So, what is gluten and what’s the big deal?
Let me take you back to your high school science class: Gluten is the result of combining two proteins known as glutenin and gliadin, in water these two molecules join together to form a compound known as gluten.
OK, enough with the nerd talk, what is it? Well, gluten is a sticky substance found in whole grains such as: wheat (and all its derivatives), barley and rye, this is what holds baked goods together. Gluten traps the air and gives the dough elasticity , allowing the baked goods to rise and give them that soft, chewy, light, airy texture, yum right? Well, yes!
But heres the big deal; in some people gluten can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms, I’m not just talking upset tummy’s here. Gluten can reek havoc on all areas of the body and cause issues such as:
- Upset tummy stuff: Bloating or abdominal distention
- Diarrhoea or constipation … OR BOTH
- Leaving the bathroom warning everyone not to enter for a good 10 minutes
- Unexplainable nausea
- Tiredness that leaves you feeling like you could seriously take a nap after a meal
- That pesky headache that appears after lunch EVERY DAY
- The skin issue you had as a kid but never grew out of
- You’re generally a happy person yet you still fight anxiety/depression that pops up regularly
- Those aching knees and joints that you’ve put down to: “just getting older”
- Aching muscles that leaves you trying to remember the workout that caused them
- The constant brain fog that leaves you forgetting your pin number that has been the same SINCE YOU WERE 16!
- You’re a healthy person but you still pick up EVERY cold that goes around
- You feel irritable and notice unexplainable, uncontrollable mood changes
Do these symptoms sound familiar? Either for you or someone you know?
But I’m not celiac … so can I still eat gluten?
You’ve probably heard of celiac disease before. This is a condition where the body’s immune system reacts to gluten, causing damage and inflammation to the small intestine.
“But I’ve been tested for celiac disease and I don’t have it so I’m fine, right?”. Well, maybe not …to put it simply, gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity may still be the cause of those unpleasant symptoms.
So, maybe I need to avoid gluten, but HOW?
Changing our routines and breaking stubborn habits is not an easy task, however, we do have a solution! Mr Vitamins keeps a vast range of gluten free products, as well as having fantastic nutritionists and naturopaths on the floor who can help you make a start on your gluten free journey today!
For further information and support book in with one of our naturopaths or nutritionists to find out how we can make going gluten free work for your family and fit into your busy lifestyle.
Kiara is a qualified naturopath and remedial massage therapist. With her background as a professional musician Kiara believes in supporting the body holistically through diet and lifestyle to prevent injury and disease. Kiara specialises in working with chronic conditions, digestive health, fatigue and stress management.