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.




Is Leaky Gut Syndrome at the Heart of Your Medical Condition?

You may be hearing murmurs here and there about leaky gut syndrome, and the name probably made you cringe a little. A newly identified condition that hasn’t quite broken into the mainstream, leaky gut syndrome may be at the heart of a number of ailments, from arthritis to diabetes. But what is this terrible-sounding syndrome, and how can you stop the leaking?

What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

The lining of our intestines cover more than 4,000 square feet of surface area, and it serves to form a tight barrier between the gut and the bloodstream. This barrier is designed to keep partially digested food, toxins, bacteria, and bugs from penetrating the tissues beneath it. If the gut lining has large cracks or holes in it and toxins, food particles, bacteria, and such get through, it can trigger body-wide inflammation and cause changes in the microbiome, or the four-trillion-member-strong community of bacteria that resides in the gut.

To some degree, we all have a leaky gut. The barrier, after all, is not entirely impenetrable, and it’s not supposed to be. An excessively leaky gut–or increased permeability, as the scientists put it–can have a number of causes, including genetics and, more commonly, environmental factors like chronic stress, consuming excess amounts of processed food and alcohol, food allergies and intolerances, and certain medications.

It’s well-established by research that increased permeability of the gut plays a role in several gastrointestinal conditions, including celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and Crohn’s disease. But an increasing body of research is pointing to a link between a leaky gut and seemingly unrelated conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, arthritis, allergies, autism, obesity, asthma, acne, a variety of mental illnesses, and autoimmune diseases like lupus and multiple sclerosis.

Harvard Medical School points out that while controversy still exists on whether a leaky gut is at the root of this broad range of diseases, alternative and integrative medical practitioners have, for decades, worked on gut healing as an important treatment for a number of chronic diseases, with great success.

Symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome

Food allergies and intolerances are an important sign that you may have a leaky gut. According to an article published in the journal BMC Gastroenterology, other diseases that are related to and may point to a leaky gut include:
•Autoimmune diseases.
•Respiratory and other infections.
•Gastric ulcers.
•Infectious diarrhea.
•Esophagus and colorectal cancers.
•Chronic inflammation, including arthritis.
•Diabetes and other obesity-associated metabolic diseases.

Research shows that an excessively leaky gut can also cause thyroid problems, nutritional deficiencies, skin conditions like acne and psoriasis, and mental illnesses like depression.

Treating Leaky Gut Syndrome

While many mainstream physicians will prescribe medication for the symptoms a leaky gut, these don’t address the cause of the problem. Integrative medicine practitioners are more likely to find and address the root of the problem, whether it’s a combination of diet and stress, a food allergy or intolerance, or a vitamin or mineral deficiency.

Treating leaky gut syndrome–and the many conditions it may cause–requires a multi-pronged approach to health and wellness. It involves removing food and other lifestyle factors that cause damage to the gut, reducing inflammation through diet, repairing the gut through diet and supplementation, and rebalancing the microbiome with probiotics.

Stonehenge Health Dynamic Biotics Can Help

Long-term gut health requires eating a healthy diet that includes mostly plant-based foods, along with a few lean proteins. Limiting processed foods, alcohol, and sugar are essential for a healthy microbiome. A daily probiotic like Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics helps to restore and maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria and reduce symptoms of gastrointestinal and other problems. Dynamic Biotics provides you with 51 billion live probiotic cultures and 16 probiotic strains in every capsule to aid the growth of healthy colonies in the microbiome and promote better overall health and wellbeing.