For about the past year or so, I have been on a wheat, gluten free, coeliac rollercoaster ride, trying to work out what I am! I believe I am gluten intolerant, not coeliac (although I am waiting on blood test results to confirm this). The information I have found all seems to be about Coeliac Disease no-one seems to know about intolerance, so I am finding it hard to know what to do. Am I supposed to go completely gluten-free if I am gluten intolerant? Does it affect fertility? How long does it take for gluten to leave your body if you are coeliac or gluten intolerant?
Any light you could shed on this topic would be much appreciated!
If you have gluten intolerance (or sensitivity), eating foods containing gluten (wheat, barley, rye and oats), will result in symptoms similar to that of someone with Coeliac Disease: bloating, flatulence, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, headaches or lethargy. However, people with gluten intolerance won't suffer from intestinal damage like someone with Coeliac Disease.
The best way to manage a gluten intolerance is the same as if you had Coeliac Disease. Avoid foods containing gluten altogether. Going gluten-free these days isn't as difficult as it once was. There are so many gluten-free options available in supermarkets, health food shops and cafes.
However, if you have gluten intolerance you don't have to avoid gluten foods forever, just temporarily. After a few months of going gluten-free you may be able to gradually introduce small amounts of gluten back into your diet occasionally without a problem. You might find you are best off going gluten-free most of the time but you can enjoy the occasional gluten-free treat when you are out.
The amount of time it takes for gluten to leave the body is different for everyone; some people take longer than others. Even when all the gluten has gone from your body it can take a while for the damage caused by the gluten to repair itself if you have Coeliac Disease.
Coeliac Disease that is not well managed can lead to nutritional mal-absorption and deficiencies, and health problems such as infertility.
For more information visit Lisa's website, Art of healing.