Do you ever notice yourself feeling bloated, tired or gassy after a meal? Chances are you may have a sensitivity or intolerance to gluten. Gluten is a protein found in all forms of wheat, rye, oats, barley and related hybrids. It is used in food processing because it binds, stabilizes and prevents crumbling.

Many people suffer from intolerance to gluten, or more severely celiac disease, which is a hereditary intestinal mal-absorption disorder caused by intolerance to gluten. Gluten sensitivity/intolerance is a condition that is easily under-diagnosed. It is often assumed to be a food allergy but is more an autoimmune process. Some symptoms of gluten intolerance include:

• Recurring abdominal bloating and pain
• Chronic diarrhea
• Gas
• Bone pain
Behavior changes
• Muscle cramps
• Fatigue and extreme weakness
• Pain of the joints
• Seizures
• Tingling and numbness in the legs (from nerve damage)

By cutting gluten out of their diet, people who suffer from gluten sensitivity will see improvements in the above mentioned symptoms within a short time and gluten can often be re-introduced in their diet when the irritation/in?ammation of the bowel is gone. It can take up to one year for the bowel to completely heal. Studies show that people with rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, seizures, autism, ataxia (loss of balance), Down’s syndrome, lymphoma, osteoporosis and diabetes may bene?t considerably from living a gluten-free lifestyle.

To begin a gluten free diet, keep an eye out for these grains to avoid:
• Wheat – einkorn, emmer, spelt and kamut
• Wheat forms – wheat starch, wheat bran, wheat germ, cracked
wheat, hydrolyzed wheat protein, farina, semolina, graham ?our
and durum ?our
• Rye
• Barley
• Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)

Be aware that gluten is often hidden in things like soup, soy sauce or even candies. Make sure to read labels properly! Watch out for things like starch, malt, malt syrup, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) and texturized vegetable protein (TVP). You can get a more detailed list of foods that contain gluten and foods that are allowed while on a gluten-free diet in any good book on the topic or online. For more information about a gluten free diet, and other tips and tricks for living at your best, check out Nathalie’s book Wellness On The Go at

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Nathalie Beauchamp, B.Sc., D.C. is co-author of the book Wellness On The Go: Take the plunge – it’s Your Life! Dr. Beauchamp’s passion for wellness is infectious and she passes that along to her patients/clients through her expertise in the areas of fitness, nutrition, lifestyle and optimal health. Dr. Beauchamp is a chiropractor, a certified personal fitness trainer, a professional natural bodybuilder, a corporate wellness consultant and an inspirational speaker.