Going gluten free is one of the most popular diet trends today. Hollywood celebrities are touting the weight loss benefits. Health, fitness and nutrition experts commonly recommend a gluten free lifestyle. Others are going gluten free for medical reasons like Celiac Disease or to reduce inflammation, chronic pain and fatigue. More and more manufacturers are creating “gluten free” foods. With all of this media coverage you may be wondering if the gluten free diet is right for you.
Let’s explore if going gluten free might be the right choice for you:
1. Digestive Problems
If you find that you have chronic diarrhea or loose stools it may be a sign that you have a sensitivity or allergy to a protein found in wheat and other grains containing gluten. If you struggle with cramping, gas or other digestive issues gluten may be the cause.
2. Sinus Problems
If you struggle with chronic congestion and sinus problems it may be a sign that you have a gluten allergy. Just like pollen allergies, food allergies can cause congestion, runny noses, and other sinus related complaints.
3. Chronic Fatigue
Do you struggle with low energy day in and day out? Gluten may be the cause. Gluten is also commonly found in bread, pasta, and other starchy carbohydrates which can also contribute to drops in blood sugar and low energy. Before eliminating gluten you may want to try cutting back on or eliminating starchy carbs from your diet to see if your energy levels improve. That being said, if you are sensitive or allergic to gluten, it can affect your sleep and your energy levels.
Do you look or feel bloated? This can be bloating but it can also be facial puffiness and overall water retention. If you’re allergic or sensitive to gluten your body may be constantly inflamed as it tries to deal with the gluten. Cutting back on gluten or eliminating it from your diet can help you lose weight quickly.
.5 Frequent Infections, Illness, and Depression
When your body has an adverse reaction to gluten you may experience surprising results. For example, if you’re unable to absorb food when gluten is present in your stomach you may be low on calcium and vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for proper immune function and it helps regulate mood. If you struggle with chronic illness, infections or even depression you may be sensitive or even allergic to gluten.
What to Do Next?
If you think that gluten may be causing some of your problems consider trying my 21 day gluten elimination program, Say Goodbye to Gluten + Hello to a Healthier You™. That means eliminating all foods that contain gluten from your diet. Gluten is sneaky. It’s in cereal, meats and sausages, it’s even in condiments. You have to know what to look for.
Keep a food journal and document your body’s reaction. You may feel sluggish or uncomfortable the first two weeks you’re on a gluten free diet. This is because your body is going through a bit of withdrawal. Make sure you consume plenty of whole grains, vegetables and fruits. That boost of natural, non-starchy, carbohydrates will help you through this trying time.
Drinking lots of water will help too. Not everyone experiences this withdrawal. Some people begin feeling better immediately. Give it a full month and evaluate the changes in your body. Listening to your body’s response to food is the best way to recognize the signs that gluten free is right for you.