Cold Turkey Vs Tapering
How quickly did you discontinue gluten from your diet? Did you find everything with gluten in your kitchen and toss it in the garbage? Or did you make a conscientious effort to slowly reduce the amount of gluten in your diet in a tapering method. There is debate as to whether tapering off of gluten products is a superior method of withdrawal to giving it up cold turkey.
Many people find that when they quit cold turkey from a previously high gluten intake, that they cannot handle the withdrawal symptoms. Part of this may be due to certain gluten-induced endorphin deficiencies. Those that taper down their gluten consumption before finally quitting generally find that withdrawal symptoms are less severe because theyve given their physiology some extra time to transition and adapt to reduced consumption.
Managing Food Allergies In Children
Because fatal and near-fatal wheat allergy reactions, like other food allergy symptoms, can develop when a child is not with his or her family, parents need to make sure that their childs school, day care or other program has a written emergency action plan with instructions on preventing, recognizing and managing these episodes in class and during activities such as sporting events and field trips. A nonprofit group, Food Allergy Research & Education, has a list of resources for schools, parents and students in managing food allergies.
If your child has been prescribed an auto-injector, be sure that you and those responsible for supervising your child understand how to use it.
Food Chemicals And Additives As Asthma Triggers
Food chemicals and additives are not typically listed as allergens like the common allergens on a food label. This is because, for most people, these ingredients do not cause an allergic reaction. However, a small number of people may experience that certain food chemicals and additives trigger an allergic reaction and asthma symptoms. The more you consume the ingredient, the worse your symptoms might get. According to the Department of Health’s “Better Health” website, these are additives that could potentially cause an asthma flare-up or symptoms:1
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How Do You Know If Food Is One Of Your Asthma Triggers
If you think certain foods trigger your asthma symptoms or your childs symptoms, talk to your GP or asthma nurse as soon as possible. This is important because an asthma attack triggered by an allergic reaction to food can be worse, particularly for children.
Your GP or asthma nurse can help you work out if youre allergic or sensitive to certain foods. They can:
- refer you for an allergy test to confirm or rule out any food allergies, usually a skin prick test
- help you identify foods youre sensitive to that dont show up in allergy tests by supporting you to keep a food and symptom diary, which you can review at your appointment
- support you in excluding certain foods or food groups for a while, and reintroducing them safely to see which foods trigger asthma symptoms
- confirm or rule out anything else which could be making your asthma worse, such as acid reflux
- update your asthma action plan with new food triggers, and any action you need to take if your asthma symptoms are triggered by food.
What Foods Contain Gluten
- Oats and oatmeal
- Soups and broths
- Soy sauce and teriyaki sauces
- Fried vegetables/tempura
- Root beer
- Roasted nuts
Many lip balms and lipsticks, hair and skin products, toothpastes and vitamin and nutrient supplements contain gluten.
Who needs to be on a gluten-free diet?For people with celiac disease, eating gluten-free is a medical necessity. However, in recent years, many people without celiac disease are adopting a gluten-free diet, believing that its healthy or could help them lose weight.
According to the National Institutes of Health , theres no data that suggests eating a gluten-free diet helps with better health or weight loss. In addition, a gluten-free diet may not provide enough of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals the body needs, such as fiber, iron and calcium.
If you think your digestive issues stem from celiac disease, dont remove gluten from your diet without first speaking with your doctor.
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Mental Or Emotional Issues
Certain proteins in wheat have been scientifically shown to negatively affect your mood and cognitive functioning. Gluten is one of the biggest culprits. Keep in mind that weve told you that if you have gluten intolerance then you have a wheat allergy . These negative effects include but are not limited to mood swings, depression, anxiety, and mental disorders.
As the study of wheat allergies itself, there are a lot of theories about why wheat proteins can put you in a bad mood. Some scientists believe that its an autoimmune response issue. Some say that its because exorphines bind with morphine receptors in the brain.
No matter which theory you come across, there is one common consensus wheat allergies, or rather the lack of control of wheat allergies, cause mental and emotional issues.
Impact Of Dietary Management
Since celiac symptoms result from an immune reaction to glutena protein found in most grainsthe disease is primarily treated with a gluten-free diet.
While asthma is treated with medication, avoiding triggers is also important. If some of your asthma triggers are dietary, steering clear of them can help prevent asthma exacerbations.
The inflammation underlying both asthma and celiac disease is at the heart of using diet as a prevention strategy for both.
This does not mean that keeping one condition in check directly impacts the other . Rather, by tempering inflammation tied to your asthma or celiac, you may be reducing the overall impact of inflammation and its other effects on the body.
