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Gluten Linked to Autoimmune and Bowel Diseases and MORE

Have you ever gone to the grocery store and had your eyes land on an array of food products branded with gluten-free labels? Perhaps you’ve heard friends giving up their staple dishes for mysterious health benefits, or a fitness coach strongly hinting that cutting down on this particular ingredient is essential.

But why all the sudden attention around wheat proteins – what’s really going into those foods and should we be worried about our intake levels? We have science here to investigate if there are indeed real worries associated with consuming too much gluten, so let’s dive in!

Gluten may be more than just an allergen – it could trigger autoimmune diseases in certain individuals. Evidence of such a link dates back to 1964, and scientists have continued researching this possible association over the years. Gluten can confuse the body’s natural defenses as its proteins mimic antigens that normally prompt immune response, potentially creating or worsening conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, type I diabetes and Grave’s disease for those who are especially susceptible.

Skin problems are most common for people who have celiac disease; they can experience a red, blistered and itchy rash that is diagnosed as dermatitis herpetiformis. However, the true celiac disease only affects about one percent of the American population. Even if you do not have celiac disease, gluten can generate skin issues in people who are more sensitive to PROTEINS. In 2015, a study found that some people had similar skin-related symptoms due to previously unfounded gluten sensitivity. Cutaneous (affecting the skin) gluten sensitivity is actually a diagnosable condition.

Gluten increases intestinal permeability because of its slow breakdown, and it is suspected this can lead to symptoms of certain bowel diseases. The way in which gluten breaks down in the intestines is why it can come along with issues like BLOATING and GAS for some people. The proteins contained in gluten are resistant against existing protease enzymes found in the intestines, so they break down slower. People who already have certain bowel diseases like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or Chron’s disease are often highly sensitive to gluten. However, science suggests that gluten could be more linked to such conditions than what is currently known.

Avoiding gluten is not going to harm you, so eliminating it from your daily intake is a doable thing if you are concerned gluten is bad for you. Some people choose to avoid gluten because they feel better by doing so, and others follow a gluten-free nutrition plan because they have to. In all truth, much more information and insight are needed where gluten relates to the health of the human body is concerned, but scientific studies are consistently popping up. Nevertheless, it is best to seek advice of any drastic dietary changes with your primary care with your physician beforehand.