So-And-So Told Me I Shouldn’t Eat Gluten. What Is Gluten Anyway?

There has been a lot of buzz through television and social media about gluten. The biggest problem with this buzz? Many people aren’t even sure what it is.  Here’s the scoop: Gluten is a protein in grass-type grains such as wheat, barley and rye. It gives food a stretchiness and stickines.  It’s in a lot of the products we eat in the US of A.  So, is it bad for us?

The truth is, I cannot answer that question for you.  Some people are finding that they have trouble digesting gluten.  This may be referred to as gluten intolerance or Celiac Disease.  The symptoms of gluten intolerance can include GI problems like diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, bloating, and weight loss, but could also include unexplained pain, anemia, anxiety, rash, canker sores, migraines, and loss of enamel on teeth.

I have seen some TV personalities and other blogs make claims that nobody should be eating gluten or that gluten can make a person have cloudy thinking or feel disorganized.  All I can say about that is don’t believe everything you hear on TV or read on the internet.

If you are having some of these symptoms, and think it may be due to gluten intolerance, you could simply eliminate gluten containing foods from your diet for a month and see if your symptoms subside.  After a month, if symptoms have not changed, you should see your healthcare provider.  If symptoms have gotten better, you might take this as a sign that gluten is not for you.  Again, you should probably see your healthcare provider.  They can do a blood test to see if gluten is really the problem.

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