Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Gluten allergies or food sensitivities.

Do you have an allergy or intolerance to Gluten? When you eat "healthy" do you feel worse? Many americans have this exact problem. They eat a whole grain diet with plenty of lean protein and vegetables, but they still feel bad most of the time.

Headaches, auto-immune symptoms, skin problems, stomach upset (such as IBS-like symptoms), weight issues, bloating and just having the blahs, could be a result of a delayed response food intolerance. Food sensitivities cause a different response than foods that cause an immediate reaction like hives or swelling of the throat and tongue.

Gluten intolerance has been in the news lately due to the book written by Elisabeth Hasselbeck, "The G Free Diet". Gluten intolerances are commonly related to conditions like Celiac disease, Autism, Migrane Headaches, and other cronic illnesses. These symptoms are often mis-diagnosed or un-diagnosed for years, because they are difficult to pin point.

The only way to be sure if you are sensitive to a food substance such as gluten is to be tested for this sensitivity. Many doctors use an IgG ELISA test which tests blood drawn from the patient for reactions to food substances in a lab. This test requires several days to be completed because they watch the samples for delayed reactions. Reactions can be mild, moderate, severe, or non-existent.

The way these food sensitivities are treated is by eliminating the offending foods from the diet for a short time to allow the body to heal itself, and to reduce the inflammation caused by the constant introduction of these offending foods. Once the body has had a chance to recover from the damage, many of these foods can be re-introduced in small amounts and tolerated very well.
The key to managing these symptoms is knowledge. If you educate yourself on foods that cause you discomfort such as; joint pain, exzema, headaches, stomach cramps etc... you can ultimately be in control of your own health.

There are many options available for gluten and wheat intolerances. Many people find rice pasta to be very comperable to wheat pasta. Trying different brands is a good idea, don't be discouraged if you try one brand and find it less than satisfying. There are other types of flour that you may use in place of wheat flour also. Keep trying different combinations of foods, or search for recipes that others have tested already. There are many options available for people with food intolerances.

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