Recently, it seems that everyone is going gluten free, or everyone has a gluten allergy. Most people dismiss this, and think of it as another health trend that will fade within a year. However, the medical community has recognized it as a real issue, and people do have symptoms related to gluten intake. Gluten-free diets do help people who have gluten sensitivities feel better. Overall, there is no proof that a gluten-free diet helps with any other conditions or with weight loss. So if you are trying to lose any weight or trying to have a healthier life, a gluten-free diet is not necessarily the right route to take. However, before you go entirely gluten-free, there are a few steps you should take first.
If you have experienced any symptoms of a gluten allergy, such as diarrhea, upset stomach, abdominal pain, or bloating, you should get tested for celiac disease. You should do this before self-diagnosing yourself with any type of gluten intolerance, or allergy. It is important to do this because if you self-diagnose yourself with just a gluten allergy, and you actually have celiac disease, you could be doing your body a lot of harm. If you actually have celiac disease, and you eat gluten because you under diagnosed yourself with just an allergy, the celiac disease can damage your body. If you have celiac disease and you eat gluten, the lining of your small intestine becomes inflamed and gets damaged, making it harder for your body to absorb nutrients. This can lead to malnutrition and weight loss. Another reason you want to get tested for celiac disease before going gluten-free is because if you quit gluten before you get the blood test for celiac disease, you could get misdiagnosed. By the time you get tested, your immune system might not be making the antibodies that the test checks for. You need to check with a professional before starting any type of diet.
If you get tested for celiac disease and the test comes back negative, you can still take gluten out of your diet. You can still react badly to gluten even if you do not have celiac disease. There are people out there that have gluten sensitivities, and have real symptoms that come about when they react to gluten. There is no test to see if a person has a gluten intolerance altogether just a test that shows if you have a sensitivity. You should alert your doctor about any symptoms you are having after you eat foods that contain gluten. Some symptoms are as severe as celiac disease when a person has gluten sensitivity, so doctors do take their patients seriously when they talk about gluten sensitivity. Gluten-sensitive people also experience fatigue and headaches along with gastrointestinal symptoms.
You can go to the doctor and get an allergy test and see if certain gluten products make you sensitive. Doctors can do a test where they prick you with a gluten protein and see if your skin reacts to it. However, this does not mean that you are gluten intolerant. You can take gluten out of your diet if this test shows you have an allergy to gluten, but it does not necessarily mean that you are intolerant to all foods with gluten in them.
So, the question is, should you go gluten-free? If you have celiac disease, or a gluten sensitivity the answer is yes. Talk to your doctor about your options about going gluten-free in a healthy way. If you are trying to stop conditions like gastrointestinal problems, and you do not have a gluten allergy, or you are trying to lose weight, you do not need to go gluten-free, but rather start a new diet program, or begin exercising regularly.