Is Gluten Really Bad for You? (Fact vs Fiction)

Lately the word gluten almost seems to be a swear word and a gluten free health revolution is most certainly underway. What started as a few homemade products at specialized health stores has now lead to a billion dollar industry with products in every conceivable retailer.

Is Gluten Bad for You?

But what is all the fuss about? Should you be gluten free too? And more importantly is gluten bad for you?

What is Gluten?

what is glutenGluten refers to a family of proteins found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye and spelt. 

It is important to understand that wheat intolerance does not necessarily mean you will have an issue with other grains containing gluten. Of all the grains containing gluten, the western populations consume wheat in massive amounts.

The two main proteins found in gluten are glutenin and gliadin. Gliadin seems to be the troublemaker of the two and causes most of the health issues associated with gluten (1).

The trouble with gluten

Just have a look across a restaurant or your office space and you will find that most people consuming a sandwich or pasta salad do not seem to have an issue with gluten.

It can however cause serious problems for those who suffer from 3 of the main forms of gluten reactions (2):

  • Autoimmune spectrum (Coeliac disease/Celiac disease)
  • Wheat allergy
  • Immune mediated gluten sensitivity (gluten intolerance)

Celiac disease

Celiac disease is the most severe form of gluten reactions. Celiac disease is characterized by a gradual onset of symptoms over months or years after initially trying gluten for the first time. The symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss and severe abdominal pain. Over time, the gluten being eaten actually damages the intestines of a celiac sufferer (3,4)

Diagnosis can only be properly made through the biopsy of the individual’s intestine.

Before you start worrying that you may have celiac disease, only 0.5%-1.1% of the worlds population suffer from it (4).

Wheat allergy

With any allergy the symptoms will vary from person to person. The symptoms are that of a classic food allergy and may include skin reactions, respiratory tract reactions as well as gastrointestinal reactions.

Diagnosis of a wheat allergy can be made through testing the blood of an individual or a skin prick test for wheat (2)

gluten allergy

Gluten sensitivity

Gluten sensitivity or intolerance is often felt from hours to days after exposure. The individual may experience similar symptoms to that of celiac disease but the major difference is that the intestines will not be damaged as it is in celiac sufferers.

Here’s where the waters start to get a bit muddy. Gluten sensitivity is not conclusively proven through any test available except simply by following a gluten free diet and noticing symptoms improving.

This category of gluten reaction has only recently been recognized as being entirely separate to a wheat allergy or celiac sufferer. Many experts are still skeptical (2).

Gluten free diets

Gluten free diets have been used experimentally to treat people suffering from a vast range of conditions. Schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis and dementia to name a few. The evidence that gluten free diets are effective to treat these disorders is controversial and not conclusively proven (3).

Going gluten free means cutting certain grains from your diet such as:

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Cereals
  • Beer
  • Cakes, cookies and pastries

It also means learning to read labels on many processed food items as gluten is used in the production of many ‘ready to make’ products.

The good news is that there are many grains, which are naturally gluten free and are now more available than ever. For example:

  • Quinoa
  • Corn
  • Rice
  • Flax
  • Arrowroot
  • Oats

gluten free grains

Paleo is a gluten free diet, but going gluten free is not necessarily Paleo. More on this important distinction here.

Back to the age-old question- Is gluten bad for you?

This question is a controversial one, with experts on many different sides disagreeing. 

Lets look at the facts:

Certain unprocessed whole-grains containing gluten are in fact good for you in terms of the nutrients and fibre they provide. Not all grains are created equally and so it is unfair to put a pastry in the same category as rolled oats or brown rice.

White bread or any refined grain has a very low nutrient profile where whole grains provide us with healthy colon cleansing fibre as well as B-vitamins. 

There are many studies which show that population which eat a diet rich in whole grains are less likely to suffer from obesity, high blood pressure, colon cancer and diabetes (5).

On the other hand, there are many dietary experts who now promote the Paleo way of living.

