Gluten sensitivity is a prevalent yet little-known cause of female hormone abnormalities that affects a large proportion of patients. Gliadin is the offender, which is present in certain gluten-containing grains and causes symptoms in gluten-intolerant individuals. The most difficult grains to digest are wheat, rye, barley, spelt, and kamut; but corn, rice, millet, and buckwheat are generally regarded as safe. There is some disagreement about whether or not oatmeal is safe. Gliadin, when ingested in gluten-free products, combines with an enzyme called transglutaminase to create an inflammatory, autoimmune reaction in the small intestine.
Gluten sensitivity can lead to malabsorption. Gluten sensitivity destroys the villi on the lining of the small intestine, preventing adequate nutrient absorption and resulting in chronic nutritional deficiencies as well as uncomfortable intestinal symptoms including bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation, as well as other signs such as tiredness, sadness, moodiness, and anxiety. As well as radicular pain, there may be neurological symptoms including shooting pain, numbness or tingling in the arms and legs, and calcium malabsorption can lead to muscular discomfort and tension, skin rashes, and eventually osteoporosis. Another common occurrence is a migraine headache.
Gluten sensitivity varies from person to person. People with gluten sensitivity, also known as coeliac disease, are unable to tolerate even trace amounts of gluten and can become ill after ingesting just a tiny amount of food containing it. If it is mild, you may only become a little puffy and do not require any medical treatment; however, if you have extreme gluten sensitivity then you may require lifelong follow-up management depending on their specific symptoms.
If a celiac has obvious symptoms, the illness is often discovered in childhood. Those who don’t exhibit symptoms at an early age are frequently overlooked. Adult celiacs, unlike young children who have obvious indicators of malabsorption and hunger, often experience vague symptoms such as tiredness, sadness, or digestive difficulties. A typical lab test seldom reveals the problem. Because of their sensitivity to specific foods, individuals with food allergies are prone to seek more natural health clinics that are more aware of food intolerances. Many people find out that they have early celiac disease, a less severe form of gluten intolerance. Chronic health issues are common in these individuals, who may have been experiencing them for many years before the source is discovered. People who are pre-celiac or have a gluten sensitivity that is barely perceptible can develop full-blown celiac disease under emotional or physical stressors such as surgery, pregnancy, delivery, infections, or simply eating too much gluten.
Celiac disease is hereditary in some cases. Parents, siblings, or children who have the condition may be present in around 10% of cases. Because symptoms aren’t always so straightforward (some gluten-sensitive individuals never experience the most apparent symptoms, such as stomach issues), and because celiac disease has unique hormonal consequences for women, it’s a good idea for ladies with a family history of the condition who are having health issues to be screened. Those with autoimmune disorders such as Type 1 diabetes, lupus, and chronic thyroiditis are also at risk of gluten sensitivity. Celiac disease is a relatively common condition. Over 50% of patients experience significant health improvements as a result of gluten reduction or elimination from their diets.
The Female Hormone Connection
Gluten sensitivity has been linked in medical literature to progesterone and estrogen, which are female sex hormones. Gluten sensitivity is commonly accompanied by an adrenal hormone imbalance, which becomes exacerbated in women going through menopause.
It has been noticed that when women with gluten sensitivity reach peri-menopause, they frequently begin to experience significant issues. Gluten intake drives estrogen and testosterone imbalances, as their ovarian production of sex hormones declines. The adrenal glands react to the stress of unstable blood sugar and gastrointestinal tract inflammation triggered by gluten by producing cortisol. This can lead to more body fat, tiredness, and mood swings. If women who are gluten-sensitive continue to consume foods containing gluten and don’t absorb the nutrients they require, their cortisol levels will eventually plummet as a result of adrenal exhaustion. Therefore, if a woman has symptoms of hormonal imbalance, always check for gluten sensitivity or pre-celiac disease.
Testing for Gluten Sensitivity
Gluten sensitivity is poorly recognized in the United States by conventional medicine. It takes, on average, 11 years for a gluten-intolerant individual to be identified, and individuals frequently visit at least five gastroenterologists before receiving a proper diagnosis. TOther than that, there are a few of symptoms and tests that you may undergo to determine whether or not your celiac disease is progressing. Blood test for gluten antibodies and intestinal biopsy are frequently unreliable, resulting in false negative results. Small intestinal biopsies are hit-or-miss, and blood tests miss some of the most severe cases of gluten sensitivity because people with full-blown celiac disease may not have abnormal antibody responses. Milder cases, such as pre-celiacs, are also frequently missed by blood tests.
Saliva testing, which is more accurate but seldom used in mainstream medicine, is one possible alternative. This test looks at the immune system in the digestive tract rather than the circulation, allowing it to detect gluten sensitivity before it has developed into full-blown celiac disease and can show up on traditional tests. Saliva testing may help patients avoid years of suffering. Blood testing diagnoses only one out of every 1,700 celiac disease patients, but conservative studies indicate that at least one in 250 people have the condition. Many more people are thought to have the less severe form of the disease.
