Gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity is a condition that affects about 35% of the population today. For these people, their body lacks essential enzymes that are required to break down gluten particles. With all the misinformation about gluten intolerance floating around, many people have simply jumped onto the gluten-free bandwagon without knowing if gluten is actually bad for them. While gluten intolerance doesn’t affect every single person, it’s hard to tell if you’re part of the affected population without a proper blood test. The problem with these tests however, is that they’re very expensive. Instead of getting a full blood-analysis done, you can perform a simple test of your own at home to see if you really are sensitive to gluten.
The Elimination Test
The elimination diet involves removing certain foods from your diet to see how your body reacts to this change. Throughout this test, you will need to be very aware of your bodily responses. The best way to do this is to keep a little diary and document every change you feel through the day. On the first few days of the test, eat foods containing gluten with abandon. Gluten is commonly found in wheat, bran, couscous, semolina and other grains. Document how you feel after eating these foods. Take a note of your bowel movements, the consistency of your stools, any bloating or cramping you feel, even your mood over these days.
Symptoms To Watch Out For
The specific symptoms of gluten intolerance varies from person to person. You might experience all of these symptoms or even just a few. However, the most common symptom in people with gluten sensitivity is poor digestion. Since their body cannot break down gluten, they feel cramped, bloated, have terrible diarrhea and excessive gas. Other symptoms of gluten intolerance that aren’t related to digestion are migraines, ‘brain fog’, fatigue, water retention and pain in the joints. Since gluten intolerance results in inflammation, the symptoms can show up on the skin too. If you do have this condition, you might notice you get more acne or your psoriasis and eczema get aggravated when you eat a lot of gluten. Typically, after eliminating gluten from your diet, all of these symptoms should clear up on their own.
Next If You Have Gluten Intolerance?
If you don’t experience any of the above symptoms, then you can heave a sigh of relief and continue eating as much gluten as you want. However, if you are gluten intolerant, then you’re going to need to make some serious lifestyle changes to deal with your condition. The first step is to make a comprehensive list of all foods containing gluten. Apart from grain sources, gluten is also found in imitation meats (like vegan bacon), beer, malt, certain marinades, deli meats and even some lotions and lip balms. Reading food labels should become second nature to you if you want to make sure you aren’t consuming gluten.