The Paleo diet completely cuts out grains due to the fact that they were not available during the Paleolithic era and as such modern man shouldn’t be eating them.

The low carbohydrate philosophy minimizes grains as they are very rich in carbohydrates and therefore have a strong effect on blood glucose levels. Decreasing their intake of grains means faster weight loss and less sugar cravings.

Those that suffer from insulin resistance or diabetes report that cutting out grains meant increased blood sugar control and energy.  Many other people have also had huge weight loss and health improvements such as lowered inflammation and less pain (6).

The bottom line

glutenThe question of whether gluten is bad for us is a tricky one to answer. It pretty much depends on each person’s individual response to foods containing gluten.

If you feel that eating gluten has no effect on you, you can improve your health by ensuring that whichever gluten containing foods you do eat are as unprocessed and whole as possible.


Ask a Question 

  1. hi

    maybe that will shed some light…
    in my personal experience (I’m 44) I had to get off wheat based gluten/products for very simple reason
    once I hit 40+ my ‘regular’ food intolerances like some bloating, gas, lower abdomen discomfort…escalated very seriously…
    due to serious dental procedure I went for a 4 weeks on smoothies based on fruit/veg
    the moment I went back to my ‘regular’ food – I made a whole wheat stir-fry with vegetables I got into such a a excruciating pain in my gut I thought I will pass out….
    got back on my smoothies for 2-3 days to let it settle….
    tried a slice of white bread….(sandwich)…same excruciating result…
    that was it! F*ck it! I’m not gonna suffer….
    one step at a time…and completely eliminating anything wheat based….I’m free of discomforts
    more so….have more energy, clearer skin, no problem with bloating, not any food related pain…7
    I still can have rye based products….but wheat is least if I want to be free of suffering 🙂

    sometimes..when our body speaks…it’s well worth it to listen and change/adjust to new needs and demands….just because sth was good yesterday…doesn’t mean it is good today 🙂

    • Described me. I am certain now. Been suffering for 3 weeks.
      But goes back a long time. Just got worse. Am 67.
      People want to buy you the food you don’t want tho. Lol.

      • If you are suffering with any ongoing stomach pain, discomfort or diarrhea after consuming gluten, you may benefit from going on a gluten free diet or on a paleo diet. Changing to a gluten free diet can seem overwhelming and challenging at first but the dietary change may ease your suffering. There are a variety of resources on the site to help you along the way including recipes. Check out Getting Started for a guide on how to start the Paleo diet.

    • I agree with you about stomach pain and discomfort which is bad enough its not worth one bite of a wheat product.

      It does not affect me right away but 8-10 hours later, in the wee hours of the morning.

      • A reaction to gluten may be immediate, as soon as finishing a meal or taking a bite, or it can take a little longer, 8-10 hours or more. Eliminating gluten and possibly following a paleo diet may be helpful for the stomach pain and discomfort you have experienced.

    • Overtime we often become overwhelmed with gluten. Many are able to tolerate some bloating after eating a gluten filled meal, but overtime the bloating can become more painful and not as easy to ignore. If you are experiencing slight bloating, gas, or discomfort after a meal, you may be gluten sensitive or intolerant and could benefit from eliminating gluten now, rather than waiting until it becomes a more aggressive problem. Additionally, eliminating gluten does not just impact the stomach but can help clear skin, reduce muscle soreness, help with energy, and assist with weight loss.

  2. Gluten=poison for me!! When I go into a grocery store I am amazed that they are allowed to sell poison without a warning label. If I eat even a small amount of todays wheat flour I have severe stomach cramps for 24 hours and much vomiting. I wish I could die during these times, and I am serious about that. I have found that if I take a couple of gluten ease pills before and after each meal that the symptoms are somewhat less. As soon as my stomach begins cramping I take one 290 mcg of Linzess and one 10-325 hydrocodone. After two hours I repeat the Linzess and hydrocodone. I usually have a very loose bowel movement which relieves the cramping somewhat. So, if I want to stay away from gluten I must check every label closely and be very careful if I should go out to eat. Believe me the pain of this is not worth the enjoyment of eating a gluten meal.
    Dan Dunagan

      • This is a great tip – A hot bath is helpful when having stomach cramps because it increases blood circulation and helps to relax all muscles, including those cramping stomach muscles.

