What is the deal with Gluten free??

I can say with pretty high certainty that you or someone you know is gluten free, but what does that mean and why are they going through life skipping out on all that gluten packed delicious food??  Good questions! 

What is gluten?  
Gluten is a two proteins bound together in wheat, barley, oats and rye grains that gives the elastic texture to dough that helps it rise and gives bread its chewy texture.    

Humans have been eating grains forever, why all of a sudden is this an issue?  
Well, foods have undergone considerable transformation in recent years.  New strains of grain, more GMO crops, and chemical use of pesticides have all changed the food that our ancestors ate into the foods that we see on the shelves now.   These changes in the wheat components cause people with a sensitivity to these gluten proteins to have an enhanced reaction from consuming them and cause inflammation in various places in the body and even autoimmune diseases like Lupus, eczema, and Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Check out the chart above for a number of the Autoimmune diseases that have a link with gluten sensitivity.

Could I be gluten sensitive?
The following are some symptoms of gluten sensitivity:

1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea and even constipation.

2. Keratosis Pilaris, (also known as 'chicken skin' on the back of your arms). This tends be as a result of a fatty acid deficiency and vitamin A deficiency secondary to fat-malabsorption caused by gluten damaging the gut.

3. Fatigue, brain fog or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten.

4. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis.

5. Neurologic symptoms such as dizziness or feeling of being off balance.

6. Hormone imbalances such as PMS, PCOS or unexplained infertility.

7. Migraine Headaches

8. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. These diagnoses simply indicate your conventional doctor cannot pin point the cause of your fatigue or pain.

9. Inflammation, swelling or pain in your joints such as fingers, knees or hips.

10. Mood issues such as anxiety, depression, mood swings and ADD.

What if I have one or more of these symptoms? How do I get tested for gluten sensitivity?
Well my friends, it's simple - just try an elimination diet where you cut all gluten containing foods out of your diet for 30+ days and see if your symptoms change.  I recommend keeping a journal during this time of food you consumed each day and also make note of any symptoms you might have experienced on each day.  Many of you will be amazed!  

I eliminated gluten and still have some of those symptoms, whats next??
A good percentage of the population has a condition we like to call leaky gut.  This can be caused by a number of different things and we need to evaluate a little bit more to know the root causes and fixes.  Dr. Neumann can help! If you'd like to set up a consult to talk about your symptoms and health goals feel free to visit our website at www.reliefcarechiro.org or call 312.850.2225 and we can get you set up!

We want you to live your most healthy life, if you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to get in contact with us! 

In Great Health,

Dr. Ashley Neumann
Relief Care Chiropractic