Another reason we are having such a problem with gluten lately is that there is so much more of it in our food supply. Farmers are growing new wheat varieties with larger endosperms and more gluten, when helps bread be more elastic, which is good, I guess.
Then, it is put into everything else as a thickening agent such as salad dressings and soy sauce and even toothpaste and lipstick. Our bodies are just not meant to process this much gluten and some of us just go into gluten overload and start showing allergic symptoms.
Should You Cut It Out?
Not everyone has a problem digesting gluten and not everyone has an immune reaction to the protein, but a lot of people do. If you think that you are showing some of the symptoms of Celiac disease or gluten intolerance, it probably wouldn’t hurt to talk to your doctor or simply cut gluten out of your diet for a month or so and see if there is any improvement.
If there isn’t any improvement within a month or so and you are sure that you eliminated all sources then gluten probably isn’t what is causing your problems and you should look elsewhere. If you don’t have a specific problem with gluten, there isn’t any real benefit to eliminating it from your diet and you might just end up spending a whole lot more on food.
Is It Healthy?
One important point to remember however is that just because something is gluten free doesn’t mean that it is healthy, especially if you don’t have a medical need to eliminate gluten from your diet. Gluten free diets can still have high amounts of refined starches such as potato flour to make up for the lack of wheat flour, not to mention that gluten free has nothing to do with fat or sugar content, so always be sure to read the labels!
Eat Some Gluten
Unless you have full blown Celiac disease or a very high intolerance for gluten, you can probably get away with eating a little bit of gluten without problems. It’s like people who are lactose intolerant but can have a little milk in their coffee with no ill effects.
So if you find that you eliminate gluten from your diet for a month and you really do see an improvement in your symptoms but it’s really hard to stick to the diet, you might want to try to slowly reintroduce small amounts of gluten foods back in until you find the limit that your body can’t handle.
Humans actually can digest gluten thanks to helpful bacteria found in our digestive tracts. Unfortunately, due to an increase in antibiotic usage both in humans and in livestock, these bacterial colonies are being killed off, leading to an increase in gluten sensitivity.
Kids and Gluten
Though it is usually adults that have a problem with gluten, more and more kids are having problems with gluten sensitivities these days, probably due to the prevalance of so many processed foods they are fed since a very young age. So if you have a child that might be exhibiting some of these symptoms, don’t hesitate to bring up a possible gluten allergy with their doctor.