Gluten Free Diet
If you or someone you know is on a gluten free / casein free diet then you or they quite likely have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease (Gluten Intolerance).
This is one of those things in your life for which you are genetically predisposed. You are not alone. There are about 66,000,000 people worldwide affected also.
The most common symptoms – from gastrointestinal distress include: gas, bloating, diarrhea, flatulence
Other symptoms which may present themselves (either with or without the above) include: joint pain, headaches and / or fatigue
What happens with celiac disease is that the villi (small tube like extensions within the small intestine through which the body absorbs nutrients from the food consumed) became shortened and / or flifted and so can not do their job.
So another symptom, not uncommon but more dangerous, can occur – that of nutrition deficiency (may or may not be accompanied by one or more of the other symptoms). There are certain foods to avoid and these include:
- Cereals containing: barley, rye, wheat, kamut, spelt (a form of wheat) matzo meal and farina
- Most processed foods
- Soups (anything thickened with wheat, barley, rye, gluten containing flour)
- Beer (due to the brewing process they contain gluten)
- Some alcoholic beverages (check labels and / or the manufacturer).
Foods safe to consume would be:
- Certain starches and grains like potatoes, rice, corn, tapioca, amaranth, arrowroot, millet buckwheat, hominy grits
- Chickpeas, gram flour also called garbanzo flour (made from ground chickpeas) and not to be confused with graham flour
- Sweet potatoes and jams
- Fresh meat, fish and poultry
One thing you should definitely add to your diet is QUINOA (a seed and a complete protein rich in all 9 of the essential amino acids). It is said to be related to green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale and is rich in manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorus and tryptophan. Once you are diagnosed the problem of being nutrient deficient it may not clear up as quickly as you would like even with a gluten free diet.
- The villi may be slow to heal
- A gluten free diet may be missing some necessary nutrients
- Too much fiber may be being consumed
A regular gluten free diet does not provide the necessary amounts of niacin, iron, calcium, thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin, folate, and fiber and many gluten free products are not enriched. It is highly recommended that you take a fish oil supplement. Fish oil is high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and is known to help the inflated digestive track heal. Continued inflammation of this kind can cause tissue damage and organ stress thus creating undue stress on the immune system. Once you have followed a gluten free diet for a while you should:
- Feel more energetic
- Find any symptoms you were experiencing are now under control
- Feel overall more healthy and then hopefully more happy
Just remember once you have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease you must stay on a gluten free diet.