June 22, 2017
Gluten-Free Diet: Is it for you?
By Brice Woodard, ABS Team Member
What is gluten? Is it bad for you? Should you eat it? These are common questions you might have. Before deciding whether adopting a gluten-free diet is for you, let's answer some fundamental questions about gluten and get a better understanding of what it is and what it does.
For most people, gluten doesn't cause any issues. There is a small percentage of people, about 1%, that suffer from Celiac's disease. Celiac's disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes your body to treat gluten as a foreign invader leading to attacks that can destroy intestinal lining.
The resulting damage can lead to nutritional deficiencies, anemia, and a variety of digestive issues. The issues don't stop with the digestive system. Symptoms such as depression, skin rashes, and headaches can also manifest from Celiac's disease.
Some people also suffer from a relatively new condition called "non-celiac gluten intolerance." An estimated 10-15% of people have some level of non-celiac gluten intolerance. While this doesn't cause the physical damage that celiac's disease does, it can still present several digestive issues such as bloating, cramping, diarrhea and tiredness. These numbers have not been confirmed yet by studies, and the validity of the disease is still a hot topic among experts.
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