Celiac Disease isn't the only reason people go Gluten Free. The majority of people who find improved health through a Gluten Free diet do so because of other forms of Gluten Intolerance or personal preference.
In fact Celiac Disease only makes up about 10-20% of the people who have adopted a Gluten Free lifestyle. The rest have various other health issues such as Food Allergies; Chronic Inflammation; and Autoimmune conditions. They are often referred to as Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (or NCGS).
How do I know if I have a Gluten Intolerance or Sensitivity?
If you suspect that you have a Gluten Intolerance or other Allergy, the best place to start is consulting with your doctor. It is important to rule out Celiac Disease and/or another health conditions that may be negatively affecting your health. Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance are similar to Celiac, but can include:
- Bloating, gas or abdominal pain
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Dark Circles Under Eyes
- Brain fog
- Joint pain
- Numbness in the legs, arms or fingers
- Mouth Sores
If you said yes to any of the symptoms above, BeyondCeliac.org has a great article on Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity you should check out. Another great website is Gluten.org, which has a ton of information & resources.
Testing for Gluten Intolerance
Your doctor may suggest starting out by doing an 'Elimination Diet', which has you remove certain food(s) from your diet to test your body's response. We've observed that these are only effective when people commit to them completely - meaning no cheats. You must adopt an 'all or nothing' approach for you to see the true results of a Gluten elimination trial. Even tricker, is that it can take a few weeks to up to several months to see the full benefit of eliminating Gluten from your diet. We have tons of Free Gluten Free Recipes & Resources to help you to stick with it!
Other Dietary Considerations
While people with Gluten Intolerance can benefit from eliminating all Gluten from their diet, they also need to consider other possible triggers for their condition. An example of this is: Eliminating all Gluten from your diet, but continuing to eat processed or junk food on a regular basis. It's important to eat a nutrient rich variety of healthy, clean foods as well.
Still have questions? Leave us a comment or send us a note!