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Getting Rid of Gluten

Posted Monday, March 24th, 2014 by

Gluten

Gluten has been a popular nutritional issue recently and for good reason: while there is a small percentage of the population that is allergic, many more have a gluten sensitivity.  At Above & Beyond Acupuncture the discussion of the removal of gluten from our diets is a topic that is discussed frequently.  We feel that it is important to take some time to explain what gluten is and why it is important to rid it from your diet.

So what is gluten?  A basic and very helpful way to think of gluten is that is a glue-like substance that gives wheat and other food products their chewy structure.  Gluten can be defined as the sticky protein substance in wheat and is found in many wheat-based products. It’s also prevalent in rye as well as oats and barley. [Link]

So why is gluten bad for the body?  A small percentage of the population suffers from celiac disease (it affects about 3 million individuals), yet many more have gluten sensitivity.  This issue occurs when the body reacts to gluten by attacking the lining of the small intestine. Without a healthy intestinal lining, the body cannot absorb the nutrients it needs. Delayed growth and nutrient deficiencies may lead to conditions such as anemia and osteoporosis, a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break. Other serious health problems may include diabetes, autoimmune thyroid disease and intestinal cancers. [Link]

When I first learned about gluten and its effects on the human body, I decided to remove it from my diet.  In a matter of weeks, I noticed changes within my digestion, mood and energy levels.  After two months of being gluten free, I had lost 10 pounds without making any other changes to my diet or lifestyle.  It became clear that while I do not suffer from celiac disease, I have a gluten sensitivity and now I do my very best to avoid all gluten products.

With the popularity of gluten-free products at every supermarket as well as many restaurants now catering to those who wish to avoid this substance, it has become very easy and affordable to lead a gluten-free life.

Getting rid of gluten should be considered a priority to those who are experiencing a variety of health issues.  At Above & Beyond Acupuncture we suggest that our patients eliminate, or greatly reduce, their gluten intake for a short period of time to see what results may be achieved.