Gluten intolerance and nutrition
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, spelt, oats, barley and rye. Many people have a gluten sensitivity, which can cause unwanted symptoms such as bloating, diarrhoea, and low energy. These symptoms can often be resolved by taking gluten out of the diet for a short period whilst working on improving gut health. A gluten intolerance is different to a wheat intolerance - if you are wheat intolerant, avoiding wheat based products is all that is necessary. However if you have a gluten intolerance you must avoid all gluten grains including wheat.
More serious is coeliac disease which is an auto-immune disease and lifelong gluten intolerance - gluten should therefore always be avoided. If someone with coeliac disease eats gluten it can damage the gut lining which reduces the absorption of nutrients. Some of the symptoms of coeliac disease include:
- Weight loss
- Extreme tiredness
- Mouth ulcers
- Bone problems
- Hair loss
Not everyone suffers from these symptoms and in some people coeliac symptoms can be quite subtle. Coeliac disease can often go undiagnosed and the symptoms are often put down to other factors such as stress or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). At least one in 100 people has coeliac disease.
If you are suffering from bloating, diarrohea, constipation, low energy, mouth ulcers and any of the other symptoms listed above, you could be suffering from a gluten intolerance or coeliac disease. At The Nutrition Coach we will help you establish whether or not gluten is a problem for you, or whether it could perhaps be something else causing your symptoms. If you know you are gluten intolerant or have already been diagnosed with coeliac disease, we will advise you on how to follow a healthy gluten free diet.
Gluten intolerance and diet
To help establish whether or not you have a gluten intolerance or coeliac disease we will assess your symptoms and may recommend testing. Coeliac disease should only ever be diagnosed by proper testing.
When people first find out they are gluten intolerant or have coeliac disease, they are often very worried about how they are going to cope and what they should and shouldn’t eat. At The Nutrition Coach we will advise you on what foods you shouldn’t eat and how to read food labels for signs of gluten - gluten is hidden in many products. We will also advise you on which foods you can continue to eat - just because you are gluten intolerant or have coeliac disease doesn’t mean to say you can’t eat a varied and healthy diet. There are lots of delicious gluten free grains and there are now many gluten free food ranges. The Nutrition Coach will also recommend supplements to restore good gut health if we think it is necessary.