5 Common Signs of a Gluten Sensitivity and How to Remedy It

Gluten has, in recent years, been demonized in many circles, leading to a mass boycott of this family of proteins. But gluten is harmless if you don’t have an adverse reaction to it.

Gluten is found in wheat, rye, spelt, and barley. Gluten consists of two main proteins called glutenin and gliadin. When these two proteins mix with water, they become glue-like in consistency, hence the name. Gluten gives bread dough it’s elastic nature and gives the final product its much-beloved chewy texture.

Around one percent of the population has celiac disease, which is the most severe form of gluten intolerance. In people with celiac disease, the immune system believes that the gluten proteins are foreign invaders, and it attacks them–along with the gut wall. Classified as an autoimmune disease, celiac disease can cause severe damage to the digestive system.

Gluten sensitivity, also known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity, is different from celiac disease and has milder symptoms. Unlike celiac disease, gluten sensitivity doesn’t damage the gut lining, but it can cause serious intestinal discomfort nonetheless.

Studies show that the majority of people who believe they’re gluten intolerant may not have a gluten sensitivity at all. One study found that only 25 percent of those who reported gluten sensitivity met the diagnostic criteria. That doesn’t mean that eating a lot of gluten still won’t make your gut unhappy.

Common Symptoms of Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

The symptoms associated with gluten sensitivity are wide-ranging, and some, like headaches, aren’t directly related to digestion. On their own, each symptom can have a myriad of causes. But if multiple symptoms occur together, it could be a sign of gluten sensitivity. The following are the five most common signs of non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

1. Bloating

Bloating is a very common digestive woe, and it’s associated with all kinds of foods and conditions. Research shows that around 87 percent of people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity experience frequent bloating discomfort.

2. Diarrhea and constipation

People who have regular bouts of diarrhea or constipation may be gluten-sensitive, especially if their feces are particularly foul-smelling. A recent study found that over half of people with gluten sensitivity have frequent diarrhea, and around 25 percent experience regular constipation.

3. Headaches

While headaches are very common and have numerous causes, regular headaches that occur along with digestive symptoms can indicate a gluten sensitivity. In fact, some studies show that gluten-sensitive people may be more likely to experience migraines than non-sensitive people.

4. Fatigue

Up to 82 percent of people with gluten sensitivity frequently feel tired and fatigued, according to research, especially after eating foods containing gluten. In some cases, gluten intolerance can cause anemia, which contributes to fatigue.

5. Skin issues

Skin problems are common in people with celiac disease, and they can also indicate a gluten sensitivity in those without celiac. Skin problems associated with gluten sensitivity include psoriasis (scaly, red skin), alopecia areata (non-scarring hair loss), and chronic urticaria (itchy, pink or red lesions with pale centers).

How Gluten Sensitivity is Diagnosed and Treated

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity is diagnosed if:

•You experience immediate symptoms after ingesting gluten.
•You cut out gluten and symptoms disappear.
•You re-introduce gluten and experience symptoms again.
•Medical exams rule out celiac disease and wheat allergy.
•A blinded gluten test confirms non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

If you have non-celiac gluten sensitivity, the most important thing to do is to take good care of your digestive health every day to reduce symptoms. A daily probiotic like Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics can help keep your gut flora in balance to reduce digestive discomfort, while our Incredible Digestive Enzymes support gluten digestion as well as the digestion of carbs, dairy, and fiber.

Depending on your symptoms and the severity of your gluten sensitivity, you may need to avoid gluten altogether, although some people with this condition can consume small amounts of gluten without too much trouble. Through trial and error, and with supplemental digestive support, you can find out what works best for you.




The 10 Worst Foods for IBS

For many people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), symptoms may be triggered by specific foods. What triggers your symptoms may be different from what triggers the symptoms of fellow sufferers, but these 10 foods are likely culprits for anyone with IBS.

1. Gluten

Although gluten is often unfairly demonized, it’s fair to say that gluten can be a major trigger for IBS. Gluten is a type of protein found in certain grains, including rye, wheat, and barley. Many people who have IBS are also gluten intolerant and may experience symptoms like bloating, cramps, and diarrhea.

2. Fried Foods

Fried foods are high in fat and can be particularly hard on the digestive systems of people who have IBS. Frying food makes it more difficult to digest, so other cooking methods are recommended for people with IBS and other gastrointestinal problems.

3. Caffeine

Coffee and other drinks containing caffeine stimulate the intestines and can cause diarrhea. Instead of consuming drinks with caffeine when you need a little boost, go for a brisk walk.

4. Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are found in sugarless gum, candy, and diet drinks. Commonly used artificial sweeteners include acesulfame potassium, aspartame, and sucralose, and since these and other sugar substitutes are difficult for the body to absorb, they can easily trigger IBS symptoms.

