Gluten sensitivity can cause fatigue and headaches, as well as gas, bloating, or diarrhea. While gluten-intolerance and celiac disease are much more serious conditions, gluten sensitivity can make you uncomfortable and leave you feeling generally unwell.
WARNING: If you suspect a serious intolerance, you should get tested immediately, because leaving a serious condition untreated could damage your intestines. If you plan to get tested, do not change your diet before the test, because the change could mask a serious condition.
If you have not been diagnosed with celiac disease, but you have symptoms of gluten sensitivity, especially after eating wheat, barley, or rye, your first step may be to avoid these foods and see if you feel better. Remember that wheat comes in many forms. It may be called spelt or semolina in some products, for instance.
But it may not be gluten at all.
It’s possible that people who have such symptoms after eating grains could be having trouble digesting the carbohydrates in the grains, rather than the gluten. While the most common type of carbohydrate sensitivity is lactose intolerance, some people who do not have a problem with dairy will feel bloated after eating grains and carbohydrate-heavy vegetables, like potatoes.
It may be helpful to identify whether gluten or grains in general are bothering you. These grains are gluten-free. If you are experiencing minor digestive upset and want to try reducing gluten in your diet to see if you feel better, you can try these grains, instead.
- Brown Rice: High in fiber, helps lower HDL cholesterol, studies show may be a good anti-inflammatory.
- Cornmeal: Baked into cornbread, cooked as polenta or grits, excellent source of fiber and protein.
- Oats: Low fat source of fiber and protein, stabilizes blood sugar, reduces bad cholesterol.
- Millet: Good source of copper, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium, may help prevent gall stones, benefits of other whole grains, very quick to cook.
- Buckwheat: Not a form of wheat, in fact, not actually a grain, but the seed of a fruit, completely gluten-free and non-allergenic, excellent protein source, studies show may help lower blood sugar.
Remember, if you suspect a serious intolerance, get tested first. Quitting gluten before you get the simple blood test for celiac disease will skew the results. The test checks for antibodies that may not be present if you have been avoiding gluten prior to the test.
Do you want to feel your best? This may be the most important health information you ever read.