    • Gluten does appear in many of our common packaged and prepared foods. Keep in mind that even if a product is labeled wheat free, it may not be gluten free. To confirm something is completely gluten free, you must read the food labels. Look out for the following ingredients which all contain gluten: wheatberries, durum, emmer, semolina, spelt, farina, farro, graham, einkorn wheat, rye, barley, triticale, malt in various forms including: malted barley flour, malted milk or milkshakes, malt extract, malt syrup, malt flavoring, malt vinegar and brewer’s yeast. Reading food labels and knowing which products are completely gluten free will become easier. Sticking to animal proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables can be helpful for avoiding gluten.

  3. I’ve been told by my naturopath that I should give up gluten because I have a couple of autoimmune diseases, though neither one is Celiac. What do you think of the argument that gluten causes leaky gut and autoimmune diseases?

    • I’ve read that Hashimotos causes the body to attack the thyroid the same way it does gluten. Gluten may not cause Hashimotos but they certainly don’t play well together. I’ve been off gluten until my doctor can figure out if Hasimotos immune disorder is causing my thyroid issues. Fun times.

      • Absolutely – Gluten & Hashimoto’s do not play well together. Best to avoid gluten as you are getting Hashimoto’s under control. As Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease that impacts the thyroid, it is important to avoid inflammation causing gluten, which will only worsen symptoms of Hashimoto’s.

    • Hi Amy
      From my research and experience, most people think wheat is only involved in Celiac disease because that is all the doctors have been taught to test for, for oh, a few decades now. However before the test for Celiac became the only test for gluten problems, generally older doctors recognised a range of symptoms were related to gluten.
      In our case, I was recommended to go gluten free by a naturopath. My husband suggested we all go gluten free to save double baking. Imagine our surprise when he started to feel a whole lot better – not in his digestive system, but in his brain! Research into the family tree showed that up and down and across his family tree there were multiple symptoms showing gluten was a cause of disease.
      This is very simplistic but: Today’s hybrid wheats (and there are about 2500 different hybrids) have more than double the proteins (and some from inedible grasses). Picture a bunch of large, unbreakable bricks (that’s the proteins) floating through your digestive system. The body can’t digest them, and they start causing damage to the inside of the delicate intestines, even damaging the tiny villi (like waving seaweed), which are supposed to catch nutrients. Instead the protein blocks are bashing into the villi – you can imagine how the damage can be caused.
      Now in my case going gluten free only helped a tiny bit. But after a chiropractor tested all grains, and even organic grains, guess what? No grains for me. Took me weeks to accept that in my mind, But after five weeks off all grains my long standing chronically pathetic health started to improve by leaps and bounds.

      • Amy, high levels of Candida in the gut is strongly associated with “brain fog”. My understanding is those of us who eat a lot of bread; and particularly store bought, packaged (highly processed breads) bread, may have a high level of candida culture in the gut as result of bread yeast, sugars etc – this candida culture is also well supported by other commonly consumed food stuffs; pasta, wine, beer, candy, peanut butter etc upon which candida thrives. Candida is a scourge according to some health proponents. My GP monitors the levels of candida in my gut for this reason.

        • Brain Fog is one of many symptoms of candida overgrowth. Other symptoms include chronic fatigue, digestive issues (bloating, diarrhea, and constipation), autoimmune disease such as hasimotos, thyrooditis, mood swings and difficulty concentrating. A diet high in sugar, refined carbohydrates can all cause candida overgrowth as well as a round of antibiotics and a high stress lifestyle. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, making dietary changes such as following a paleo diet can be helpful. Also its important to find a physician who can check for candida overgrowth.

