I’m going to make a bold statement. I believe everyone I know and everyone you know is gluten intolerant. Whether it be a complaint of a bloated belly after dinner or the niggle of a joint.
Take my girlfriends for example; we’ll go out for a meal at one of our main places, Las Iguanas. It’s a Mexican Restaurant with a great atmosphere so perfect for a gathering of friends who want to chat, hang out and eat some delicious food. But as you can imagine, the majority of the menu contains gluten. Thankfully, being gluten free for a year, I know to always check the menu beforehand and avoid the awkward 20-minute rush of trying to find something. It’s like trying to find a pot of gold at the edge of a rainbow, in some restaurants, it’s non-existent. After the meal, I’m feeling full but satisfied. However, each of my friends will reference how bloated they feel after eating, a symptom I knew only too well before I changed my diet.
According to The Gluten Intolerance School, nearly one person in every 100 has some form of intolerance. As I state above, I believe everyone has an intolerance in some way or another, and this statement just proves how scary a thought that really is.
“Yet an estimated 99 per cent of people who have a problem with eating gluten don’t even know it. They ascribe their ill health or symptoms to something else-not gluten sensitivity, which is 100 per cent curable”.
Amy Myers, the author of the Autoimmune Solution, shares an estimate that 99% of people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease are never diagnosed. This is reflective of the limited understanding we have on this topic, and when researching this in any depth, so many people put their hands up and say “we don’t know enough”. Scary right.
How do I know if I’m gluten intolerant?
Gluten intolerance is identified in three different categories:
- Celiac disease
- Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS)
- Wheat allergy symptoms
Gluten is a protein found in barley, wheat and rye. It’s the binding agent for baking and has that elastical look and feel you’ll notice when handling it.
If you suffer from any of the above categories and ingest food containing gluten, your body will immediately start attacking itself as it goes into panic mode. Gluten sensitivities are also one of the leading causes of “leaky gut” a condition where the small intestine is damaged and causes undigested food, toxic waste products and bacteria to leak through the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream.
Blood tests and can quickly identify celiac and wheat allergies however NCGS is a lot more challenging to diagnose as there is limited understanding and research out there.
All I can say, speaking out of experience, is it can be anything from the feeling of a few bubbles in your tummy to the worst cramp in the world (and in a more recent experience) not being able to walk. Yes, my sensitivity to gluten has reached levels I didn’t know was possible. At home, we make the joke, if I ate that dominoes, I’d go into anaphylactic shock and either end up in the hospital or dead. In reality, though, that is the severity of it for some.
What symptoms can you expect with an intolerance?
Well, there are quite a few, and as you’d expect, they are not specific to just gluten intolerance. However, the accumulation of many of these symptoms over a few weeks, months or even years untreated could cause many health issues. Signs to look out for:
- Sore or stiff joints
- Mood issues such as depression or anxiety
If you believe you have a gluten sensitivity, why not look at removing gluten for a few days to see the difference. I assure you, gluten-intolerance or not; you’ll notice a difference in how you feel… for the better.