Gluten Withdrawal Symptoms: List Of Possibilities
Some people experience very subtle or no withdrawal symptoms when stopping gluten, but others experience moderately debilitating symptoms that can last weeks before improving. Below is a list of possible symptoms that you may experience when discontinuing gluten. Keep in mind that the severity and duration of symptoms will be largely individualized.
Wondering If You Have One Find Out Here
Because a food intolerance lasts for just a few days at a time, you may not be questioning your nausea or your headaches. But with the increasing prevalence of food allergies and food sensitivities, these issues can be very serious.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine if you have a food sensitivity:
- Do you feel abdominal pain within 2 hours after eating any of the foods on this list?
- Do you feel nauseous after eating?
- Have you ever had a severe headache or a migraine after eating or drinking a specific thing?
- Do you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, but notice it really flares up after eating certain foods?
- Do you have frequent headaches accompanied by nasal congestion?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have a food intolerance. Start taking note of the foods you consume that trigger your symptoms. Again, be sure to set an appointment with your healthcare professional to discuss further steps to manage your condition.
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What Is Celiac Disease
Today its trendy to eat gluten-free food, but for the 1 percent of the U.S. population diagnosed with celiac disease, its absolutely necessary. When people with celiac disease eat a meal containing gluten, their body is unable to fully absorb the nutrients. This can severely damage the lining of the small intestine and lead to debilitating symptoms. The condition impacts both children and adults. It is more common among Caucasians and more diagnosed in females.
Celiac disease is not an allergy or food intolerance people with the condition do not go into anaphylactic shock if they eat gluten-containing food. Instead, celiac disease is an autoimmune disease the bodys immune system attacks healthy cells, causing a reaction that is sometimes severe and immediate.
Is It Asthmaor A Gluten Cough
Alexandra* had been living with asthma for nearly 25 years, brought on initially by a dust mite allergy. The condition came and went with varying degrees of severity but in the last few years, a nasty cold turned bronchial and she developed a cough that never went away. Her primary care doctor put her on a daily asthma medication and she used a rescue for in-between seasons when humidity and moisture were heavy in the air. She was also treated for post-nasal drip and GERD with prednisone and acid-reducing medications, and was retested for allergic reactions. The results were the same as her first one 25 years earlier. Meanwhile, her cough persisted throughout the day and she just got used to it.
At an annual biometric screening, her numbers showed healthy overall cholesterol numbers, but she was low in HDL or good cholesterol. Given that she ate a lot of healthy fats, including almonds, avocados and olive oil, and ate a mostly plant-based diet, the information didnt add up.
Enter Lisa Foster, a condition management and health coach at Delaware Valley Accountable Care Organization . Fosters years of experience in nutrition counseling and food as medicine gave her insight into Alexs condition, which also included iron-deficient anemia. Foster immediately suspected nutrient absorption issuesand that gluten just might be the key to all of it.
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Diarrhea Constipation And Smelly Feces
Individuals with celiac disease experience inflammation in the small intestine after eating gluten.
This damages the gut lining and leads to poor nutrient absorption, resulting in significant digestive discomfort and frequent diarrhea or constipation (
That suggests that gluten exposure on its own may induce feelings of depression, irrespective to digestive symptoms.
How Does Food Trigger Asthma Symptoms
The good news is that very few people with asthma need to watch the foods they eat apart from following the usual healthy eating advice.
But a small number of people with asthma do have a problem with certain foods triggering their asthma symptoms.
This is usually because:
- theyre allergic to certain foods and the allergic reaction sets off their asthma symptoms
- theyre sensitive to certain foods which trigger their asthma symptoms.
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How To Cure Your Asthma
We get rid of the bad stuff, starting with the foods that might be a problemgluten and dairy are the most common cause of asthma. And then, we put in things that the body needs to heal, and we clean up the gut. There may be yeast issues there may be bad bugs that are growing in there. We clean those out, and then we put in good things like healthy bacteria and probiotics.
If you have asthma, here are some simple things you can try to get to the root of the problem and re-balance and cool off your immune system:
- Do an elimination diet to get rid of the most common food allergens. Gluten and dairy are the biggest culprits!
- Look for other causes .
- Check for mold in your home or work. See www.survivingmold.com to learn more.
- Consider taking antifungal herbs such as oregano or medication, such as Diflucan or Nystatin
- Take probiotics. I use Ther-Biotic Complete, two capsules twice a day with my patients.
- Take fish oil, which is anti-inflammatory. I use Omegagenics 720 one or two capsules twice a day.
- Take extra zinc. I use Zinc Citrate, 30mg one capsule twice a day for my patients.
- There are the types of things we do in Functional Medicine to help reset the body. But much of this can be done through SELF-HEALTH, the process of taking care of your own wellbeing.
Take out the bad stuff, put in the good stuff, and your body knows what to do.
Now, Id like to hear from you:
- Have you had asthma?
- What causes it for you? Do you know?
