Do you ever have digestive issues after eating a meal? If you’re feeling bloated or gassy, you could be gluten sensitive. Of course, if you have digestive issues, you should not jump to the conclusion that you are sensitive to gluten. There are many other factors that can be causing the issues. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor and learn about the appropriate next steps. Peter Osborne, author of NO GRAIN, NO PAIN, explains what gluten sensitivity is and and why grains are hard to digest.
Yes, Gluten Sensitivity Is Real
Some doctors continue to claim that non-celiac gluten sensitivity doesn’t exist. However, current research leads most doctors and scientists to think that it is an innate (remember the two systems?) immune system reaction to multiple properties within the grain (not just gluten). The outcome of chronic exposure to these elements contributes to acute and delayed inflammation as well as leaky gut and digestive distress. This is one reason why people who are gluten sensitive have such a variety of reactions and symptoms when exposed to it.
As I have mentioned before, most laboratories measure only one kind of immunoglobulin (or antibody) response to just a few different types of gluten when testing for celiac disease (or gluten sensitivity). With thousands of specific types of gluten, no wonder so many tests come back negative despite the fact that countless people have found that cutting out gluten results in dramatic health improvements. This form of testing is clearly flawed.
Many doctors are aware of this problem and are concerned that current methodology is inadequate, missing many people who have a problem with gluten.
The proof is in the results—not just in your mind!
Grains Are Hard to Digest
Even absent any genetic predisposition to respond poorly to gluten, anyone can experience a bad reaction to the inherent qualities of grains, plus the proteins in them are a challenge to digest, as we just discussed. Although you may not have an immune system reaction to them, grains can create a digestive overload, which burdens the gut. Imagine asking an 8-year-old, whose muscles aren’t developed, to carry a 50-pound bag of concrete across the yard. Someone of his age and size is simply incapable of handling the job. When you eat too much of any hard-to-digest food, the gut simply cannot handle it, and if you are already intolerant of the food, bacterial abnormalities can set in. Your bacteria set to work processing the grain, but those that thrive on it typically aren’t the good neighbors. So you are feeding the bad bacteria and neglecting the good bacteria.
Regardless of whether you are gluten intolerant or allergic to gluten, there are a number of painful—sometimes excruciatingly painful—diseases of the GI tract. They can also destroy your gut, your lymphatic system, and your life. Many of them end in itis. Remember, that suffix derives from a Greek word for “inflammation.”
Interested in learning more about gluten? Here are 8 myths you need to know.