Posts Tagged ‘Gluten’

Is Gluten the Culprit for Your Mood Swings?

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Wheat Gluten MoodIf you’ve been struggling with mood swings and nothing has helped, there could be a simple answer: Your diet might be the cause of your emotional ups and downs. Gluten intolerance can wreak havoc on your body leading to adrenal fatigue, hormonal imbalances and mood swings.

What is Adrenal Fatigue and How Does Gluten Come into Play?
Adrenal fatigue is a state of chronic tiredness caused when the adrenal gland doesn’t work as it should. Reports indicate that as many as 80% of people will experience this disorder at some point in their lives. Warning signs include:

  • You’re tired most of the time for no reason.
  • It’s hard to get up and going in the morning.
  • You crave caffeine or sugar to keep going.
  • You feel stressed and run-down most of the time.

Thought to be a product of chronic stress, allergies or obesity in the past, many researchers now attribute adrenal fatigue to gluten intolerance. In a person with this problem, gluten, the basic protein in wheat, rye and barley, puts stress on the adrenal glands. These tiny organs sit just above the kidneys and regulate the body’s hormones.

How Does Gluten Intolerance Cause Mood Swings?
Gluten intolerance causes mood swings by stressing the adrenal gland. This in turn causes an imbalance in hormone levels. The main purpose of balanced hormones is to allow the body to repair itself and prevent aging. When this balance breaks down, your body can’t repair itself and each system starts to deteriorate. Eventually, this leads to unexplained fatigue, uncontrolled PMS, mood swings, hot flashes, depression and even a loss of libido.

How Can I Remove Gluten From My Diet?
It sounds so simple to just not eat bread. Unfortunately, removing all traces of gluten from your diet is a little more complicated. Start off by looking for gluten-free products and restaurants that serve gluten-free items. Learn to read the labels religiously for any type of flour that commonly contains gluten. When in doubt, remember that basic food items like meats and fresh fruits and vegetables are always gluten-free!

Although it’s perfectly fine to remove gluten from your diet to see if it makes you feel better, you should see your doctor if you think you may have adrenal fatigue. These symptoms could be a sign of a number of other health problems.


Gluten Free Diet – What’s it all About?

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Gluten WheatIf you’ve paid attention to any media source recently, you’ve probably heard  about gluten sensitivity and gluten-free diets. Even Chelsea Clinton has gone gluten-free and had a gluten-free menu at her recent wedding. This fad has been triggered by the growing awareness of health benefits that a gluten free diet provides. In addition to Chelsea, Jennifer Aniston, Zooey Deschanel (star of Bones), and Rachel Weisz (star of The Mummy) have joined the ranks of the gluten free.

Why is Everyone Going Gluten-Free?
Gluten-free diets are not just for the rich and famous. Marketing surveys indicate that 15 to 25% of shoppers, a startling one out of four, are asking for gluten-free products. Doctor’s estimate that only 1% of the population has an actual gluten intolerance, so there must be some reason that everyone else is giving up gluten. Gluten-free followers find their new diet,  free of most processed foods and rich in fruits and vegetables, gives them a vitality and energy level they never had before. A gluten-free diet will naturally stabilize blood sugar as processed sugars are removed from the foods being eaten. While this is good for everyone, it is particularly good for diabetics.

What is Gluten?
People talk about gluten like it’s pure poison, the worst thing since fat and cholesterol. Gluten is simply a type of plant-based protein that is in many wheat and grain products. It is in most traditional breads, pasta, cookies, cakes, and other baked products. In other words, it’s the comfort foods that most of us think of as “the good stuff.” While a reasonable amount of gluten doesn’t seem to harm most people, if you have a gluten intolerance, also known as celiac disease, or diabetes, it can cause fatigue, disgestive problems and interefer with the absorbtion of nutrients.

Is a Gluten-Free Diet the Answer to Type 1 Diabetes?
There is a high occurrence of patients with both celiac disease and Type 1 Diabetes. U.S. statistics show that 1 in 100 people in the general population have celiac disease, while 1 in 10 people who have Type 1 Diabetes also have celiac disease. Many celiac patients find that their diabetic symptoms disappear when they follow the strict, gluten-free diet that is recommended for their gluten intolerance. In fact, researchers believe that this correlation may be their first clue to finding a way to prevent Type 1 Diabetes. This is quite a break through because this is the first indication of any firm idea on how Type 1 Diabetes could be triggered. Wouldn’t it be a miracle if Type 1 Diabetes could be prevented or driven into remission by simply changing your diet? It would give Type 1 patients the same hope that Type 2 patients enjoy.

To Go Gluten Free, or Not?
The gluten-free diet will effectively help those with wheat allergies, celiac disease and diabetes if followed 100% but gluten-free may not be for everyone.  If control over your diet is what you are aiming to achieve then gluten free can be beneficial, but if you don’t have a gluten intolerance or diabetes consider the gluten-free diet as a guideline.  Avoid the common foods that contain gluten, like pastries, pizza, beer and even soy sauce and remember to replace these with lots of fruit, vegetables, lean meats and low-fat dairy options.  Also, always be sure to read the nutritional labels on any “gluten-free” products; just because it is gluten-free doesn’t mean it isn’t full of calories, fat or sugars.

Some common foods that may contain gluten:

  • Pastries: Pretzels, muffins, cakes, pastas, cookies, etc
  • Gluten CrissantPizza
  • Beer
  • Lucheon  meats and sausages may contain gluten fillers
  • Soups with a flour base
  • Instant coffee
  • Licorice
  • Hot Chocolate powders
  • Soy Sauce
  • Dry mustard
  • Gravy powders and stock cubes
  • Baked beans
  • Pates
  • Anything with wheat, wheat germ, wheat grass, rye, barley, bulgur, couscous, farina, graham flour, kamut, matzo, seitan, semolina, spelt, or triticale
  • Also avoid foods that contain hydrolyzed vegetable protein