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Gluten Intolerance: What Is It?

Gluten Intolerance

In the past it has been believed that gluten intolerance was caused by coeliac disease and wheat allergy. However, in recent times, studies have shown that some people display symptoms of gluten intolerance but don't actually suffer from coeliac disease. This new syndrome has been named non-coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). NCGS is believed to be the most common gluten related disorder. Other names that NCGS could possibly go by are gluten sensitivity, gluten hypersensitivity or non-coeliac gluten intolerance.

The cause is poorly understood however specific gene variants have been known to be associated with NCGS.

Symptoms of NCGS usually start after consumption of gluten, and go away once gluten is removed from the diet and relapse following gluten challenge.

Signs and Symptoms of NCGS

Gastrointestinal Symptoms

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Excess flatulence

Systemic Symptoms

  • Behavioural symptoms
  • Bone or joint pain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Leg numbness
  • Weight loss
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Headaches
  • "Foggy mind"
  • Eczema and/or rash

If you expect gluten intolerance you can test this yourself by removing gluten from your diet. Try it out for a while and see if you feel better.

Some Gluten Containing Foods to Watch Out For:

  • Wheat and wheat products (spelt, kamut, titricale)
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Oats (although some research suggests oat consumption is ok for many people, it is actually the issue of being contaminated with wheat, barley, rye)
  • Pasta
  • Bread
  • Biscuits
  • Cakes
  • Baked goods
  • Pastries

Other Considerations

Wheat and other gluten-containing grains contain a protein called gliadin, which has been shown to increase zonulin production. Research on zonulin has shown an increase in intestinal permeability (also known as leaky gut) in humans and other animals.

Many autoimmune diseases- including coeliac disease, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease- have been identified in medical literature as being characterised by increasingly high levels of zonulin and a leaky gut.

So the point here would be that there may be many reasons why you might want to try a gluten free diet, even if you don't suffer from coeliac disease.

If you are unsure about anything you have read in this article, please do not hesitate to contact us on (03) 9670 1346 or or comment on this post.

Our team of qualified staff are here to help you.

Written by Tanya Lim

Medical Herbalist & Nutritionist at Evelyn Faye Nutrition

360 Bourke Street, Melbourne, 3000

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