Gluten intolerance, while being distinct from celiac disease, still reserves numerous unpleasant symptoms for those who suffer from it. It is estimated that up to 13% of the population can be affected.
Even if not all the scientific community still agrees on the fact that there is a condition of non-celiac gluten intolerance, a term has been defined to recall it: NCGS (Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, ie non-celiac gluten sensitivity).
I symptoms intolerance to gluten can be different and affect both the digestive system (on which gluten acts more directly) and different sites of the body.
- 1 GLUTEN INTOLERANCE: DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
- 2 GLUTEN INTOLERANCE: OTHER SYMPTOMS
- 2.1 DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CELIAC DISEASE AND GLUTEN INTOLERANCE
- 2.2 GLUTEN: IN THE NAME THE DESTINY
- 2.3 LOW GLUTEN VS. GLUTEN-FREE
- 2.4 OTHER NATURALLY GLUTEN-FREE CARBOHYDRATES
- 2.5 COULD ALSO BE ANOTHER CAUSE OF THESE SYMPTOMS?
- 2.6 ELIMINATION DIET
- 2.7 THE RISK OF NOT TESTING
- 2.8 THE RISK OF PRETENDING NOTHING: THE "FAILURE TO REMOVE THE CAUSE-DRUG-WORSE"
GLUTEN INTOLERANCE: DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
Most of the symptoms associated with gluten intolerance of the digestive system often fall under the generic name of colitis.
Colitis, and in general the characteristic symptoms of a gluten sensitivity1, are expressed in the following statements.
2. Abdominal swelling
3. Abdominal pains
Sometimes diarrhea may also appear (not associated with colitis)
Other symptoms not directly related to the digestive system ...
GLUTEN INTOLERANCE: OTHER SYMPTOMS
When the feeling of tiredness is frequent and for no apparent reason, the reason could be related to a gluten sensitivity reaction.
Some studies2,3 found that most gluten intolerant individuals frequently experience tiredness and fatigue.
This state of fatigue could also be associated with one iron deficiency, which appears to be widespread in individuals with gluten sensitivity4.
Dizziness, in addition to the sense of lack of mental clarity, are also symptoms that are associated with gluten intolerance. The umbrella term to describe this condition is brain fog in English.
Brain fog literally translates into the brain in the fog, which denotes a slowed-down, confused, inefficient thinking condition.
In fact, the problems associated with gluten have been correlated in several studies with some neurological conditions5 or psychiatric6.
Although migraine is a widespread condition in the West, it seems that individuals with a gluten intolerance are likely to experience it more often than others.7,8.
Furthermore, may appear ...
8. Articolar pains9
It seems that certain joint pains could be associated with a condition of hyper-activation (hyper sensitivity) of the nervous system in response to a situation of bowel irritability. As it happens in gluten sensitivity syndromes.
9. Numbness of legs, arms or fingers10
Certain symptoms of a neurological nature (peripheral nerves) has been associated in various studies both with celiac disease and with non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
The cause could be due to certain antibodies produced during the immune response to wheat or gluten allergens.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CELIAC DISEASE AND GLUTEN INTOLERANCE
By a considerable part of the scientific community the idea that a condition exists is now accepted gluten sensitization different from celiac disease.
Celiac disease is the condition of gluten allergy, characterized by damage already established at the level of the intestinal mucosa. In the celiac, the immune system has severely attacked the intestinal absorbent mucosa deteriorating its functionality.
A chronic inflammatory condition is also present.
Gluten intolerance or gluten sensitization is instead defined by a whole series of symptoms except those most severe characteristic of celiac disease.
The symptoms of gluten intolerance are similar to those of celiac disease except for the intestinal mucosa is still healthy and the inflammation is minor or absent. Instead, the symptoms described in this article often occur.
GLUTEN: IN THE NAME THE DESTINY
The first significant thing concerning gluten is its name.
Gluten comes from English glue = glue.
In fact, gluten has the chemical and physical characteristics of a glue.
From this you already understand that some intestinal problems (and not only) could generate it. And it's often true, in fact ...
Gluten is guilty of numerous widespread symptoms and characteristic.
Gluten is the generic name given to cereal proteins. But the protein portion of a cereal (for example, wheat) consists of numerous different proteins.