      • The modern wheat of today is definitely not the same wheat of a hundred years ago. The wheat we consume today is a high yield, “dwarf” wheat. Gluten is not a single protein, but a family of different proteins. In the modern wheat we consume today, Glia-a9, a problematic gluten protein, is significantly higher. Gluten consumption at high levels can cause damage to the intestinal lining causing Leaky Gut. If you are intolerant to gluten or Celiac, you may benefit from eliminating all grains (gluten free or not) to see how different grains impact your body.

    • For those who are gluten sensitive, gluten can cause leaky gut. Because the gut is constantly absorbing nutrients, it is naturally permeable to small molecules. Additionally, there are tight junctions in the intestinal wall, that can begin to break apart due to a variety of factors including stress, age, toxins and for those who are gluten sensitive, gluten. Once these tight junctions break apart, you have leaky gut. Toxins, microbes, undigested foods are now able to escape from your intestines and enter the bloodstream.

      Consuming gluten can create trouble if you have autoimmune disease. If you have an autoimmune disease, it is recommended to avoid gluten as it does increase inflammation and intestinal permeability (leaky gut), which only worsen autoimmune symptoms.

  4. Gluten for me has me carefully scrutinizing everything edible. Not celiac but close. Yes, leaky gut, pain and explosive diarrhea are not worth the bread. Haven’t tried rye or barley yet. Too afraid.

    • Stomach pain and diarrhea are certainly symptoms of gluten intolerance and eliminating gluten from your diet should help ease symptoms. Have you tried any of the gluten free bread recipes found on the site ? Check out these recipes for great bread recipes that don’t include wheat.

  5. I was formerly becoming quite diabetic, but after visiting a naturopathic dr and having an extensive blood workup, it was shown that i had a high amount of inflammation and it was recommended to give up all grains. I stopped eating any breads, cereals etc even rice and only ate chicken, fish and fruits and vegetables except white potatoes and my blood sugars returned to normal in about 3 weeks. I can now after eating this way for almost 1 year, occasionally have a corn tortilla or sourdough bread without problems. I can also eat grass fed beef on occasion but never pork products. it is believed that pork fat is bad for diabetics as it clogs the cells and creates insulin resistance.

    • Consumption of grains can lead to high blood sugar levels and increased inflammation in the body. Following a paleo diet, eliminating grains and sticking with animal proteins, fruits and vegetables, can decrease blood sugar quickly and maintain blood sugar levels within normal limits. It is not only important to maintain normal blood sugar levels for diabetes prevention, but also to help to maintain a healthy weight. Elevated blood sugar leads to increased insulin response, which triggers fat storage and the inability to lose weight.

  6. For 35 years I suffered with uncontrollable diarrhea daily. Yes, daily. I was working and raising 4 kids so had to stay busy with life. I reached out to 2 gastroenterologist MDs. Both of which did no testing and told me I had IBS and “just take Imodium everyday”, which would leave me horribly constipated and then the diarrhea cycle would restart daily. Thus my daily life was ruled by worry and fear not knowing where bathrooms were. I ended up with an anxiety disorder which worsened my diarrhea to the point of stool incontinence. I actually quit my job over this issue.
    Then after 35 years of misery my now married son was diagnosed with celiac. His physician told him it was very likely one of his parents had the disease. I wondered if celiac had been my problem all those past years and that very day stopped eating gluten. Within 1 week my diarrhea had stopped!! I have never been tested for celiac but since I received such an amazing miracle cure after eating gluten free I felt it didn’t matter because I would eat this way for the rest of my life.
    In those first few months of being gluten free I had some setbacks with recurring diarrhea even though I was diligently steering clear of gluten. It was then I began keeping a food diary of all I ingested. What I learned was that I most likely have a severe fructan tolerance. Fructans are naturally occurring sugars found in many foods…….wheat being one! So I gradually by the process of elimination (no pun intended) figured out what other foods to avoid. My list is short……wheat, barley, rye, garlic, most fruit and a few veggies.
    I’m in control of my body again and life is good!!

