Gluten Intolerance vs Celiac Disease
Have you noticed that being gluten free isn’t so much of a trend anymore? In fact, it’s so mainstream, that the general public is finally taking it seriously. Instead of treating it like a fleeting fad, people are recognizing the severity of autoimmune disorders. And it’s not just gluten intolerance. Autoimmune disorders of all kinds seem to be getting the attention they deserve. Many restaurants and grocery stores have even adapted to the new inclusive climate. Now you can find so many (actually yummy) gluten free goodies as well as grain free, dairy free, vegetarian, plant based, and paleo options! Good on ya, restaurants and manufacturers!
As I get closer to publishing my long-awaited cookbook, Damn Good Gluten Free, I wanted to jump in and reignite the conversation. I get a lot of questions about gluten specifically, and about the differences between gluten sensitivity vs gluten intolerance vs Celiac disease. And with 2021’s new focus on autoimmune awareness, I wanted to lend my insight as an OG gluten free trailblazer. So let’s clear the air…
Starting with the basics, What the Fuck even is gluten?
What we refer to as gluten is actually a group of proteins found in wheat, barley, and rye. It’s typically used in foods, cosmetics, skin care, and medications as a binder. You know that soft, chewy texture in most processed foods? That’s gluten!
Gluten Intolerance vs Celiac Disease
However, many people—myself included—cannot assimilate these proteins, meaning that we have gluten sensitivity, gluten intolerance, or even Celiac disease. The difference between these categories is one of symptom severity. Gluten still damages the body even if the side effects are more noticeable for a person with Celiac than for someone with an intolerance. So, it’s important to know what is going on in your body, and to treat it seriously. For anyone on the gluten intolerance spectrum like me, gluten effects how we absorb our nutrients, which in turn, effects how we function. Not only can we become malnourished on a cellular level, but gluten can completely f**k our immune systems. Because our bodies view gluten as a foreign invader, it sends the immune system’s disease-fighting soldiers to attack. Unable to tell between the “good guys” and the “bad guys,” this leads to an all-out cellular war in our small intestines. Bring on the health issues…
Common Gluten Reactions and Symptoms:
- Bloating, cramping or stomach aches after eating
- Chronic sinus infections, runny green snotty nose (kids have this and parents think it’s normal)
- Chronic headaches or migraines
- Joint pain, body aches, inflammation
- Always sick with a cold or flu
- Itchy skin, psoriasis, rashes, dry skin and bumps behind your arms
- IBS (irritable bowels and constipation)
- Diarrhea after eating
- Brain fog, hard to concentrate
- Fatigue. Tiredness.
- Anxiety and depression
- Malnourishment resulting in weight loss or weight gain
- Digestion issues like small intestinal overgrowth (SIBO) or leaky gut
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn’s disease
Do these symptoms ring a bell?
If you read that list with a begrudging sense of recognition, you may be one of the 6% of the global population with a gluten sensitivity. Or if you have a more severe case, you may be one of the 1/100 people who are affected with Celiac disease worldwide. *It’s time to get tested and cut the gluten. Seriously. Re-read that list. That’s your body sending you a message, loud and clear. Something is wrong.
Many people with mild conditions think their symptoms are “normal” because they’ve lived their whole life feeling that way. I’m here to debunk “normal.” There is nothing normal about any chronic symptom. Again, that is your body telling you that you are not well.
But don’t fret! There are steps you can take to live your most vibrant, juicy life—get this—without constant pain. Tune in next week for my autoimmune action plan. Curious and don’t want to wait to learn more?! Begin your own bodily investigation now purchasing our 7-Day Reset Program to see how your body feels. It is an easy 7-Day cleanse that just so happens to be an anti-inflammatory elimination diet!
With Love❤️, Pegs