The most quantitatively relevant proteins are the gliadin and glutenins, which are included under the definition of gluten.
Gliadins, glutenins and other proteins contained in the most common cereals have a dark side...
They have a feature allergenic quite strong. Being born with the characteristics of a glue, they are not the most digestible food of all.
What the body is unable to process is considered a harmful foreign element which triggers some unwanted reactions (immune, inflammatory, etc.).
It is no accident that one of the most common allergies both the wheat one, besides the lactose one.
As often happens also in other contexts, this allergenic characteristic is dose-dependent, especially in subjects not affected by celiac disease.
What does dose-dependent mean?
It means that the greater the amount and frequency at which you subject your body to this allergenic stimulus, the greater the likelihood that this will create problems for you.
For this reason, if you do not have a celiac condition highlighted by the doctor what I recommend is a diet a low gluten content, not necessarily gluten-free.
This is enough to give some peace to your immune system and to calm the inflammation that gluten often induces (sometimes even in the absence of obvious symptoms).
LOW GLUTEN VS. GLUTEN-FREE
One of the biggest problems connected to a diet gluten-free (without traces of gluten) is that here often comes into play the commercial aspect that produces gluten-free solutions at the expense of other fundamental nutritional aspects.
If to follow a gluten-free diet you throw yourself on the shelves of gluten-free and buy only hyper-industrialized solutions, you have generated a "monster of reason" ...
To obtain gluten-free solutions, companies must denature the raw materials to remove gluten from those that are born with gluten: wheat, barley, rye.
To do this we get a worse solution than the one due to the processing residues and refining (elimination of beneficial parts for health). More steps must be carried out, more crap are added gradually to the final product.
Personal history of a gluten-free plum cake
Did a new product appear in my house some time ago, the result of an occasional superficial supply?
It was about chocolate plumcake gluten-free. They were really good, one of those addictive things. After eating them for 3 or 4 times, a light bulb lit up and I realized I had never read the ingredients on the label.
I was practically hypnotized by the gluten-free branded chocolate that is undeniably unconsciously associated with something healthy.
But is it really so? Two of all ingredients stood out among the others: trans-hydrogenated fats e high-fructose corn syrup. I felt like an idiot!
If you ask me which food ingredients are absolutely to be avoided, I would say that these are the two. And I am happy to swallow the stupid gluten-free plum cake! but porcaccia ... evvabbè, all experience.
Why use industrialized solutions when complete gluten-free solutions already exist in nature?
For a natural gluten-free or low-gluten diet, choose carbohydrates (Whole grains) within this list:
Al buckwheat it is a first place because it has a unique characteristic that makes it super appetizing from a nutritional point of view.
Cereal proteins, even those without gluten are often low in Lysine (an essential amino acid), for this reason nutrition is considered of modest value compared to proteins of animal origin.
Whenever one of the essential amino acids is scarce then the nutritional value of that food is lowered. This happens because even if only one of the essential amino acids is missing protein synthesis it blocks.
But this applies to almost all cereals except buckwheat, which has a good supply of lysine. This probably makes it the highest nutritional value cereal.
Note: a trick that vegetarians should know to get a high nutritional value meal even without animal protein is to combine cereals and legumes.
Cereals and legumes have a pool of amino acids that complement each other. What is missing from cereals is compensated by legumes and vice versa.
OTHER NATURALLY GLUTEN-FREE CARBOHYDRATES
Oats contain generally negligible amounts of gluten, so you must ask your doctor for permission if you suffer from celiac disease.
- Potatoes (white potato, batate, sweet potato)
An excellent version of legumes, especially because they facilitate the transition from traditional pasta to a type of truly healthy carbohydrates, is the legume flour pasta.
This is really good and anyone who has tasted it people I know has enjoyed it like a traditional pasta dish or more.
This type of pasta is based on flour red lentils, naturally gluten-free.
COULD ALSO BE ANOTHER CAUSE OF THESE SYMPTOMS?
This note is important.
It is true that the symptoms indicated in this article are often linked to a sensitivity to gluten, but it is not uncommon that they can also be caused by a different source food.
Scientists are also pointing the finger at another possible culprit who is called FODMAPs (Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols).
