Importance of a Gluten Free Diet for People with Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance
by Jae Berman, RD

Gluten Free Foods Can Provide Delicious Daily Diet Options

Maintaining a gluten free diet when you have Celiac disease or are gluten intolerant can change your entire life. One’s quality of life can drastically improve by simply removing gluten from their body.

Celiac disease and gluten intolerance are very different. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease—not a food allergy. With Celiac disease your immune cells start to attack the microvilli in the intestine. When the microvilli become damaged your intestine no longer absorbs food and nutrients properly and without proper treatment can have serious health complications. The cause of Celiac disease is still unknown.

Limiting one’s diet to only gluten free foods can oftentimes be challenging because when one has Celiac disease, it is important to not only eliminate all obvious gluten from your diet but also be aware of the hidden sources of gluten such as additives, fillers, malts, extenders and binders. In addition, many food manufacturing plants use wheat for other products so it is important to be aware of where your food comes from.

Celiac disease patients feel all levels of symptoms. Some are diagnosed by total surprise because they have never felt any symptoms at all. Regardless, a gluten free diet must be maintained because the body, for some unknown reason, recognizes gluten as a foreign body and attacks it causing inflammation and damage in the digestive tract.

Many individuals are finding that when they eat gluten-rich foods they are having abdominal discomfort such as bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. If you fall into this category you may notice that symptoms decrease when gluten is eliminated out of your diet. This is considered gluten intolerance. It is strongly recommended to see a physician first for a full examination where you may get tested for Celiac Disease or a food allergy. If all tests come out negative (and we hope you are nice and healthy) you may notice that eating strictly gluten free foods will dramatically improve symptoms. For some people with gluten intolerance, it is necessary to follow all the guidelines of Celiac Disease patients, to cut out gluten both obvious and hidden.

For others, eliminating sources such as wheat and rye bread, barley soup, cereals, pastas etc will decrease symptoms. Gluten intolerance is another unknown. For some reason, certain individuals do not tolerate it well and based on the severity of their symptoms it is important to eliminate it.

Whether you have Celiac disease or gluten intolerance, living gluten free will decrease inflammation, improve the quality of life and eating should feel good. Fortunately, there are several tasty gluten free products on the market so living gluten free is doable and quite delicious!

*Please keep in mind that the information on this site does not constitute medical advice. Before embarking on any weight loss plan or making dietary changes, you should consult your doctor.

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At Attune Foods, we believe what matters most is what's inside. We make our foods from simple ingredients, simply made like Uncle Sam cereal, Erewhon organic cereals and grahams or our attune probiotic chocolate bars. Attune Foods commits to bringing you food that helps you feel good and that you can feel good about eating with your family.