Recently, lots of attention is directed towards a gluten-free diet. So, what is the reason that some chose to follow a gluten-free diet. Also, What happens if you stop eating gluten and then start again?
In fact, the protein present in wheat, barley, and rye called gluten. It gives the dough elasticity when mixed with water allowing it to form the perfect dough.
However, that benefit gave the privilege for wheat to have the upper hand in the bakery industry above several grains that lack gluten.
Furthermore, gluten is not only involved in baked food, but also in different sauces, vitamins, fried foods. Also, some cosmetic products contain a certain amount of gluten.
Why is gluten bad for you?
Well, gluten isn’t harmful to everybody, as most people are not sensitive to gluten.
Yet, some people have allergic reactions, and it is not limited to rash or gastrointestinal discomfort. Allergic reactions can be severe and lead to serious complications.
It is hard to diagnose, as many are misdiagnosed or diagnosed late after developing an autoimmune disease. So symptoms depend on an individual’s sensitivity to gluten and the type of disease gluten causes.
What happens if you stop eating gluten and then start again?
This depends on many factors like the level of your gluten-sensitivity, your condition, and how much gluten you ingested. However, some reported that they start to notice symptoms (gluten attack) after being exposed after a couple of hours.
Symptoms varied between diarrhea, constipation, migraines, blurry vision, and brain fog.
Also, some may start eating gluten again after stopping it as a part of an elimination diet. So, on their plan, they know they can start eating normally after their symptoms subside. This case may apply to healing leaky gut syndrome and on the AIP diet.
As, studies proved that it may take 6 months for the intestinal villi to heal from gluten damage in a process called (gluten detox).
Here are some conditions studies proved to be gluten intolerant:
It is an autoimmune disease where gluten ingestion causes small intestinal lining inflammation and damage which results in nutrient malabsorption.
Symptoms can vary widely between individuals. Though, celiac patients have two or more of the following symptoms:
- Abdominal pain.
- Weight loss.
Nutrients and vitamin malabsorption secondary to intestinal damage can lead to a lack of vitamins. These vitamins are essential for nerve function. Therefore neurological symptoms may occur when the body doesn’t get sufficient amount of it.
- Vision problems due to nerve demyelination or damage.
- Brain fog.
- Chronic fatigue.
- Irregular menstrual cycles.
- Thyroid disorders.
- Diabetes mellitus.
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS):
It is an immune response against gluten ingestion. Suffering individuals experience the same symptoms, celiac patients do. Yet, (NCGS) doesn’t involve intestinal damage and gives a negative test for celiac disease. However, (NCGS) patients report symptoms resolving after following a gluten-free diet.
Wheat allergy (WAGS):
Condition that causes individuals to develop an allergic reaction against inhaling or ingesting wheat. The fact that wheat contains many proteins and substances made it hard to know the precise ingredient responsible for that allergic reaction.
Symptoms of wheat allergy:
- Itchy rash and eczema.
- Swelling in mouth and throat.
- Itchy eyes.
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Breathing difficulty.
- Anaphylaxis in severe cases.
Gluten ataxia is discovered recently. It refers to the inflammatory effect caused by gluten consumption, which results in antibodies attacking part of the brain mainly cerebellum causing symptoms similar to normal ataxia.
Gluten ataxia symptoms:
- Balance problems.
- Involuntary eye movement (nystagmus).
- Coordination problems.
- Difficulty with writing, eating, dressing and other daily. activities.
- Slurred speech.
- Nerve damage symptoms in arms and legs as numbness and tingling.
It is an autoimmune condition that causes inflammation in various body parts mainly skin. As a result, the affected area of skin to be red and scaly, it also affects joints causing psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriasis symptoms depend on the part of the body affected:
- Plaque psoriasis: affects the skin it becomes red, scaly. Also, it affects soft skin including the mouth and genitals.
- Guttate psoriasis: affect trunk, arms, legs, throat, and scalp
- Psoriatic arthritis causes scaly painful joints typical of arthritis.
- Erythrodermic psoriasis covers the entire body with a red rash.
Uncommon conditions recent studies suggest a possible link with gluten consumption:
Due to the fact that individuals with autism have high levels of IgG antigliadin antibodies. Therefore, their chance of developing gluten sensitivity is high.
Yet, the main cause is not known and further studies are needed to prove the theory.
A study that included 113 individuals with epilepsy found that 6% have a positive celiac test. However, still further studies are needed to prove the link, yet, they can benefit from a gluten-free diet.