Could Gluten Be Ruining Your Day?

Ever imagined that a quick bite of bread you had for lunch could actually give you a major headache? Probably not, but this could be the honest truth for almost 1 of every 130 people. Wheat Intolerance is one of a handful of common food intolerances. It’s not because of something you caught or something you did, it’s in your genes.

Wheat and gluten sensitivity is a major cause of headaches, especially migraines. Ten percent of the population is sensitive to wheat & gluten and this problem may result in a wide variety of symptoms, not just digestive ones that would come to mind first.

Gluten is the elastic, rubbery protein present in wheat, rye, barley and to a lesser degree in oats. It binds the dough in foods such as bread and other baked goods. It contributes to the spongy consistency. Rice and corn do not contain gluten, however, gluten is only one protein found in wheat, rye and barley. These foods, like all other foods, contain a number of different proteins that can result in  reactions, like:

  • fatigue
  • anemia
  • nerve pain
  • memory loss
  • osteoporosis
  • infertility
  • flatulence
  • diarrhea
  • digestive tract distress

Gluten refers to a group of proteins that are difficult for humans to digest. One group of proteins called gliadin is thought to do most of the damage to the intestinal lining. Glutenins are another group of proteins found in gluten and thought to be associated with autoimmune skin diseases and asthma. Gluten proteins are extremely resistant to intestinal digestion, despite grinding, cooking, processing and digestive juices.

It should be remembered that wheat or gluten intolerance is different from wheat allergy. Wheat allergy refers specifically to adverse reactions involving immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to one or more protein fractions of wheat Since, gluten is the more commonly known wheat protein, wheat allergy is often wrongly known as gluten allergy. The majority of allergic reactions to wheat involve the albumin and globulin fractions. Allergic reactions to wheat can adversely impact a person’s health.

Allergic reactions may be caused by ingestion of wheat-containing foods or by inhalation of flour containing wheat (also called Baker’s asthma). True food allergies, such as wheat allergy, often produce quite violent reactions, from swelling of the lips and tongue, a red rash to, in extreme cases, fatal anaphylaxis.  Additional wheat allergy symptoms can include asthma and hives.

On the other hand, food intolerances will not trigger a life-threatening immune response, but may trigger symptoms such as migraines, bloating or skin rashes, and in some cases can worsen the effects of conditions such as asthma, eczema or migraines.
A recent study showed that many patients who reported to be having frequent attacks of migraine headache had sensitivity to gluten. By switching to a gluten-free diet

Do Not Despair!

It’s easier than you think to eat a gluten-free diet!  Any of the following everyday foods are gluten-free:

  • Fresh meat
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Poultry
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Cottage Cheese (not cheese spreads)
  • Milk
  • Rice
  •  Corn

Baum’s carries an entire section of wheat-free/gluten-free foods to make it even easier!  We have gluten-free breads that actually taste… like bread!  We carry cookies, pasta, crackers, cereal, chips, and different flours for baking.

There are some great books available about gluten-free cooking & what to order when eating out. Get involved with “GIG” (Gluten Intolerance Group) online for tons of information.
Baum’s carries a great new product called Gluten-Ade specially formulated to break down wheat proteins that may be ingested accidentally (like when eating away from home).

If you are having trouble with any of the symptoms listed, try eliminating wheat and gluten containing foods from your diet and give Gluten-Ade a try to deal with any missed gluten sources.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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