Day one underway!
First off, what is gluten?
Gluten is a protein that is found in the grain of wheat, barley and rye. Gluten can be found in many products made with these grains, such as breads, pastas, crackers, cereals etc. It can also be hiding in other items, like gravy and sauces.
1-Celiac Disease: There are many people who have an autoimmune disorder Celiac Disease. Those with this disease cannot eat gluten, as gluten causes serious damage to the small intestine lining. This damage can make it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients like calcium, iron and folate. It can also disrupt the absorption of fat. So, it is medically necessary for those with Celiac Disease to avoid all forms of gluten.
2-Gluten Sensitivities: A less severe problem than Celiac disease, there are people who have adverse reactions when gluten is consumed. When gluten is consumed, people can have symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pin, diarrhea, constipation, muscle problems, headaches, acne, fatigue or overall body pain. Does not seem fun, I’d avoid gluten if I had these symptoms as well.
3-Fad Dieting: There are many people who believe that avoiding gluten is the magical weight loss remedy. However, there have been no studies that show that avoiding gluten is totally associated with weight loss. Those who do experience weight loss while going gluten free are most likely losing weight because they are consuming less calories, are being more mindful of what they are eating, or are avoiding so many foods that they just aren’t eating.
So, why am I avoiding gluten this month?
I have patients who do have celiac disease, who do have gluten sensitivities and who I give recommendations to avoid gluten. I feel that having my own experience of going gluten free will allow for me to give the best advice for these people.