Friend or Foe? The Truth About Gluten

By Reneé Barasch, LDHS

Gluten is a BIG buzzword.

Some people believe it’s a fad, and others believe it poses a real health problem. And some people avoid the topic all together because they have emotional attachments to gluten-rich foods.

As a digestive health specialist who has seen hundreds of patients over the last 14 years…

Here’s the truth about gluten.

  1. The normal digestion of gluten is a tough digestive process, for everyone! There is no scientific debate over this.

  2. There is never a one-size-fits-all approach to digestive health. Some people manage to digest gluten okay. Some people experience an inflammatory response—among other resulting symptoms.

  3. You don’t have to have celiac disease to suffer from a gluten sensitivity.

  4. Your ability to digest gluten depends largely on the health of your gut lining (aka gut flora or gut microbiome.)

So, what damages the gut lining?

  • Stress

  • Little sleep

  • Eating processed foods

  • Eating foods high in sugar and saturated fat

  • Taking antibiotics

  • Simply…aging!

Your best line of defense? Determine if you have a gluten sensitivity!

Here are some signs…

  • Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea and/or constipation, heartburn, pain, bloating, gas

  • Brain symptoms, such as brain fog and fatigue

  • Skin issues

  • Emotional issues, such as anxiety and irritability

Please find comfort in knowing that not everyone has a gluten sensitivity. And the above symptoms could be caused by a variety of irritants. That’s why I use diagnostic tools and testing to identify specific triggers and imbalances in the digestive tract.

Supporting the gut is one of the best starting points for supporting the overall health of the body.

For those who do have a gluten-sensitivity, I’ve seen people completely transform their health by making simple dietary substitutions, not restrictions. Doing so is not as challenging as you may think.

If you are curious to learn more about the whole gluten thing and if it could be triggering your symptoms, let’s schedule a 15-minute free consultation. I LOVE helping people feel better.