Is Gluten Affecting the Health of Your Family?

As someone who has been off gluten nearly 9 years by now, sometimes I don't even realize that some people aren't aware of gluten, what health issues can be linked to it, and how to avoid it. Here's a submission from a reader for readers that are less informed about gluten; hopefully it'll help you improve you and your family's health.

Don’t let gluten slow you down or affect the health of your kids and loved ones.

Image courtesy of Pixabay
Going gluten-free is a common trend these days. But for many people, it’s a necessity. If you’re one of the 18 million Americans who experience some form of gluten sensitivity, you’ll know all too well what we’re talking about.

Many people find that shortly after eating foods that contain gluten, they experience headaches, nausea, or bloated. While it is possible it’s due to overeating, many times these symptoms are a sign of something more serious.

The adverse effects of gluten can happen to anyone, adults and children alike. That means that if your child is frequently complaining of stomach and headaches, it could be a result of what they are eating.

No matter who may be showing signs, it’s important to take note of what the symptoms are and when they happen. If they become a common occurrence, it’s time to talk to your doctor.

By identifying the issue, you can take measures to begin improving your health and decrease the presence of these unpleasant symptoms. The first step is to gain a better understanding of gluten and what it’s doing to your body.

Here’s a look at the details about gluten tackled in this article:
  • Discuss what gluten is and where it can be found
  • Talk about the ways gluten can affect your body and possible diagnoses
  • Identify some of the most common symptoms that come with gluten intolerance

Gluten can be found in many of the foods that we eat every single day. Bread is a prime example of a commonly consumed food that contains gluten. It could be one of the many foods that are making you feel sick after you eat. Image courtesy of Pixabay.
First of all, what is gluten?

Before we get too far into it, let’s take a minute to talk about gluten. If you’re not familiar with exactly what gluten is, it’s proteins in cereal grains, such as wheat, barley, and rye. For many people, gluten affects their bodies in a negative way and depending on the severity can cause both short and long-term effects.

While it may seem straightforward, gluten can be found in many of the foods you eat on a daily basis and can often be hidden among other ingredients. That’s why for people suffering from gluten intolerance or Celiac disease, it’s very important to read nutrition labels and understand how to identify gluten.

Here are a few common types of food that gluten is prevalent in:
  • Bread
  • Beer
  • Cereals
  • Cakes
  • French fries
  • Pasta
  • Processed food

Now, you may be wondering how you know if gluten is affecting you or your family’s health.
Let’s dive into the two most common gluten-related medical diagnoses to get a better picture.

Celiac disease is the most serious scenario when it comes to gluten intolerance. It can cause those affected to experience severe symptoms and can present many complications. Image courtesy of Pexels.

What is Celiac disease?

Celiac disease is an immune reaction to eating gluten. When someone with Celiac consumes gluten it causes a reaction in their small intestine. After a while, that reaction can damage the lining of the intestine and prevent it from absorbing nutrients.

Choosing to ignore the signs and symptoms of Celiac disease can lead to serious complications. When ignored, it can cause malnutrition, bone loss, depression, dental defects, and more.

In children, there is potential to experience malabsorption which has the potential to affect growth and development. Among other things, it can also cause damage to tooth enamel, weight loss, and delayed puberty.

Just a few of the many reasons why it’s so important to have a discussion with your doctor around any gluten sensitivity concerns. Utilizing an app to manage your doctor's feedback and dietary restrictions is a great way to keep your family healthy and on track.

From headaches to depression, gluten can take a toll on anyone -- from young kids to adults. Even those who may not be diagnosed with Celiacs can still experience painful side effects. Image courtesy of Pexels.

What is gluten intolerance?

Not everyone who experiences the negative effects of eating gluten will be diagnosed with Celiac disease. Many people will simply experience gluten intolerance or sensitivity. Gluten intolerance presents many of the same symptoms of Celiac but does not produce the same antibodies and intestinal damage.

While it may be less damaging and a milder reaction, gluten intolerance can still cause major discomfort and problems for those affected.

Since gluten is the trigger for these conditions, taking steps to remove it from your diet will help relieve symptoms of both Celiac and gluten intolerance. Both of these conditions are long-term problems and should be taken seriously when symptoms arise. If you see symptoms in your children, you can’t just chalk it up to “they’ll grow out of it.”

That makes knowing when it’s time to visit the doctor is always the questions -- especially when it’s your child complaining of symptoms. Is their stomach ache from eating too much candy? Or is there something else going on here?

The symptoms that come with gluten can be unbearable for some. Among other things, many people frequently experience headaches, nausea, and joint pain. Image courtesy of Pexels.

What are the common symptoms?

Many of the symptoms that come with gluten sensitivity, at all levels, can present themselves as common health conditions you may brush off. When these symptoms become more prevalent and present themselves after consuming foods containing gluten, it’s time to consult a doctor.

Here are a list of many common symptoms that people with gluten sensitivity experience:

  • Headache
  • Joint pain
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Numbness and tingling in feet and hands
  • Itchy, blistery skin rash

If you are concerned your child may be suffering from negative side effects from gluten, look for symptoms such as:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Swollen stomach
  • Constipation
  • Gas
  • Foul-smelling stools
If you or your child are experiencing any of these symptoms on a regular basis, or after eating products that contain gluten, it might be time to see your doctor.

While you might hate to see some of your favorite foods go, once you start feeling the positive effects of eliminating gluten from your diet it will be worth it. Plus they make just about everything gluten-free anymore! Image courtesy of Pixabay.
Kick Gluten Out of Your Diet

If you find that your body isn’t responding well to gluten, it’s time to take it out of your diet. Talk with your doctor to fully understand what your gluten tolerance level is, and start taking measures to eliminate it from your diet. Once you start cutting gluten, you’ll start to see improvements in your health and start feeling better after meals.

You’re not alone in your struggle against gluten and by taking the right steps you can eliminate uncomfortable side effects.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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