    • It sound like ulcerative colitis to me.
      It’s what I have.
      I had to eliminate gluten, all grains, dairy, processed sugar, soy, corn, nuts, seeds, acidic fruits, night shades ( tomatoes, bell peppers)
      Basicly do the autoimmune protocol diet (AIP) to heal the leaky gut.

      • Though the causes of ulcerative colitis are not completely known, it is known that inflammation in the body is linked to ulcerative colitis. Gluten creates inflammation in the body and eliminating gluten can ease the symptoms of both ulcerative colitis and gluten intolerance. An elimination diet and maintaining a food journal can be helpful if eliminating gluten does not relieve all symptoms.

    • Could I ask what fruits you can eat and what you actually eat at home and when you go out. Our cases sound familiar with bowel incontinence and I also have bleeding due to it now. Am very interested in your case and would be willing to try your kind of diet. I found out that I am very intolerant to wheat and sugars. I’d appreciate some information. Thks

    • While testing for celiac can be helpful, we can often detect when gluten is a problem for us simply by paying attention to our symptoms and what happens when we eliminate gluten. Keeping a food diary is an excellent way to not only get started on the gluten free diet, but to also make note of other food intolerance such as dairy, sugar, other grains, fiber, certain fruits and/or vegetables. In your food diary, note what you ate, when and how you felt before and after the meal to help guide you towards any food intolerances.

  7. I suddenly started having issues when I ate at a friends home and bit into some garlic bread along with some pasta. Within minutes, I felt like a balloon had blown up in y stomach and I was very uncomfortable. Meanwhile, without my knowledge, my Dr. had run some tests on me the week before because I had been having digestive issues and when I went to see her on a follow up, the first thing she said to me was ” Connie, I want you to consider gluten as a poison to you.” ” You have already done a lot of damage to the lining of your stomach.”
    Also, from what I have been reading and doing a lot of research, the gluten in today’s wheat is not the same gluten that our older generation had and the wheat of course is not the same either due to the constant manipulation. We are now consuming “Franken-Grains.” Some of the ingredients in the wheat today isn’t even recognised by our bodies.

  8. I am a celiac and only figured out recently why I still wasn’t 100%, turns out corn was the culprit, its amazing the difference ditching corn has made for me, and corn is in absolutely everything! I now suggest to all celiacs who still have any symptoms whatsoever that they try a paleo diet for a month.

    • Corn is also loaded with mold ( fungus) so it is just as well you don’t eat it in any form.

      • Corn (and other grains) contain mold based on how it is grown and stored. The main concern is not the mold, but the presence of mycotoxins, which mold produces. Following a paleo diet, and avoiding corn, is a great step to reducing exposure to these toxins.

    • Great suggestion to avoid corn and try paleo! The paleo diet does not recommend corn for a variety of reasons. Corn has little nutritional value and contains prolamins, a class of protein your body has difficulty breaking down, and can cause or worsen leaky gut.

  9. I don’t believe that gluten is inherently bad, but it can have a negative effect on some people. For me, if I have too much, I get a headache and vertigo. When I cut it out for a few days, I’m fine again. I don’t have Celiac, but I do believe I have sensitivities to gluten.

    • The vertigo. That’s another symptom. I don’t have celiac either but the gluten problem is coming quite clearly into view. Seems to have progressed too.
      Short but to the point post. Thanx.

      • There has been some initial research linking gluten sensitivity and gluten intolerance with vertigo. If you have ongoing vertigo and other gluten sensitivity symptoms, such as diarrhea, bloating, stomach pain, brain fog, hormone imbalances, you may benefit from starting a gluten free diet or trying paleo.

    • Gluten definitely impacts each person differently. Many of us consume far too much gluten overtime and our system becomes overwhelmed. In that situation the best thing is to eliminate gluten consumption, or reduce significantly for a time, similar to what you are doing. There is also ongoing research on the link between gluten consumption and vertigo. Many see their vertigo lessen on a gluten free diet.

  10. The only thing I know is if I eat gluten I feel bad and I put on weight. I just went gluten free again and I have already lost 12.2 pounds in three weeks. The only thing I did was give up gluten and sugar. I have one free meal a week to eat what I want. I have more energy as well.

