If you go into your local grocery store it seems like there are more and more products being labeled as “gluten free.” Or you may have found yourself hearing about a friend or someone you know deciding to try a gluten free diet in Springfield Missouri. As a result, you may find yourself wondering what is up with this whole gluten thing? Gluten is a protein found in wheat containing grain products like bread, pasta, crackers, processed freezer meals and other foods.
According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, approximately 3 million Americans suffer from Celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disorder that causes an allergic reaction to gluten. The Celiac Foundation states that almost 97% of people with the disease go untested. The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness suggests that as many as 18 million people may be living with a gluten sensitivity. There is also a strong correlation between autoimmune disorders like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Type I Diabetes, Lupus, Thyroid disorders and gluten sensitivity/ intolerance. Symptoms of gluten sensitivity can mimic those of other diseases, which is why proper testing is important. If you are having symptoms of fatigue, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, unexplained weight gain, skin rashes, and, swelling it may be time for you to get tested. At Kare Health and Wellness we offer food allergy testing through a lab diagnostic company called Vibrant America.
Reading all this information may have you feeling overwhelmed, and that is understandable, but Kare is here to encourage you that it is not impossible to follow a gluten free diet. We have many staff members who have an allergy to gluten, so these tips have come from our own journeys in achieving better health.
As mentioned before, gluten is mainly found in wheat products. Unfortunately, it can be found in several other things that one may not think about. It is very important to read food labels on every product you buy. Some common things that have “hidden” gluten are products like:
- Salad dressing
- Soy sauce
- Barbeque sauces
- Gravy packets
- Processed freezer meals
- Other grains like buckwheat, millet, rye, barley, farro, and orzo
When examining a product, look for a stamp that has a label that is clearly marked “Certified Gluten Free.” If a product does not have the stamp, it is most likely not gluten free. Rice and potatoes are naturally gluten free so those are usually safe staple foods.
Another helpful tip is to check common personal care products like makeup, shampoo, body lotions, and other skincare items. These products may contain wheat. Several companies have worked hard to come out with some great gluten free products – food, cosmetics, personal care, etc. We promise you that you can still enjoy pizza and some of your other favorite foods (just without the gluten).
If you are still feeling overwhelmed by the thought of having a gluten free diet, Kare Health and Wellness can help you navigate living a gluten free lifestyle. Please feel free to contact us for more information. Our nutritionally trained staff would be happy to help you learn the tips and tricks of a gluten lifestyle.