Does eating bread or pasta make you feel tired, bloated, or brain fogged? You might have a non-celiac gluten sensitivity. I as experiencing all of these symptoms as a result to gluten.
What is gluten?
I talk about gluten and my experience on my podcast, but will share with you all some valuable information as well. Gluten is a protein that helps “glue” the grain together and is the elastic for bread to help it mold together without crumbling. It has gliadin in it which is the main component that helps bread rise when baking.
Some grains that have gluten are wheat, barley, rye, farro, semolina, and spelt. Oats may have them too if they are cross contaminated. Soy sauce even has wheat it inside from the starch. You can be exposed to gluten even by cross contamination like using the same spoon to stir your gluten-free pasta and wheat flour pasta.
Gluten is not unhealthy, but the media makes it seem as if it is. It can act as a prebiotic to feed good bacteria in our bodies. The reason why it is probably deemed to be unhealthy is because it is inflammatory, and if you have a sensitivity to it, then you are more likely to become inflamed and develop other issues.
Types of Sensitivities
When it comes down to a sensitivity, there are two types. You may either have celiac disease which occurs when gluten triggers the body to attack itself and damage the small intestine (the area where the most of your nutrients are absorbed). When this becomes inflamed, then your body will not be able to absorb other nutrients correctly. If left untreated it can actually lead to different types of cancers, artery diseases, diabetes, MS, and other serious conditions. Some other conditions associated with it are anemia, fatigue and thyroid issues.
And the second type is non-celiac gluten sensitivity. I discovered I have one with a Wheat Zoomer Test that was done by my functional nutritionist. It basically tested if I had any gut permeabilities, sensitivities, or antibodies to gluten. Some signs and symptoms are fatigue, joint pain, IBS, anxiety or depression, brain fog, weight fluctuations, acne and skin rashes, malabsorption.
In both cases, the villi, which is the area of food absorption, becomes inflamed.
Some ways you can recover from this are by eliminating gluten, drinking bone broth, digestive enzymes, and glutathione support. Even activated charcoal helps binds to the toxins and takes them out of the body. Magnesium can sooth the digestive track.
You also have to be careful if you’re actually not gluten-sensitive, then there are some risks. You lack fiber and some key nutrients like vitamin B, zinc, iron, calcium, and folic acid. Also a lot of the gluten-free alternatives are unhealthier because there are more fillers and emulsifiers in them that can be irritating to the gut. There might be excess sugar, which can cause weight gain, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, different gums, highly processed vegetable oils or hydrogenated oils and trans-fats.
Some “fillers” and binders for gluten-free alternatives are psyllium husk which is a soluble fiber what absorbs water easily. I also like using ground flax seeds and chia seeds. These three form a mucilaginous gel when mixed and settled with water. Xanthan gum which is also a binder that undergoes a fermentation process (this helps thicken the breads) and guar gum which is from beans (this also helps provide elasticity and binding properties). Eggs are also good, but I do not use them because I have a sensitivity to them as well.
Make sure you get tested to see if you have markers for a NCGS. You can also do the elimination diet and eliminate all gluten-containing foods from your diet for a month then report back and journal how you feel.
I post more yummy recipes and meals on my Instagram, so be sure to follow along!
Disclaimer: I am not a dietician or doctor. This research was all based off of primary from my experience and secondary information from research.