    • If you are gluten intolerant and eating gluten, it is not uncommon to retain 5-8 lbs of fluid on any given day. Fluid retention is due to the inflammation in the body caused by eating gluten. Removing gluten from your diet will help to pull off all the water weight and allow your body to start concentrating healthy weight loss.

  11. I gave up gluten a couple years ago after chatting with a friend who also had hypothyroid like I do. The endocrinologist had told her to quit gluten and a variety of other things like soy. Rather than get tested first I just thought I would give it a go, following the Practical Paleo menus, for six months. Well before six months my daughter noticed a difference…I don’t have migraines, my skin is clearer, less tired, able to lose weight etc. I recommended that my mom give it a try, but she kinda rolled her eyes. Finally, a doc recently had her tested for gluten and her blood work came back as positive for Celiac. What’s interesting is she doesn’t have the weight loss, vomiting etc associated with Celiac. This may be due to the hypothyroid. It appears there is still a lot left to understand about cause/effect relationships in all this.

    • There is a strong link between gluten intolerance and hypothyroidism. For many people who are hypothyroid, the body can have an attack response when gluten is consumed which leads to an inflammatory response and symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, migraines and more. It is strongly recommended for anyone with hypothyroid to avoid gluten as gluten consumption will not allow the thyroid to heal and achieve ideal levels.

  12. I have hashimoto’s thyroiditis. It has been an uphill battle to feel good and lose weight. Last year at this time I weighed 202 pounds I am 5’4″ it was not attractive or healthy. I began reading everything I could find on the subject and the one thing I kept reading was cut out gluten and processed sugar. Paleo helps eliminate the processed foods that all seem to contain gluten and sugar.
    I have lost over 60 pounds I work out or walk daily and I feel great.

    • It is recommended to avoid gluten if you have any type of auto immune disease, including Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, because gluten will only worsen the symptoms, further the attack on the thyroid and not allow your body to heal. Eliminating gluten is key to healing from Hashimoto’s and other autoimmune diseases.

  13. I love this article but could I point out that latest research indicates that ALL grains contain a form of gluten yes rice and corn too but these have not been so researched as yet. I followed a traditional gluten free diet for years with only marginal improvement but now I am 100% grain free it is a different story. I love the paleo way and thank you for your awesome website for info and recipes.

    • There is gluten in corn, which was initially thought to not cause the same reaction as gluten in wheat but as you mentioned, there is still research being done. Additionally, many people who are gluten intolerant find that eliminating corn is helpful for their diet. Glutinous rice or “sticky rice” is actually gluten free. Cross contamination in the case of rice can be a problem with certain brands, so if you are celiac or very gluten sensitive, it is best to purchase rice from gluten free facilities. Flavor packets that are packaged with some types of rice are often not gluten free. For many people, going paleo or 100% grain free, is the way the see the most health improvements. Thanks for commenting and glad you enjoy the site!

  14. Hi Jess, I have was diagnosed some time ago with Fibromyalgia and then three years ago with Crohn,s disease. Hence, I have had to cut out gluten from my diet. I am turning 69 this year. My husband has been able to eat anything his whole life but has in the last year complained of stomach discomfort. I convinced him to go off gluten just for a while to see if it would help him. It did, but I don’ want to sensitize his digestion to the extent that he has to eat the very limited diet that I have to. Please help me. Must he continue keeping away from gluten?
    Linda Vermeulen
    South Africa

    • Hi Linda, your husband may not be gluten intolerant but possibly a bit gluten insensitive. Over time, we have increased our consumption of gluten through wheat products and other processed foods significantly. Many people are simply overwhelmed with gluten and can benefit from eliminating gluten from their diet and then reducing. There are many benefits from eliminating gluten and/or following a paleo diet longterm and he may see some positive changes from going paleo. You won’t necessarily sensitize his digestion by eliminating gluten, but he may see the differences if he adds some gluten back in (i.e. bloating, stomach discomfort, decreased energy) and may prefer gluten free. Try adding some gluten back into his diet in small amounts and see how he reacts. He may be able to tolerate a small amount just fine.

