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The Effects of Gluten

Category: Blog

Gluten is a protein that is naturally present in barley, rye, spelt, and wheat. A person is said to be sensitive to gluten or to have gluten intolerance when he or she reacts or gets an allergic reaction after ingesting this protein. Symptoms of gluten intolerance vary widely but usually include gastrointestinal complications, depression, brain fog, migraines, and joint pain.

Interestingly, it is estimated that 99% of people with gluten intolerance don’t know they have an intolerance at all. However, it has emerged that more than a third of Americans are already aware of the harmful effects of the protein and are already actively eliminating it from their diets.

So,why exactly does gluten cause such harmful reactions to some people, especially when it comes to disrupting their digestive systems?

To begin with, this protein called gluten is made up of two proteins which are the following:

  • Glutenin
  • Gliadin

Out of these two components, it is gliadin that people tend to react to.

What happens is that once gluten, or gliadin, in this case, is ingested, the immune system sees it as a harmful invader, just like it treats bacteria. As a result, the immune system attacks the gluten in a bid to protect the body.

Unfortunately, in some cases, the immune system not only attacks the gluten, but it also attacks the internal wall of the digestive tract. When that happens, the individual is then said to be suffering from a very severe type of gluten intolerance or sensitivity known as celiac disease.

It is important to note that when the immune systems attack the gluten only (and not the walls of the digestive tract), the individual is said to be non- celiac or basically being intolerance to gluten.

The consumption or ingestion of gluten often causes immediate symptoms which can be mild or severe depending on the amount of gluten ingested among many other factors. These symptoms may include diarrhea, gas, heartburn, constipation, and vomiting.

Gluten intolerance is a condition that is yet to find a cure. However, through healthy living, which in this case refers to 100% gluten avoidance, the symptoms resolve, and with time, the individual is able to enjoy a healthy gut and thus live normal life.

Gluten –Free Foods

The following foods are 100% gluten-free and are therefore great alternatives for individuals with gluten intolerance:

  • Rice
  • Corn Flakes
  • Quinoa
  • Corn Noodles
  • Buckwheat
  • Soy
  • Sesame
  • Potatoes
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Milk
  • Cocoa

The above-listed foods are just a few examples of what is already on the market today. A certified nutritionist should be able to come up with a more extensive list. However, a diet that is 100% free of gluten should ONLY be recommended after a proper clinical assessment.

There are foods that you may not even expect have gluten in them, which is why we advise speaking to a nutritionist. Here is a sample of 14 foods you wouldn’t expect have gluten:…

For more information about healthy nutrition for your gut and how to achieve balance in your diet, without gluten, please contact us for a nutrition consultation.

Go to and schedule an appointment or call us at 347-835-4711 to book your consultation today.