Could gluten be getting you down?
Doctors have estimated that as much as 10% of the US population has some form of gluten intolerance, which is usually caused by an allergic reaction to wheat or wheat gluten. Chances are, someone you know deals with the symptoms of this intolerance, including loss of energy, acne, bloating, diarrhea, cramping, constipation and rashes.
Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley, or rye. Foods like pasta, cereals, and breads are significant sources of gluten, but gluten can also be found as a filler or preservatives in other foods. Because regular white flour is made from wheat, it is in almost everything from sauces to condiments and white flour is frequently used as a thickener.
Acid reflux and gluten intolerance are related, although another factor involved in acid reflux is a possible infection. For this reason it is important to get tested for such an infection in the stomach.
If you have chronic heartburn or acid reflux, it may be difficult to pinpoint exactly what it is you are eating that gives you the heartburn. It would be beneficial to keep a diary of the foods you are eating and log how you feel after eating each food. Since it may be hard to identify a single food, try a gluten free diet for a few weeks and see if that helps!
Read food labels carefully:
- Do not eat anything that contains the following grains: wheat, rye and barley.
- Oats that are processed in machines may contain wheat.
- The following grains can be eaten in any amount: quinoa, millet, and buckwheat.
- Distilled white vinegar does not contain gluten.
- Malt vinegar does contain gluten.
Replace your processed foods with more fruits and vegetables. Again, be sure to read labels because lots of packaged items contain wheat and/or wheat gluten especially bread. Try eating more raw or semi-raw foods such as salads and stir-fry meals.
Consult a food allergist to determine whether you are allergic to the foods you are eating and if they are contributing to your chronic heartburn. If this does not improve your condition, it is recommended that you consult your physician.