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What's the deal with Gluten?

If you have been feeling sick to your stomach after eating meals, but haven’t been able to pinpoint why, read on…You may have a sensitivity to a certain food group. The most common culprits that can cause cramps, bloating, gas and diarrhea are gluten and dairy. Today our focus is on gluten. What is it anyway? Gluten is a protein that is found in foods containing wheat, barley or rye. You can develop a sensitivity to gluten at any stage of life, so even if you ate pizza with abandon when you were a kid, you can suddenly show symptoms of sensitivity. If you ignore the stomach distress that you feel as a result of eating foods with gluten, you can develop inflammation in the gut and damage the small intestine.

You may want to try eliminating gluten from your diet for 2-3 weeks to see if your condition improves. This means you live without flour products bread, pizza, pasta, crackers, pretzels and cookies, etc. But it also means living without beer, tortillas, soy sauce, many bottled sauces and frozen foods. Companies that manufacture food products sneak gluten into foods you would never suspect. If the food label says it contains wheat, it is off limits for now. Can you eat gluten free foods? The answer is yes, but small quantities, because some of them contain a lot of sugar. What it boils down to is this-eat a diet of fruits, veggies, meat, fish and poultry to clean the slate so to speak. Then if you add gluten back into your meals and begin to feel sick again, you will know that your gut doesn’t digest gluten well and you will feel much better without it.

Patty Kelley