  15. I started with paleo lifestyle 2 months ago and some of my problems like bloating and a huge belly improve d dramatically. I now have a waist and bloating is the problem of the past. I lost gradually 7kg and i feel so light.

    Sadly a new problem started…………..constipation !! i think its related to my low intake of water. i do not like water at all. Could it be my new lifestyle ?

    • If you are on the paleo diet it should regulate you. Fresh raw veggies and fruit have lots of fiber. And I grow my own mint then boil water and steep the leaves in it. Flavor my water with it and a bit of stevia this helps and is good for you. It is very important to drink water. Your cells carry it to every organ in the body I also buy magnesium oil and put it on my feet every day. Everyone needs more magnesium for your heart and bones and muscles. It helps you absorb your calcium. It also helps with constipation. Hope this helps.

      • Many people deal with constipation when switching to a paleo diet. Eating green veggies is a great way to stay regular and still fit in with the paleo diet. Magnesium is very helpful for relieving constipation as it draws water into the stools, allowing them to pass easier. It also helps to relax muscles, easing tension in the intestines.

      • Absolutely – water is essential for staying regular. And magnesium is also very helpful.

    • Glad you have found some relief and weight loss with the paleo diet. Many people do find their GI slows once they switch over to paleo. That said, water intake is essential for staying regular. It is recommended to drink half of your weight in ounces i.e if you weigh 200 lbs, drink 100 ounces of water daily. You may also benefit from a magnesium supplement or probiotic.

  16. All these comments validate my own diagnosis. I had bouts of diarrhea for 3 months straight back in 2015. I could not get into my doctor for almost a month. I started doing some research on my own and found an “elimination” diet. I basically took everything out of my diet for 21 days….caffeine, sugar, gluten, dairy etc. all I was left with was a few meats…mostly chicken & fish, fruits and vegetables, herb teas and water. Had a huge headache for days but after the second day my diarrhea stopped and did not return. It took some getting use to but after the 21 days it was a no brainer that “gluten” was my culprit. I first added dairy back into my diet for 2 days, made me feel a little heavy, but no real problems. Next was wheat , toast, pasta etc….INSTANT diarrhea again. Took it out again it stopped. As you can imagine I have been following gluten free since then. I have been told that I could not be tested without having gluten in my body. It’s been a few months now and I have not been having any problems, so I am not worried about diagnosis, I believe it’s probably a “sensitivity” and what I have been doing is working, this to me is a much better solution than popping pills. Thanks to all for the validity.

    • While testing for gluten sensitivity and celiac disease is helpful, we can often discover our food intolerances by completing an elimination diet. An elimination diet allows the body an opportunity to cleanse and reset. As you begin to add foods back into your diet, keep track of how they make you feel and how your body reacts. Look out for GI changes, impact on skin, difference in energy levels which can all be influenced by different foods. If you are suffering from diarrhea after consuming gluten, you are probably intolerant to gluten and should avoid.

  17. I had trouble with IBS for years. Doctors and meds …. I also had ulcers. Since going on paleo diet all my stomach issues have gone away and no more ulcers.

    • Paleo diet can be a great way to address multiple stomach issues including gluten intolerance but also IBS and ulcers.

  18. Great article and comments. I’ve been diagnosed with IBSD and/or IBSC depending on my symptoms. Now I recognize other symptoms like: gas, constipation, big belly and not being able to lose weight. Must get back on the 28-day Paleo plan, and look forward to eating healthier; it works if you work it!

    • Paleo can be very helpful for those struggling with IBSD and IBSC. It can make a huge, positive difference in how you feel each day!

  19. Great article and comments. My family and friends are finally learning why I read all labels of foods that I have not had before. It sure makes a difference what my system can and cannot tolerate, and gluten is something I need to look out for. I adhere to the saying “shop the perimeter of the store.” Fresh is best!

