Have you been having issues with gluten and you’re not sure whether you have celiac disease? The Colorado functional medicine doctors at Restore Health Center are here to help you figure it out Celiac disease is best diagnosed with an intestinal biopsy or blood test, however determining intolerances and sensitivities can be more complicated. Our approach is to obtain a thorough history, then guide you through an approach that will not only help you figure out food reactions, but put you on the path to overall improved gut health. Some of the tools we use include tests for food sensitivities and allergies, plus evidence-based elimination diets. A gluten sensitivity is not as serious as celiac disease, but it can lead to several uncomfortable or painful symptoms, including bloating, abdominal pain, skin issues and more.
What Is Gluten and What are Some of its Effects in the Digestive Tract?
Glutens are proteins found in barley, wheat and rye. The proteins are like glue that helps food maintain their shape. Wheat, barley and rye contain proteins that are not efficiently broken down by digestive enzymes, which is one reason why some people are sensitive or allergic. For a number of reasons, gluten can negatively impact the lining of the gut, leading to “leaky gut,” in individuals with and without celiac disease. After digesting gluten your body will release a called zonulin. Zonulin modulates the permeability of tight junctions between cells of the wall of the digestive tract. Particles within the intestine (like incompletely broken down foods, bacteria and bacterial byproducts) will “leak” into the bloodstream. This results in an immune response that can create systemic inflammation. In genetically susceptible individuals, this may even induce autoimmunity.
What Is Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity?
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) occurs when symptoms in the intestines and extraintestinal areas are triggered by foods containing gluten. You might have a non-celiac gluten sensitivity if a wheat allergy or celiac disease have been ruled out. Doctors think that a gluten sensitivity could relate to components other than gluten. Symptoms of NCGS are similar to celiac disease, with gastrointestinal and non-gastrointestinal symptoms. The most common symptoms of NCGS are similar to irritable bowel syndrome, which is why it can be difficult to diagnose.
Elimination Diet Recommended By Colorado Functional Medicine Doctors
If you have noticed that you have a negative reaction after eating gluten, try an elimination diet and see how you feel without it. Additionally, when you remove gluten from your diet you make room for more nourishing foods like vegetables, protein and healthy fats. You might start noticing a difference in how your body feels, your mood, skin and digestion. After removing gluten from your diet for at least 21 days, you can reintroduce it and observe your symptoms. If you still notice that you can’t tolerate it, you can remove it for good and prevent any future symptoms.
If you would like to get tested for gluten sensitivity or allergy or discuss any gastrointestinal symptoms that you can’t seem to figure out, contact us at Restore Health Center. We’re here to help you live your healthiest life!