Why You Might Want to Go Gluten-free
Gluten is a special type of protein that is commonly found in rye, wheat, and barley. And, as you’ve probably guessed, it is found in most types of cereals and in many types of bread.
Unfortunately for many, gluten seems to have an ill effect on health. In fact, many nutritionists and healthcare providers are recommending that patients with digestive troubles, diabetes and even mood disorders adopt a gluten-free diet, to improve not only their nutrition health, but their overall health, too.
If you’re sensitive, or even allergic to gluten, you may experience any of the following:
- Weight loss
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Muscle cramps
- Joint and/or bone pain
- Skin rash
- Depression and/or anxiety
If you suffer from any of these symptoms and have yet to figure out what is causing them, you might want to consider this health advice: gluten sensitivity may be responsible, and adopting a gluten-free diet may be the best alternative therapy out there when it comes to feeling better.
Adopting a gluten-free diet may be an alternative cure that could reduce or eliminate nagging symptoms. It’s worth a try—going “gluten-free” doesn’t mean you have to start taking pills that are expensive and cause prescription side effects: you just have to eat foods that don’t have gluten in them.
In one clinical trial, researchers at Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, found that a gluten-free diet helped kids with Type 1 diabetes. They recruited 21 children with Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease, and 38 individuals with diabetes alone. They found that adopting a gluten-free diet might provide symptom relief for individuals with celiac disease, and potentially those with Type 1 diabetes.
In another interesting study, a boy with autism, growth and developmental retardation was brought to a clinic where various therapies were introduced when he was five months old. Medical experts there found that his developmental delays persisted despite treatment.
Gastrointestinal problems such as frequent vomiting and severe constipation were noted in the boy as well.
Then the doctors started the boy on a gluten- and casein-free diet. Soybean milk and rice were substituted for cow’s milk, bread, and noodles. After two and a half months, interpersonal relations, including eye-to-eye contact and verbal communication, improved. At five and a half months, the boy was capable of playing and sharing toys with his sibling and with other children. In addition, less vomiting led to a significant improvement in body weight and body height.
This all seems to be proof that a gluten-free diet could have a substantial effect on mental and physical development and overall health.
If you have lingering health issues and want to give a gluten-free diet a try, here are lots of delicious healing grains and starchy foods you can eat that don’t contain any gluten:
- Potato flour
- Sorghum flour
Mix these with a healthy, balanced diet including fruit, vegetables, legumes, seeds, nuts, unprocessed meat, poultry and fish, and dairy products, and you could be on your way to healthier living.
Don’t forget to check the labels of all processed foods, sauces and flavorings carefully, as many items contain wheat or added gluten. Note that something can be labeled as “wheat-free” but still contain gluten.
About the author
Dr. Victor Marchione received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1973 and his Medical Degree from the University of Messina in 1981. He has been licensed and practicing medicine in New York and New Jersey for over 20 years.
Dr. Marchione is a respected leader in the field of smoking cessation and pulmonary medicine. He has been featured on ABC News and World Report, CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and the NBC Today Show and is the editor of the popular The Food Doctor newsletter.
Dr. Marchione has also served as Principal Investigator in at least a dozen clinical research projects relating to serious ailments such as bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).