Should You Go Gluten-Free?
Gluten intolerance is on the rise, leading many people to consider a gluten-free diet. Gluten intolerance is the inability to process gluten, the complex protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Gluten intolerance can be caused by Celiac Disease, NCGS or gluten allergies.
Celiac Disease causes the celia (hair-like structures in the intestinal tract that aid in digestion) to stop functioning when gluten is present in the body. It is possible to test negative for Celiac Disease and still suffer from gluten sensitivity. This is referred to as Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, or NCGS. In cases of Celiac and NCGS, the small intestine suffers damage from gluten particles. Often this results in Leaky Gut Syndrome, which releases toxins into the body. Gluten allergies vary their effects on the body depending on the severity of the allergy.
Symptoms of gluten intolerance are wide spread and vary from person to person. Common symptoms include:
-Intestinal discomfort (bloating, cramping, diarrhea, constipation)
-loss of focus
Gluten intolerance is treated by abstaining from gluten. Some people with NCGS and gluten allergies can consume small amounts of gluten with no ill effects. Celiac Disease, however, requires complete abstinence from gluten.