The patient must be eating gluten for any test to be accurate; the more gluten is eaten before the test, the better. While saliva testing provides more precise results than blood tests or biopsies, determining what the result means may be difficult. Individuals with the most significant pre-celiac illness frequently have normal findings, since their immune cell counts in their intestines are low. To interpret the results correctly, it requires expertise and frequent retesting while cycling off and on gluten at appropriate intervals.
A gluten-free diet is an ultimate test for gluten sensitivity. If the patient follows a gluten-free diet for 60 days, then consumes as much gluten as feasible for three or four days. Those who are gluten intolerant will generally experience bloating, nausea, or constipation when they reintroduce gluten into their diet at the conclusion of the 60-day trial. After that, you can go to an experienced nutritionist who can help patients follow a gluten-free diet.
The Gluten-Free Diet
The most apparent component of a gluten-free diet is the prohibition of all gluten-containing grains.. For many sufferers, this is enough to alleviate symptoms, although not always immediately. Inflammation takes approximately 60 days to go away. Unfortunately, gluten consumption will generally produce symptoms that need another 60 days to subside. Those who are extremely sensitive might require nine to twelve months on the diet to become symptom-free.
Most people who are gluten intolerant must also eliminate milk products from their diet since the cells that generate lactase – the enzyme that aids in the breakdown of milk sugar – are destroyed by gluten sensitivity. This means If you have gluten sensitivity, you can develop lactose intolerance. Because the symptoms of lactose intolerance frequently respond significantly to a dairy-free diet, many people discover that they react badly to dairy products. Gluten sensitivity is a more mild response, and it takes longer to notice the benefits of following a gluten-free diet.
If you know you have a sensitivity to gluten, it’s probable that you’re sensitive to dairy products as well. Many of the same symptoms as gluten consumption, such as bloating and diarrhea, may be caused by consuming milk or other dairy products. Some gluten-sensitive individuals can eat dairy products like yogurt and goat or sheep’s milk cheese, whereas others cannot. It has been observed that many individuals can tolerate unprocessed or “raw” dairy products. Raw butter, raw milk, and raw cheese are a few examples.
Soy allergies are common among individuals who are gluten-sensitive. With the revelation of their hormone-balancing abilities, many postmenopausal women began incorporating soy products into their diets. When gastrointestinal issues arise, gluten-intolerant individuals frequently overlook the link.
Gluten sensitivity is a long-term condition that differs from food allergies in that they are permanent. It’s a genetic autoimmune disease that won’t go away with time or treatment.Gluten-sensitive individuals may only feel better by avoiding the meals that cause a response. However, people who are gluten intolerant can gradually reintroduce dairy raw items to their diets after eliminating gluten.
Most individuals who follow the typical high-carbohydrate American diet find it difficult to adhere to a gluten-free diet at first. Naturally, our junk-food sector, recognizing a market for gluten sensitivity, has manufactured various unhealthy, sugar-rich, and gluten-free foods. The overconsumption of these meals can lead to yeast overgrowth and poor blood sugar control. It’s also essential to be on the lookout for incorrect labelling. Those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should stay away from such products, as they may contain spelt, which contains the allergen. All of the components on the label must be investigated, not just the product name. Wheat is added as a filler and thickener in many prepackaged meals, including imitation crab meat. Soy sauce, for example, may contain wheat even though it appears to be completely safe.
Vegetarians who follow a gluten-free diet will face unique challenges to their diet, owing to the restrictions of the gluten-free lifestyle. A good nutritionist can assist develop a nutritious diet that is based on protein, gluten-free carbohydrates, unsaturated fat, vegetables and fruit in order to help the gluten-sensitive person return to optimal health.
The Craving for Gluten
Many gluten-sensitive individuals struggle to maintain a gluten-free diet for a variety of reasons, including the fact that they miss the meals they need to avoid. When they eat the grains that cause intestinal damage and the stress causes their bodies to release natural opiates that are named gluteomorphines. Later, when the levels of these morphine-like brain chemicals decrease, a craving for gluten and a desire for that “buzzing” sensation may develop.
When patients are told to give up gluten, many of them respond like drug addicts who have been forced to stop taking their preferred narcotic. When they do avoid gluten, they are sometimes said to experience a brief period of discomfort as a result of a temporary drop in opiate concentrations in the brain. If you eliminate a food that causes an opiate response, your natural “high” will drop, triggering renewed hunger for the food in a vicious cycle of addiction. Patients who have been diagnosed with celiac disease may experience withdrawal symptoms such as a headache, nausea, tremor, difficulty sleeping, sadness, or irritation for many days or weeks after quitting gluten. On the other side, some people who quit gluten report feeling better right away. The degree of discomfort endured appears to be inversely proportional to the amount of gluten sensitivity present.
After two months of following a gluten-free diet, most of the physical urges go away. The more severe the gluten sensitivity and cravings, the greater the reaction to being gluten-free. Some individuals will slip back into eating foods that induce reactions, necessitating ongoing work with a dietician and even psychological counseling to keep on track.