Holistic Health Collective

Why do some people go gluten free?

Celiac disease – an autoimmune disorder that leads to the body creating antibodies against the protein gluten (commonly found in wheat, rye, and barley).  It leads to damage to the small intestinal villi.  Celiac disease is associated with specific genetic markers, and those who have the gene may have a greater risk of developing celiac disease in life but not all people who have these genetic markers will develop celiac disease. 

Gluten Sensitivity – associated with developing a reaction after eating foods that contain gluten such as bloating, abdominal pain, headache, brain fog, joint pain, and or numbness.  Persons with gluten sensitivity experience less damage to their intestinal lining and do not tend to have positive antibody testing markers typically found in celiac disease.

General health – many processed foods contain simple carbohydrates that are derived from gluten based foods.  Gluten free recommendations are found in a lot of elimination diets or cleanses mainly to help an individual determine if they are gluten sensitive but also decrease the amount of processed foods that leads to spikes and drops in blood sugar from excessive consumption.  If a person is not gluten sensitive or have celiac disease then it is not permanent change for a person eliminating gluten but more of a period of fasting from gluten itself for the other health benefits of lowering processed or simple carbohydrates in the diet that may be derived from gluten.  There continues to many complex carbohydrates that have health benefits that can and should be incorporated in these persons diets whose immune system isn’t effected by gluten.