Gluten. Everyone seems to be talking about it but is it really that bad for our health? The answer to that question is not easy because it’s very subjective and it all depends on whether or not your body is able to tolerate foods that contain it. While the reputation that gluten has been stuck with in the past few years may be undeservedly bad, one thing is for certain; that gluten intolerance can in fact be miserable to deal with.
Before we launch into all of the warning signs that indicate that you may be sensitive to gluten, you need to know some basic information, like what it is. Gluten happens to be a type of protein that’s commonly found in grains like wheat, oats, barley, and rye. In terms of baking, it’s part of what allows dough to rise and so it gives foods like breads and many desserts a chewy, fuller, and more airy type of texture.
The problem with gluten arises when a person has celiac disease and their body is, or over time becomes, intolerant to it. For the majority of people who are intolerant this means their immune systems react very badly to it and become inflamed when foods with gluten are eaten. This chronic type of inflammation can lead to the lining in the small intestine being damaged and in many cases the body becomes unable to adequately absorb nutrients. In turn a number of other medical complications arise, such as anemia and osteoarthritis. That is why it’s so important that gluten intolerant people do their absolute best to avoid any and all gluten.
If you think that you may be intolerant to gluten, your body will tell you. If you are experiencing the most common physical symptoms and signs that are associated with it and listed below, then you need to consult a doctor about the issue and to rule out other possible causes. With that in mind, if you have experienced any of the following it may be symptomatic of gluten intolerance and you should talk to your physician:
1. Chronic Fatigue
If you always feel tired and drained of energy, no matter how much sleep and rest you get, it could be diet related. When gluten is constantly inflaming your body, your immune system acts as if it is under attack and wastes a ton of energy trying to defend you. This is what makes gluten intolerant people feel so depleted and exhausted and over time it gets worse and worse. Eventually chronic fatigue sets in and the stress of it all just compounds it even more.
If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which among other things is marked by weakness, sleep problems, muscle aches, and bodily pain, an intolerance to gluten could very well quite possibly be an underlying part of the associated chronic fatigue and other symptoms you’re feeling.
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