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Depending on who you listen to, going gluten free is either extremely beneficial for your health, or one of the latest food fads.

Gluten (Latin for "glue") is a protein found in many grains including rye, barley and wheat. It's what gives bread the chewiness we love and beer the taste we crave on a hot summer's day. Unfortunately, research is suggesting that this ingredient may be responsible for a number of health issues including diarrhea, headaches, eczema, joint pain and even depression.

Full blown gluten allergy is known as celiac disease, an autoimmune condition that attacks the small intestine and carries an increased risk of developing osteoporosis, infertility and intestinal cancers. It's estimated that 1% of the population has celiac disease, but many more may have a non-celiac gluten intolerance. While you can test for celiac disease using genetic markers, there is no definitive way to determine a gluten sensitivity. Naturopaths often recommend following a gluten free diet to diagnose an intolerance.

My experience with gluten intolerance includes family members who have improved since giving up the gluten: no more 'foggy' brains, a lack of digestive complaints and fewer headaches. While there has been a profusion of gluten free breads, mixes and cookies at our local grocery stores, my family isn't big on them. And, I'm not crazy about their nutritional value: many gluten free products are made with a blend of high glycemic white rice flour, potato starch and tapioca starch. We've discovered a whole grain brown rice bread that goes down well and I'm blending up my own gluten free flour to make crepes, savory breads and even pizza (yes!) that the whole family enjoys. There are some great resources on the internet, including [Link Removed] which has gluten free recipes for all your favorite baked goods. The chocolate chip cookies are divine...

If you or a family member opt for a gluten free for health reasons, focus on what you can eat instead of what you can't. We are lucky to be surrounded by a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables, wholesome nuts and seeds, seafood and meats that are naturally gluten free and taste amazing. Now if only someone could work on the beer...

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti aging skin care and women's wellness. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed]
For a limited time, Fabulously 40 members save 5% off all purchases. Code fab40 at checkout.


Pharmagirl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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Member Comments

    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote Feb 10, 2011
    • For me no gluten makes a huge difference in my MS. Migraines less often to almost none, digestion much easier.

      I do not do much of the gluten free breads, just stay away from bread. The rice breads are highly glycemic and do not need that issue.



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Tuliplady wrote Feb 10, 2011
    • I’m mostly gluten free as well.  Less migraines, less joint problems, less foggy headed, and better digestion without the wheat.  I do some GF baking, but gluten free or not baked goods are more calories that I don’t need.



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Alexisb wrote Feb 12, 2011
    • I’m allergic to gluten. As well as Soy,Corn,Peanut & Dairy....It’s really hard staying away from them...Every day is a struggle....



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Feb 15, 2011
    • I have been trying this plus having pure protein days and it makes a huge difference .....
      I think being gluten free is easier than years ago.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Pharmagirl wrote Feb 15, 2011
    • Tracy,

      Thanks for the input!  I’ll be watching the research about gluten-free diet and MS.

      We avoid the rice products at our place too—unless I can find something containing brown rice flour.

      Sharmani



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Pharmagirl wrote Feb 15, 2011
    • Agreed!  Going gluten free is much, much easier than it used to be.  There are some amazing gluten free bakeries where I live, and a wider variety of grains available at the market.  It helps just to adjust our thinking about what we need to eat to be healthy.
      Sharmani



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Pharmagirl wrote Feb 15, 2011
    • Alexis,
      That’s a lot of allergies.  

      I find it really helps to belong to a community where food restrictions are considered normal—it takes away the element of struggle to know you have company.  Then it can start to be about enjoying what you can have.

      Good health to you!
      Sharmani



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Pharmagirl wrote Feb 15, 2011
    • Tuliplady,
      We were amazed at the difference in our wellbeing when we became a gluten free family.  And I agree about the baking—nice as it is to know you can still enjoy baked goods, you don’t want to let your new diet become all about baking!

      Sharmani



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Mar 27, 2011
    • I have tried going gluten free tongue out and found it hard to do for a carbivore like me. So instead I try to me 2 meals free of gluten and the rest of my meals and snacks with protein.



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