Gluten-free seems to be an on trend topic because the connection between gluten and allergies has more recently been publicized. In the past, the source of various gluten-related symptoms simply was not widely known.
Gluten allergies are not new. You may have an allergy or sensitivity and just not know it. Unexplained itching, bloating, and water retention after you eat trigger foods are some signs.
But first, know that allergies are actual immune reactions that can eventually land you in an ER. Sensitivities may result in gut discomfort and digestion issues. From gluten sensitivities to allergies, here are five hacks about gluten that may help sufferers cope:
1. Corn can be metabolized and interpreted by some of our bodies to be gluten. The production challenges and GMO concerns apply here as well. This means anything you eat with high fructose corn syrup could be triggering your gluten allergy. Shop the outside of the grocery store, skip syrups and sodas that lead with HFCS on their ingredient lists. Note: Beers derived from barley can also be a gluten allergy trigger. Check your labels and company production details.
2. Gluten is in white or distilled vinegar. This is because this type of vinegar is made from wheat. Gluten is a component of wheat. Apple cider vinegar is in the clear. It is not wheat based. Read labels on all your dressings, you could be triggering your allergy without knowing it. Many dressings use distilled vinegar as a leading ingredient.
3. Your gluten allergy may not be global. Some allergies that we think are gluten-triggered are actually GMO allergies. We’re allergic to the fast production processes riddled with GMOs here in the United States, and those GMOs that may not be used as frequently if at all in other countries. If you’re able to truly study and log your allergy, you may even be able to choose specific restaurants and stores that have “safe” breads you can eat. But this takes intense practice and is not guaranteed.
4. Inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis can often be completely alleviated by cutting gluten from your diet. Not all inflammatory skin conditions are cause by gluten, but this could be the source of the issue. The inflammation is a symptom that doctors treat, but causes are not as often addressed.
5. Like an allergy, gluten allergies can progress and worsen over time. There is no predictability to how your body will react. Foods that lead to mild itching one day can require an allergy pen the next day.
Prevention costs less than treatment. You can be on the path to less inflammation and even physical differences like weight loss, less water retention, and less itching if you’re able to truly hack your personal gluten situation and eat healthfully. Plus, inflammation in the body affects your ttc journey. Write in a food log, work with a health coach, and seek functional medical care that values prevention. Be overly cautious about your food consumption and take gluten as serious as it can be.