Why your Gluten Free Diet DIDN’T Calm your Inflamed Belly
August 19, 2018
I remember many years ago when we found out my nephew was reacting to gluten and my Sister-in-law struggled to figure out what to feed him because it was literally in EVERYTHING. But now walking the aisles of the grocery store you’ll see GLUTEN FREE plastered on everything from bread, sauces to carrots (that’s right carrots).
The global forecast for gluten-free food sales is estimated to hit $23.9 billion by 2020. There are gluten free conferences, gluten free cook books, Facebook groups, support groups, etc etc. The days of my sister-in-law driving hours into the closest city for a loaf of bread are gone.
Why this craze? Because it is a common food sensitivity and generally people do feel better when eliminating it or reducing it substantially. And when it comes to the world of IBS symptoms and irritable tummies it is a well-known trigger for flare ups. So you may be reading this thinking, ‘I’ve tried going gluten free and I’m still painfully bloated’, or ‘I feel a bit better but I’m still constantly calling in sick for work due to my embarrassing tummy troubles.’
These are the 5 reasons why your gluten free diet may not be working for you…
1.Processed gluten free products: We often to fall into the trap of gluten free processed food-like products. Gluten-free gummy candies are just as unhealthy as regular gummy candies and still contain a lot of other tummy inflamers like; sugar, artificial flavors and artificial colors. Check the ingredients list of everything that comes in a can, package, and container to ensure you recognize it as real food.
2. Cross contaminated products: If you are extremely sensitive to gluten you also need to be mindful of foods that don’t contain gluten but are cross contaminated with gluten. A good example of this are oats; oats don’t contain gluten, but they are often processed in the same facilities as other gluten containing grains. So it’s important to purchase certified gluten free oats.
3. Didn’t avoid long enough: When we experiment with eliminating a possible digestive trigger or food sensitivity we need to remove it longer than a meal, or day or even a week. The gluten anti-bodies take time to clear from the body so it may take at least 3 -6 weeks to see results.
4. Not 100% Avoidance: Even 1 cracker once a week can be enough to keep a negative gluten response going in the body. If you want to know with zero doubt if gluten is inflaming your gut you need to go hard or go home. What I mean is to commit to eliminating it from your diet 100% for at least 3 weeks.
5. Not a trigger or there are more: Guess what?! You may be one of the lucky that gluten is not your trigger, meaning there’s something else. Or you may have multiple foods that are aggressively tap dancing their way through your digestive tract leaving you with painful cramps, diarrhea, constipation or running to the bathroom 8+ times a day. One of the first steps with IBS or chronic tummy trouble is to know with absolute certainty which food(s) are your specific triggers. This often goes beyond just gluten.