Gluten is a protein that occurs naturally in a variety of grains, including wheat, rye and barley. Those who have a gluten intolerance can experience a variety of symptoms when gluten is ingested, including diarrhea, upset stomach, bloating, abdominal pain, headaches and fatigue. If you suffer from these symptoms after eating products containing gluten, you may want to consider going gluten-free.
Gluten Intolerance, Celiac Disease and Gluten Allergies
Did you know there is a difference between a gluten intolerance, gluten allergies and celiac disease? Gluten intolerance, sometimes referred to as non-celiac gluten sensitivity, causes many symptoms, including depression, abdominal pain, headaches, joint pain, chronic fatigue and diarrhea; however, it does not cause damage to the intestines. Gluten allergies develop when the body's immune system reacts to the gluten found in rye, barley and wheat. Gluten allergies can cause a skin rash, runny nose, nausea, headaches, asthma and even anaphylaxis, a potentially life threatening allergic reaction that can cause breathing difficulties and shock. Celiac disease has many of the same symptoms as gluten allergies and non-celiac gluten sensitivity; however, it can also cause damage to the intestines.
How Enzymes Can Help Heal the Intestinal Tract
As you eat, your body releases enzymes to help break down the food you have ingested. If you do not have enough enzymes in your body, the food just sits in your digestive tract. This can cause a multitude of issues, including food allergies and food sensitivities. Food intolerances, such as celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivities and food allergies can damage the intestinal tract, causing a plethora of medical issues.
The small intestine is the center of the immune system. The lining of the intestinal tract contains special cells that act as a barrier to keep pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria, from entering the bloodstream. When this lining becomes damaged, the immune system can become compromised.
When the digestive system is compromised due to food intolerances, illness and chronic stress, it does not produce the enzymes necessary to keep the digestive tract functioning properly. Digestive enzymes can help improve the digestive tract , heal the lining of the intestinal tract and increase immunity.
Detox for Your Health
Detoxification helps rid the body of toxic substances, thus cleaning the bloodstream. If you suffer from gluten intolerances, a detox program can help heal the body and restore it to good working condition. Detoxification involves resting, removing toxins and filling the body with healthy nutrients. A detoxification program often includes:
* Fasting- Fasting allows the organs to rest and recover from the damage caused by poor health choices, lifestyle choices and environmental factors.
* Stimulate the liver to remove toxins- This is done by eating fresh fruits and vegetables and drinking plenty of water. During a detox program, you will want to avoid meats, fats, caffeine and alcohol. This type of diet will help purge toxins from the liver and bloodstream.
* Promote elimination- To help promote detoxification you must promote elimination. Drinking plenty of water will help the kidneys filter impurities from the blood stream. Exercising will help you sweat out toxins. Finally, eating plenty of fiber will help you eliminate toxins through the digestive tract.
* Improve nutrition- Once the body has been detoxed, you will need to refill it with nutrients. Eating a well-balanced diet, along with taking a vitamin and mineral supplement will ensure that the body has the nutrients it needs to promote health and healing.
Many people report that they feel much better after going gluten-free, even when they do not have a gluten allergy, non-celiac gluten intolerance or celiac disease. Many times, the gluten that causes bread to rise can cause inflammation in the small intestines resulting in a plethora of digestive disturbances. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with a gluten intolerance, going gluten-free can help minimize these issues.