The acronym of FODMAPs indicates a group of carbohydrates, present both in cereals and in other foods, which for some are difficult to digest.
Being difficult to digest for sensitive individuals, they generate fermentation or cause bacteria to grow in thelarge intestine (colon) thus producing the symptoms already seen above: gas, bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
In addition to this hypothesis, these same symptoms can also be of another nature, and not correlated with gluten or with FODMAPs. Ultimately only one medical examination accurate can clarify this point.
An elimination diet seeks to identify the allergen suspected of causing unwanted symptoms by trial and error elimination.
You usually start by removing all suspicious foods that are most likely to trigger symptoms (common allergens) for 2-8 weeks, such as: wheat, milk, eggs, shellfish, and so on.
Then, one at a time every two days apart from each other they come reintroduced, until the symptoms reappear.
Symptoms will reappear close to the insertion of the last allergen. Here is the culprit!
To learn more about the elimination diet go to this article.
THE RISK OF NOT TESTING
A suggestion of the gastroenterologists is to verify through a specific analytical test a possible condition of celiac disease if there are some important symptoms (among which for example a weight loss without apparent reason).
The problem is this ...
If you are celiac (true celiac disease) and you undertake a gluten-free diet independently, after some time the signs of celiac disease are no longer detectable. Ok, it sounds good, but beware ...
This means that the tests are no longer able to detect celiac disease, although potentially ever present.
If you have any doubts in this sense it is better to carry out the medical tests first, then with the response in hand, take the gluten-free diet and taking into account the indications I gave you here.
In summary: prefer naturally gluten-free cereals instead of industrially gluten-free ones.
THE RISK OF PRETENDING NOTHING: THE "FAILURE TO REMOVE THE CAUSE-DRUG-WORSE"
When no action is taken in relation to the symptoms described above, if these derive from an intolerance reaction to gluten or wheat, the following dynamic can be set in motion ...
The cause is not eliminated.
So… The symptoms persist or get worse.
So ... You start taking drugs (anti-inflammatory, analgesics, etc.), which cover the symptoms but do not remove the cause.
The organism must now endure two labors: theallergen and the drug.
Here is one of the classic dynamics through which we continue in a vicious cycle of chronic deterioration.
Instead a wiser approach is ...
1. Search for the cause
2. Eliminate the cause
3. Rebalances the organism with natural remedies
What do you think about this approach in three steps? you already had personal experiences in this sense? write a comment in the appropriate area at the bottom of the article and let me know your point of view!
See you soon,
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MEDICAL AND LEGAL DISCLAIMER:
The information provided by the manuelcasadei.com website is not intended to diagnose, treat and prevent any discomfort or disease. The user of this website is always responsible for his health and Manuel Casadei encourages you to follow these advice with the approval and supervision of a trusted doctor and disclaims any responsibility for actions taken following what is written in these pages.
Images: Google Images.
Sources and resources:
Mayo Clinic "Going Gluten Free" essential guide to managing celiac disease and related conditions by Joseph A. Murray, MD
Harvard Medical School "Food Allergy, Intolerance, and Sensitivity - Are you the foods you eat making you ill?"
Nutrition and human nutrition by Aldo Mariani Costantini, Carlo Cannella and Gianni Tomassi - The Scientific Thought Publisher.
1. 'Gluten causes gastrointestinal symptoms in subjects without celiac disease: a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial"by Biesiekierski JR. et al.
3. 'Presentations of adult celiac disease in a nationwide patient support group"by Zipser RD. and coll.
4. 'Refractory iron-deficiency anemia and gluten intolerance - Response to gluten-free diet"by Sáez LR. and coll.
5. 'Gluten sensitivity as a neurological illness"by Hadjivassiliou M. and coll.
6. 'Gluten Psychosis: Confirmation of a New Clinical Entity"and Lionetti E. et al.
7. 'Prevalence of migraine in patients with celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease"of Dimitrova AK. and coll.
8. 'Headache and CNS white matter abnormalities associated with gluten sensitivity"by Hadjivassiliou M. and coll.
9. 'Spinal and supraspinal modulation of visceral sensation"by Mayer EA.
10. 'Ataxia, peripheral neuropathy, and anti-gliadin antibody. Guilt by association?"by Lock RJ. and coll.