September is Food Allergy Awareness Month and we’re going to talk about a few of the top allergens. This week’s blog is dedicated to gluten. I personally have gluten intolerance and have been following a gluten-free diet for over three years.
There are two classifications: Celiac Disease & Gluten Intolerance. Celiac is an extreme allergy to gluten and considered an autoimmune disorder. Celiac damages the intestinal wall and can cause extreme gastrointestinal conditions. People who have this disease need to steer clear of gluten and make sure all their food is prepared in a gluten free environment. Gluten intolerance can have many symptoms from minor intestinal discomfort to “hidden symptoms” such as hormonal disruptions, skin rashes, etc.
If you think you have gluten sensitivity, here are some tips to try a gluten free diet!
- Take gluten out of your diet for 14-21 days to see how you feel
- Add gluten back into your diet for 3 straight days and pay attention to how you feel – if you felt better without gluten, then, consider going on a gluten free diet for 3-6 months and re-testing after that
- Read all labels – look for “gluten free” products and look for gluten/wheat printed in BOLD on the ingredient list on labels
- Need bread and pasta replacement? Try brown rice breads, pastas, rice cakes and quinoa & millet breads and pastas
- Oatmeal may or may not contain gluten. Make sure to buy “gluten free” oats
- Gluten is found in wheat, rye and barley – watch out for beer and items containing “barley malt” as well
- Keep a food journal – how you feel after you eat certain foods
- Be encouraged! If you find out you are gluten intolerant or feel better without gluten, eating gluten free gets easier and easier!