    • Fresh fruits, vegetables and quality proteins are the best foods to buy, but when we need to purchase packaged foods, reading the labels is essential. Keep an eye out for hidden ingredients that may contain gluten and as you read more labels, it will get quicker and easier.

  20. After having a full hysterectomy at 48, I gained weight, had more bloating, achey joints, all kinds of issues my doctor chalked up to menopause. Just @the way it is” for women in menopause. Then I did a fast. It all went away. I felt fantastic and all my health issues gone. Then back to regular eating, even as organic and natural as my diet is, and I was right back where I started. So did a cleanse and gradually reintroduced food to test for allergies. Gluten was the culprit. Doing my best to avoid it and feeling much better.

    • GI issues such as bloating and constipation, inability to lose weight and joint pain are all symptoms of gluten intolerance. Gluten creates inflammation in the body which can increase fluid retention and can create muscle and joint pain. An elimination diet is an excellent way to clear out the body and allow for a reset. Once you’ve allowed the body to reset, you can begin adding foods back in to your diet. Keep note of how the different foods make you feel when reintroducing and eliminate the foods you do not tolerate well.

  21. For some 15 years now I have had episodes of debilitating inflammation in the ligaments that join the bone at various joints in my body after eating gluten. I took a long time to isolate the cause of these spontaneous inflammations that swelled and disabled the joint and gave great pain. Gluten and the nightshade family cause serious inflammation for me within 24 to 36 hours of ingestion.

    • For those who are gluten intolerant, consuming gluten can cause an autoimmune response in the body resulting in increased inflammation and poor absorption of vital nutrients. Both of these reactions can lead to a multitude of symptoms, not just in the GI, but in all areas of the body including the joints. Many people with joint pain, fibromyalgia, and arthritis, find relief when following a gluten free diet.

  22. Rice and Corn do have gluten – corn’s is called zein and I can’t remember the other one. I react more to rice and corn than all the others. Buckwheat also has it. All of them have been tested and I have a list of the names of the glutens for the specific grains. It is the protein and everything has protein in it. Therefore I am one of the one’s who has to go “true gluten free”.

    • There is ongoing research into different grains, how they impact the body (and how they impact someone with celiac or gluten intolerance), and the amount of gluten in various grains. Many people do find eliminating corn, rice and buckwheat from their diet beneficial. Going grain free or paleo is an excellent option for anyone particularly sensitive to grains.

  23. I haven’t been officially diagnosed, and I LOVE beer- however, I have been 3 months off gluten (mostly) and with just that change, I have lost 10 lbs. I sleep better, my migraines have desisted, my tummy is flat, my skin glows, my sex is great, and I need less food (I don’t binge at night, because I graze more during the day.) I may be eating more veggies, but not really. I just replaced my gluten crackers and sandwich with free options. Udi’s has my favorite products! If I do have something with gluten, I get something like a hangover headache and need to nap almost immediately, and then go through some detox all over. Hard Apple cider is tasting better all the time! And nice wine. My point is there are ways!

    • While an official diagnosis of celiac or gluten intolerance is great, we can often eliminate gluten from our diet and see a difference. Consumption of gluten doesn’t just impact the GI system. Since gluten is inflammatory to the body, it can impact brain health, skin, energy, and weight. Eating gluten free foods can help make the transition to a gluten free diet easier since there are so many gluten free options on the market currently.

  24. I stopped eating white bread and processed wheat products about 20 years ago after my daughter was born , now if I ever laps and just try a piece of pizza or garlic bread I experience a sharp isolated pain in the right abdomen about 24 hours later it only last for a few minutes . Am I in the gluten sensitive category ??

    • Keep an eye out for other symptoms you may be experiencing such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, stomach pain, drop in energy levels, headache, joint pain, swelling, and fluid retention when eating gluten. Often we can experience these symptoms at small levels after eating gluten and simply ignore them because we think they are normal or caused by something else. You may be gluten sensitive or intolerant. You may choose to reintroduce gluten and see how your body reacts.

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