Updated: Mar 30
By Jennifer Ide R.BIE, CNP
Gluttonous for gluten?
The holidays are around the corner! You might be looking forward to eating delicious gluten-containing foods! Shortbread cookies, gingerbread houses and panettone cakes are prime examples! It’s that one of time of the year that everyone feels the need to indulge a little!
What is gluten?
Gluten is a family of proteins that includes gliadin and glutenin. Examples of gluten contains grains like wheat, rye, barley. Similarly, wheat varieties also contain gluten such as spelt, kumut, farro. Gluten has high adhesive properties and acts as the “glue” in foods. This gives that amazing spongy texture to things like cakes, breads and pastries.
What does it do to your body?
Gluten seems to have many effects on our bodies, and unfortunately, they don’t appear to be good.
For instances, gluten has the following effects in the gut:
Impedes digestion, causing bloating, constipation of diarrhea, gas and abdominal pain
Blocks absorption of important nutrients. This leads to nutrient deficiencies (ex. Blocking of iron in anemia)
Destroys the lining of the gut, reducing the surface area to absorb nutrients
Increases inflammation in the gut
Gluten can have a negative impact on our health outside of the gut (1). Some of these include:
Brain: headaches, cognitive impairment, mood (anxiety and depression), “foggy mind” (difficulty concentrating and reduced ability to keep information) (2, 3).
Thyroid: reduced thyroid function, leading to fatigue, difficulty losing weight/unexplained weight sensitivity to cold (4)
Reproductive organs: infertility (5)
Skin: eczema, rosacea and skin rashes
Muscle and joints: pain or numbness
Top 3 tips to have your cake and feel good too!
It is hard to avoid gluten completely during the holidays! Despite the many negative effects that gluten has on our bodies. Here are some tips that will allow you to indulge a little without feeling the aftermath.
1. Use a digestive enzyme for gluten Gluten makes everything stick inside the gut. This leaves a big lumpy mess that’s difficult to pass through the intestines. This could be one of the reasons most of us experience symptoms (bloating and gas) after eating gluten-containing foods. To break gluten down more in the gut, you can take a digestive enzyme. This has shown to be very effective in reducing bloating after eating gluten (6). You can find these enzymes at most health food stores. Be sure to look out for the ones that are for gluten digestion (it will show on the bottle).
2. Pick and choose wisely Your body may have a threshold. In addition, before you start feeling any symptoms, your body may only be able to consume a certain amount of gluten. Eating one or two cookies made of wheat flour may be okay. However, if you were to have wheat pasta for dinner and then a piece of cake after, you may get into a little trouble. To avoid going over your “threshold” and eating too much gluten in one go, pick and choose the gluten-containing foods you enjoy the most. This may mean that you skip out on the gluten-containing beverages, like beer, with your pasta dinner.
3. Consider addressing your gluten intolerance with BIE BIE stands for BioEnergetic Intolerance Elimination. It is a technology that serves to eliminate intolerances. This technology introduces a frequency of a stressor (in this case, it would be gluten) to the body. So the body no longer hyper reacts. This could be a good option for you if you are considering a more long term solution. Also if you do not want to rely on digestive enzymes anymore.
Do you want to know more about how BIE can help you with your gluten intolerances?
Contact the clinic today or you can book a 15 minute meet-and-greet with Jennifer. Jennifer will tell you more about this fascinating technology! As well as walk you through what a typical BIE session would be like.
*Important note: A gluten intolerance is different than having Celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition and is a lot more severe than an intolerance. if you have celiac disease, you must refrain from gluten completely.*
Barbaro, M.R. et al. (2018). Recent advances in understanding non-celiac gluten sensitivity. F1000Research. 1631.
Busby, E. et al. (2018). Mood Disorders and Gluten: It’s Not All in Your Mind! A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis. Nutrients. 10, 1708.
Makhlouf, S. et al. (2018). Cognitive impairment in celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity: review of literature on the main cognitive impairments, the imaging and the effect of gluten free diet. Acta Neurologica Belgica. 118, 21-27.
Krysiak, R. et al. (2019). The Effect of Gluten-Free Diet on Thyroid Autoimmunity in Drug-Naïve Women with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: A Pilot Study. Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes. 127, 417-422.
Bold. J. and Rostami, K. (2015). Non-coeliac gluten sensitivity and reproductive disorders. Gastroenterology and Hepatology from Bed to Bench. 8, 294-297. (6) Ido, H. et al. (2018). Combination of Gluten-Digesting Enzymes Improved Symptoms of Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity: A Randomized Single-blind, Placebo-controlled Crossover Study. Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology. 9, 181.
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