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The Effects of Gluten

What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in commonly consumed food products containing grains, barley, and rye and its purpose is to act as a binder, it helps food maintain its shape and gives food a ‘stretchy’ quality.

Gluten can be found in a variety of different foods, the three main sources are wheat, barley, and rye.

  • Wheat: bread, baked goods, cereals, pasta

  • Barley: beer, malt, brewer’s yeast

  • Rye: some bread, beer, and cereals

While it is recommended for some people to avoid gluten who display symptoms of intolerance or Coeliacs Disease, it is not recommended for those who don’t experience negative effects to consume a gluten-free diet as they can be deprived of essential nutrients including B vitamins, protein, iron, and calcium.

Effects on the human body

There is ongoing research about the effects of gluten on the body, these typically apply to individuals who experience symptoms of an intolerance.

Gluten has been found to cause inflammation in the body especially in the gut, when the protein is consumed it causes an imbalance of good gut microflora leading to nutritional deficiencies, increases gut permeability which leads to leaky gut and can cause conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Gluten is also known to cause inflammation in the body, inflammation from the consumption of gluten is linked to impaired immunity, fatigue, bloating, and diarrhea and if the inflammation is severe it can spread to the joints and muscles.

Signs of gluten intolerance, Coeliacs Disease, and other sensitivities

Gluten intolerances, allergies, sensitivities, and Coeliacs Disease are autoimmune conditions, and they often affect the immune and gastrointestinal systems.

Symptoms of these conditions include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, nasal congestion, indigestion, cramping, fatigue, and weight loss.

If left untreated the consequences of these conditions are related to the onset of chronic systemic inflammation and malnutrition.

If you experience any of these symptoms it is strongly advised you visit your preferred medical professional and seek testing for the possibility of these conditions.

Negative effects of the gluten-free diet

As previously mentioned, the research in regard to the effects of gluten on the body is ongoing and although there are many benefits for certain individuals who have sensitivities to gluten, this diet should be closely monitored as there are many consequences to consuming certain gluten-free products.

Most supermarkets often have an array of gluten-free options but there is a concern about what is in the ingredients of these products. Often when the gluten is removed from these products, companies will replace this ingredient with high amounts of sugar and other harmful ingredients to mimic the consistency and effect of gluten.

These products that are perceived as a better option cause more harm as consumers are deprived of fibre, B vitamins, iron, and calcium provided by wholegrain and unrefined products containing gluten.

Gluten: a 'sometimes food'.

To summarise, gluten can be harmful to the body for individuals who have developed a gluten sensitivity and should consume a diet free of gluten to alleviate symptoms.

For those who don’t experience symptoms of an intolerance to gluten should consume a diet of whole foods including wholegrains in moderation.

Ease Wellness practitioners are highly trained in gut health and can offer comprehensive gastrointestinal testing with world-leading GI-Map testing. To book a consultation and take the best step towards a healthier gut, body, and mind book a session with one of our team by visiting our website:

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