5. Alcohol

Many people with IBS have trouble drinking alcohol because of how their body digests it. The dehydrating effects of alcohol are also problematic for people with IBS. If you enjoy drinking alcohol, stick with gluten-free beer, or enjoy a cocktail mixed with soda water.

6. Broccoli and Cauliflower

While broccoli and cauliflower are healthy vegetables, they’re not always ideal for people with IBS. These vegetables are among the hardest for people to digest, and when they’re broken down in the intestines, they produce gas and may cause constipation.

7. Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble fiber is that which can’t be digested. Although it adds healthy bulk to your diet, insoluble fiber can make diarrhea worse for people with IBS. Soluble fiber, which is found in grains, root vegetables, legumes, and berries, is a better choice if you have digestive woes.

8. Dairy

Dairy products contain fat, which can worsen diarrhea. They also contain lactose, and since many people with IBS are also lactose intolerant, dairy products may need to be restricted. Suitable dairy substitutes include rice, soy, or nut milks and cheeses.

9. Beans and Legumes

For some people, beans and legumes can help reduce constipation by increasing the bulk in the stool. But they’re also notorious for causing gas, cramping, and bloating, especially in people with IBS. Different varieties can produce different results, so trial and error may help you find which types you can safely eat.

10. Processed Foods

Highly processed foods like bread, crackers, sweets, and chips contain high levels of fat, sugar, preservatives, and other additives that can cause problems with digestion. Choosing mostly fresh, whole foods is the healthiest way to eat whether or not you have IBS.

Everyone’s IBS triggers are different, and once you know what yours are, staying away from those foods will help you remain as symptom-free as possible. Regardless of what you eat, a daily probiotic like Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics can help you maintain optimal gut flora balance for better digestion and fewer IBS symptoms.


How to Stop Urinary Tract Infections Before They Start

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are common in women, especially as we age. Unfortunately, UTIs are commonly over-diagnosed and over-treated with antibiotics, which can lead to antibiotic-resistant organisms.

Urinary tract infections have a number of causes. A UTI may result when urine pools in the bladder due to an obstructed urinary flow, and the pooled urine grows bacteria. It can also occur when harmful bacteria cling to the urethra and make their way to the bladder. Other causes include sexual activity and a lack of estrogen in the lining of the vagina, which helps protect against UTIs.

Symptoms of a UTI include frequent urination, an urgency to urinate, and a burning sensation that accompanies urination. In elderly women, confusion is a common symptom of a UTI, and it’s often the only symptom. Left untreated, a UTI can lead to a kidney infection, which can be very dangerous, even life-threatening.

How to Prevent UTIs

Prevention is best when it comes to urinary tract infections, especially for older women and those who tend to get them often. Here are the best ways to prevent a UTI.

Stay well-hydrated.
Adequate hydration helps you produce plenty of urine to dilute and flush bad bacteria from the bladder and urethra. Avoid sugary drinks and stick to water for most of your fluid intake.

Take vitamin C.
Vitamin C helps make your urine more acidic, which may prevent the growth of bad bacteria. Get vitamin C from citrus fruits, berries, and leafy greens, or take a 500-to-1,000 milligram supplement each day.

Eat (or drink) cranberries.
Perhaps one of the most well-known anti-UTI measures is consuming cranberries, which prevent bacteria from adhering to the lining of the urinary tract. Eat dried cranberries, add them to salads or rice, or drink a little unsweetened cranberry juice each day.

Wipe from front to back.
Bacteria hang out around the anus and wiping from back to front can introduce them to your vagina, where they can migrate to the urinary tract.

Urinate after sex.
During sex, bacteria are introduced into the vagina. Urinating afterwards helps to flush it out.

Avoid feminine deodorant products.
The best way to stay fresh is to shower often with mild soap and water. Products like douches, deodorant sprays, and powders can cause a UTI and other problems.

Apply estrogen vaginal cream.
If you’ve gone through menopause, you have less estrogen in your body, which can cause vaginal dryness and promote infection in the urinary tract. Estrogen creams help balance your pH so that good bacteria will flourish.

Take a probiotic. Probiotics are live “good” bacteria in your body that are involved in numerous functions to keep you healthy. According to Harvard University Medical School, taking a daily probiotic may help prevent UTIs by preventing bad bacteria from growing in the vagina. Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics contains all nine of the most important bacteria strains recommended for women.

If you get a UTI despite preventive measures, treating it early on is the best way to prevent severe symptoms and complications. If you have symptoms of a UTI, pay a visit to your doctor and consider starting a daily probiotic routine.





5 Ways to Reduce Digestive Distress as You Age

Indigestion isn’t a disease, but rather a collection of symptoms that occur after you eat. Indigestion can be an indication of a larger problem and may include nausea, heartburn, abdominal pain, gas or bloating. It can make your life miserable, and unfortunately for us older folks, digestive distress becomes more common as we age. According to an article published in the Postgraduate Medical Journal, that’s because as we age, the body’s systems–including the digestive system–are less adept at their jobs. For example, some of the stomach changes related to aging include:

•Decreased secretion of gastric acid.
•Decreased pepsin, the chief digestive enzyme that breaks down proteins into polypeptides.
•Decreased mucus production.
•Reduced blood supply, which slows digestion.
•Slower transit time for digestion, resulting in reduced gastric emptying.

