As a lifestyle expert, it is my job to follow trends and report on them as accurately as I can in effort to educate the masses. It just so happens that one of the biggest lifestyle topics that is trending now, is the rising concern about gluten. Funny thing is, I know about it all too well. I myself have been diagnosed with gluten sensitivity or intolerance and spend many hours a week researching, creating gluten free recipes and blogging about them.
WHAT IS GLUTEN/SHOULD I BE CONCERNED?
But what is gluten, and how do I know if I'm a candidate for gluten sensitivity or the worst case scenario, celiac disease? Gluten is a protein found in processed wheat, barley, rye and some other grains. Gluten helps dough rise and gives it it's elasticity. It is also a know source of protein. But for many, it a protein they can't digest (can't properly break down). I'm one of them. Like that of a more extreme case, those with a gluten allergy, better known as celiac disease causes similar reactions to gluten. For both, it's an autoimmune response that is triggered in the small intestines, causing damage to its lining. Eventually, the response causes inflammation, which in turn, leads to malabsorption of nutrients. There is no cure for celiac disease, but eating a strict gluten-free diet will aid in healing the intestinal lining.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF A GLUTEN INTOLERANCE OR CELIAC DISEASE?
ADDRESSING CONCERNS FOR PARENTS
Is your child hyper-active, have trouble concentrating or focusing, restless or irritable and maybe even has trouble sleeping? These are just some recognizable symptoms that you may come across outside of the symptoms listed above. It seems as though (dependent upon the person/child), gluten hides or manifests itself in different ways, such as the muscles and joints, neurological system, etcetera making a diagnosis challenging.
So before you put your child or yourself on anxiety drugs, antidepressants or meds for fibromyalgia or whatever it is that ails you, think twice. Try a lifestyle change by going gluten free (I went dairy free too). Our bodies send us messages, listen to them before it's too late.