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Do you suffer with “unexplained digestive issues?” Irritable bowel, Chron’s, colitis, reflux, constipation, bloating, diarrhea? Do you have joint pain? Migraines? Fatigue, weight loss resistance, depression, anxiety? PMS? Have you unsuccessfully tried different methods for relief?

The answer could be as easy as eliminating a certain food – or foods – from your diet. Eating foods to which we’re sensitive or allergic can cause all kinds of inner turmoil, and the results can manifest as several different symptoms. You may regularly be consuming foods you’re sensitive to and not even be aware! Internally, the result could be inflammation, hormonal imbalance, pain, or even anxiety or depression.

The “big 7” most common allergic foods are gluten, soy, dairy, citrus, beef, egg, nuts. Some people have severe reactions when they eat these foods and others have no reaction that they relate to that food. However, they could be experiencing symptoms caused by the body’s reaction to the food, like bloating, constipation, or joint pain – and they’re not making the connection between the food and symptom.

Gluten is the protein in wheat and is found in all wheat or white flour products, as well as rye, barley, spelt, and triticale. Gluten is in pasta, baked goods, all breads (unless noted gluten free) tortillas, and even sprouted breads.

Most, if not all, experience relief from major symptoms simply by removing this one food. Dairy and soy are the other 2 culprits, so if you’re feeling inspired, cut out all 3 at once. Gluten intolerance is very common and can cause a lot of inflammation in the digestive tract. Did you know that the majority of your immune system is in your gut? If you’re intolerance and you consume gluten, your digestive tract becomes damaged and “leaky,” causing an increase in allergies, hormonal imbalance, and weakened immunity.

Try giving up gluten for at least two weeks and see how you feel. Eliminating this food means giving up many of the refined white flour products so common in our diets – bread with sandwiches, pasta, muffins – and forces you to eat more whole foods – meats, fruits, and vegetables. If you simply cannot fathom giving it up, bargain with yourself. Try 3 or 4 days. Then a whole week. Or pick one day a week as your cheat day. But go for the full 14 days, and then on day 15, load up on pancakes, pasta, and bread and see how you feel. Any adverse reactions (bloating, fatigue, nausea), and yep…. you’re intolerant.

Most stores offer many gluten free alternative such as brown rice bread, brown rice pasta, Pamela’s gluten free baking mix, rice crackers, or muffins and breads made with almond flour, potato flour, or quinoa flour. Also try coconut flour for baked goods.

Pamela's mix makes yummy things.

Pamela's mix makes yummy things.

Stay tuned for gluten free recipes, and much more to come on this topic!

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