These changes can lead to a lot of different types of discomfort, but luckily, there are several ways you can prevent or treat digestive troubles. Finding what works for you is a matter of trial and error, and it may be a combination of strategies that do the trick for you. Here are five places to start.

1. Eat smaller, more frequent meals

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, eating small, frequent meals reduces stomach pressure and can help prevent acid reflux, fullness, bloating, and other digestive complaints.

2. Eat more slowly

Make a point to be mindful about eating. Take small bites, and chew your food slowly and thoroughly, tasting and savoring each bite. Allow time to pass between bites. Eating slowly is less likely to overwhelm your stomach and cause bloating, gas, and discomfort. And according to Harvard Medical School, eating slowly may make you feel full faster, so you don’t eat as much, which can also alleviate potential digestive woes.

3. Take a digestive enzyme

According to a review published in the journal Current Drug Metabolism, supplementing with a digestive enzyme like Stonehenge Health’s Incredible Digestive Enzymes can help your body not only digest food more efficiently but also absorb more nutrients from the food you eat. Incredible Digestive Enzymes contains 18 multi-functioning enzymes, including those that break down proteins, fats, sugars, and other substances. Digestive enzymes are typically taken at the beginning of each meal or as directed by a healthcare professional.

4. Manage your stress and treat your depression

A study published in the Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility found that stress and depression are linked to a range of digestive diseases, including IBS and acid reflux disease. Keeping your stress levels under control and seeking treatment for depression can help reduce bouts of digestive problems.

5. Skip the bedtime snack

Ideally, you should wait at least three hours after your last meal of the day before hitting the sack. That’s because when you’re asleep, many of your digestive functions slow down, and a full belly can cause discomfort all night. Additionally, gastroesophageal reflux can be worse when you’re in a supine position, so lying down too soon after eating often spell misery.

Digestive woes can reduce your quality of life, but they’re not easy to diagnose or treat. A healthy diet, plenty of exercise, and digestive enzymes before each meal can help boost the function of an aging digestive system. The more steps you take to learn about and address digestive problems through diet and other lifestyle factors, the sooner you can identify and eradicate the source of your discomfort.


Why eating slowly may help you feel full faster


Top 3 Tips to Reduce Painful Bloating

When you’re working hard to have the healthiest feeling body possible, one of the most frustrating things that can happen is feeling stuffed, gassy, and bloated…

And it can be especially disheartening when it happens during this time of year.

Because having unpredictable gut health can put a serious wrench in so many of your favorite activities.

But I’ve got some great news…

There are easy, effective things you can do to make tremendous strides towards better gut health — and start getting rid of that bloating tonight.

And I thought I’d share them with you today!

#1: Drink Less Coffee

I know for many of you, starting the day with a warm cup of java seems like a requirement. But if you’re worried about the health of your digestive tract, this might be the best place to start.

That’s because coffee increases the amount of acid produced in your body, acid that irritates your gut — a recipe that can lead to serious bloating.

If you’re hooked on coffee, try cutting back to one cup a day for starters. (And be careful about turning your cup of joe into a milkshake — adding cream and sugar only increase your risk of bloating.)

#2: Eat Ginger or Drink Ginger Tea

Ginger has been used for centuries to help with all kinds of ailments.
That’s because it contains two compounds — gingerols and shogaols — that reduce inflammation in your gut and help the muscles in your intestines relax.

If you’re looking for an easy way to add ginger into your diet, try drinking a warm ginger brew.

Just take some raw ginger and cut it into very thin slices.

Then, boil them in water for around 10 minutes. To add some flavor, squeeze in some lemon and drizzle a little honey in as well.

And if you’re up for a quicker fix, you can always try powdered ginger root. Either one will work wonders.

#3: Try Eliminating Dairy

While it seems like everyone these days is concerned about the amount of gluten in their food, it’s more likely for people to have a sensitivity to lactose.

Lactose is the main sugar in milk, and in order for it to be properly processed, you need to have an enzyme called lactase.

You have plenty of it growing up, but as you age, you produce less and less of it.

That means it becomes extremely difficult for your gut to break down cow’s milk and other types of dairy, which leads to that dreaded bloated feeling.

Try out these tips for a few weeks, and see how much better you feel. If you’re lucky, your bloating might even disappear altogether.

Don’t forget — for an extra level of healthy digestive system support, taking Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics daily is the best way to keep everything in balance.

It was specially designed to include 16 potent probiotic strains…helping your gut feel healthy and letting you enjoy your days without worry.