“You are what you eat.” It’s a saying that has been around for ages, changing the way we think about nutrition, eating, and food itself. Although this saying has no doubt inspired countless changes to diets everywhere, these few simple words have also set the foundation for a recent food revolution.
Look at any magazine, switch on the TV to any channel, open any health book, and you’re likely to see references to eating better and making dietary decisions based on what your body truly needs. We’ve learned a lot about food and how to eat right. However, for some, this food revolution goes another way, thanks to issues like gluten intolerance.
What is Gluten Intolerance?
We’ve all heard a thing or two about lactose intolerance, but gluten intolerance is discussed much less often. This may be due to a lack of high-quality research and an extremely small pool of absolute knowledge. Gluten intolerance is difficult to define, simply because it can be related to countless other disorders and diseases, and therefore it is difficult to discuss with any degree of certainty. The truth is, gluten intolerance can be a standalone issue; it can be due to celiac disease, a digestive disorder; or, it could simply be a relationship within the body such that avoiding gluten eases other ailments. The differences are important, as they lead to different treatments and diets, but the problem is that it’s extremely difficult to identify the subtleties setting one case apart from another.
What We Know
Although gluten intolerance is as difficult to define as it is to analyze, experts in the medical field have made some discoveries on this subject. Here’s a quick look!
- Celiac disease versus gluten intolerance. Most health professionals agree that gluten intolerance can be a separate issue from celiac disease, although the two often go hand-in-hand. However, although each patient’s experience is a little different, celiac disease and gluten intolerance often have treatment options in common.
- Subgroups. One of the keys to understanding gluten sensitivity is in understanding gluten itself. Gluten can be a difficult protein for anyone to digest; as a result, those with more sensitive digestive systems or digestive disorders are more likely to have gluten intolerance. Going gluten-free often helps to alleviate many symptoms that seem unconnected; as a result, the current hypothesis is that there are subgroups of gluten sensitivity, resulting in different levels of intolerance which all respond well to a gluten-free diet.
- Gluten-free specifics. Let’s face it: we all like bread, pasta, and other gluten products occasionally. The good news is, many patients don’t have to go completely gluten-free. Different symptoms and levels of intolerance will result in different treatments. An expert in opens in a new windowgastroenterology can help you decide whether a gluten-free or gluten-reduced diet is best for you.
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