- Whats worked to help it and what hasnt?
Living With Wheat Allergies
Once youve confirmed that you have a wheat allergy, youll need to change your diet to avoid eating wheat protein. The most obvious change is to avoid anything with wheat in it. You can also look for gluten-free foods, but keep in mind that these foods may still have other wheat proteins in them. Make sure you read labels thoroughly.
There are a lot of foods that have ingredients with alternative names to wheat as well as pre-processed foods that contain ingredients that secretly have wheat proteins. You should become familiar with them and avoid them also.
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Diet And Asthma: The Inflammation Connection
Whale meat. Wild berries. Seaweed. Lots of fat.
The traditional Inuit diet is the prototypical high-fat, low-carb traditional diet. Even with All That Saturated Fat and Cholesterol, Inuit eating their traditional foods rarely suffer from heart disease or related problems. And so their diet has been Exhibit A for the low-carb Paleo crowd since the beginning.
But putting obesity and heart disease aside, guess what else the Inuit diet is protective against? Asthma. When Inuit populations move out of Greenland and start eating a Western diet, weight predictably goes up but so does asthma.
One study found that about 3.6% of Inuit living in Greenland have asthma. But about 9% of Inuit living in Denmark have it, and the Denmark-dwellers have higher levels of inflammatory markers to match. The researchers thought that the more westernized diet of Denmark actually caused the increased inflammation, causing the higher rates of asthma.
Heres a look at the ways diet can affect asthma symptoms by causing inflammation.
None of this is an argument that diet is the only cause of asthma. Obviously, there are other causes. Genetic factors are big. Environmental pollution and air quality is huge.
Asthma can be life-threatening, especially if its left untreated. If you have asthma, go see a doctor first no nutrition advice can substitute for medical treatment.
Can Gluten Cause Asthma
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease caused directly by eating gluten. Its also a chronic inflammatory condition. But the resulting inflammation isnt limited to your gut. Celiac disease can cause inflammation almost anywhere in your body.
Like celiac disease, asthma has been associated with other inflammatory and autoimmune conditions. This suggests that asthma doesnt just cause inflammation in your airways. So its not surprising theres evidence of a connection between asthma and celiac disease.
In this study, researchers discovered that gluten triggers a cascade of events in those with celiac disease that can lead to the release of compounds known as leukotrienes, which are inflammatory molecules produced by immune cells. Interestingly, we also know leukotrienes are released during asthma attacks. And leukotrienes are primarily what cause airway constriction, which leads to wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.
In this study, researchers examined 12 maternal relatives of a young patient with celiac disease. They found that 75% of the group had anti-gluten antibodies, which is a sign that their immune systems were reacting to gluten. And 46% of the group also had asthma.
I have also written about the connection between gluten and asthma here.
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When To See A Celiac Specialist Near Me
Gluten causes intestinal damage only in people with celiac disease, not in those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Celiac disease may or may not produce symptoms in children or adults, but if left undetected and untreated, it can cause long-term damage and consequences to your health.
It may be time to see a celiac specialist if you have been dealing with an unexplained illness for several months and your symptoms are not improving. You may also wish to undergo celiac disease screening if you or your child have:
- First-degree relatives with celiac disease
- Worrisome symptoms that might be associated with celiac disease
- An autoimmune disorder
Dr. Laskin explains there are several blood tests used to screen for celiac disease antibodies. If these are present, a biopsy is generally recommended to confirm the diagnosis. Dr. Laskin adds that to be effectively tested for celiac disease, you must be on a gluten-containing diet. He also points out that a person may test positive for celiac disease but have no symptoms, or may have a negative blood test but the biopsy test is positive for celiac.
Celiac disease is a serious condition that can lead to other serious conditions, including nutritional deficiencies, miscarriage, neurologic conditions and cancer. Its important to get tested for celiac disease if you have symptoms suggestive of the disorder, or affected family members,” says Dr. Laskin.
*name changed to protect privacy
Here Are A Few More Common Foods That Might Contain Wheat:
As you can see, many of the foods/ingredients arent even grains. Living with a wheat allergy requires a good bit of research and dedication. You should also keep an Epinephrine pen in case of an anaphylactic emergency. Of course, you should consult your doctor before getting an EpiPen.
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Can Gluten And Grains Cause Asthma
For some, gluten is an irritant. It triggers the immune system and can create body wide inflammation. And even if your body doesnt react to gluten, it may react to other wheat proteins or contaminants and chemicals in grains and processed foods.
So if you suffer from asthma, dont rule your diet out as a contributing factor. Because prescription medications arent a safe and effective long-term solution. On the other hand, what harm can come from ditching grains and eating more nutrient-dense whole foods? None!
Did changing your diet alleviate your airway inflammation? Comment below.