.
But things got tough pretty soon thereafter when my wife ordered a pizza for her, the kids, a few of the neighborhood kids, and our babysitter. So, I’m sitting there on a gosh darn gluten free diet and they are eating all these carbs and everything and just basically inhaling gluten and not having any problems with it. Well I got mad!
I thought and I know this sounds a little hokey but I was upset I said, “Why me, God?” Ya know. I am the one who was suffering from the gluten allergy and was having all these problems.
Now I’m starting to get rid of the gluten intolerance symptoms and I have to sit there and watch my entire family (and half the neighboorhood) eat pizza that I bought while I just sit there and watch.
I was more than I could take, I’m sitting there with a bunch of gluten free products that taste okay at best while they are snacking on Dominos. Really I felt like, “The Nerve!”
Anyway, that day ended soon enough and I started to think that I wouldn’t always suffer with gluten intolerance afterall.
What if the doctor had been wrong. I guess I just started to blame a lot of people because I had always thought that no matter what at least I had my health.
But with this gluten intolerance, I simply did not. And it was frustrating. Frustrating as heck! Afterall three months ago I’m like, “what is gluten?” and today I’m not enjoying a crispy, fresh pizza with my wife and kids because I am living a gluten free life.
It really was one of those moments for me. I thought what am I doing here! Why can’t God just let me live my life like everyone else. I was really upset. So, I finally talked to Sarah and we made a decision that we would avoid wheat products as a family for a while while I adjusted to a diet that was gluten free.
The gluten allergy symptoms were beginning to go away as I stayed with my gluten free diet and I realized that I simply felt much better eating gluten free products.
I did not suffer with those darn gluten intolerance symptoms in the middle of the night like I had been so often before.
In a way it was refreshing to think that just because I couldn’t eat a pizza with my wife and kids that did not mean that I couldn’t behave sensibly ya know.
In the end I learned a lot in the first few months after doing something about my gluten allergy symptoms.
I realized that not everything in the world has to be about me – which was a huge realization because let’s face it we all can be sort of self centered from time to time. I realized that my gluten sensitivity is not a punishment from God because I don’t believe God works with food. I think he sticks to other things.
But the main thing that happened was I stayed on my gluten free diet and got rid of these crazy gluten allergy symptoms which was a good thing.
Now, next on my list is to be looking at all the ways that I drive my wife crazy with nagging about food and blaming things on my gluten allergy symptoms.
I know that will be an awakening of sorts for me.