Gluten-free lifestyle part 2: Allergy, Sensitivity, Intolerance – what’s the difference?

Bread groupGenerally it has become very common to say, ” I have an allergy to….. ” and very little we distinguish between an allergy and  an intolerance. The symptoms are partially the same, however, there are different mechanisms that act within the body and there are different ways to deal with it:

  • INTOLERANCE

The intolerance is the inability of the body to break down and digest a particular food. A well-known intolerance is lactose intolerance. The body produces little or no lactase enzyme to the splitting of the milk sugar, the lactose reaches the large intestine undigested, instead of being absorbed and metabolized in the small intestine. Here, the lactose is then fermented into lactic acid, acetic acid and methane, which in turn leads to the typical for a food intolerance bloating.

Another well-known intolerance is to gluten. A complete intolerance is called Celiac Disease. Celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein in wheat, rye, and barley.

  • SENSITIVITY

Most of the people do not have a complete intolerance to gluten, but a sensitivity to gluten or other parts of the grain protein. Theoretically, you can develop against each food item incompatibility.

  • ALLERGY

food-allergiesThe food allergy, however, is an immune reaction in which the body’s defenses, similar to hay fever, recognizes a harmless protein as an enemy and initiates an immune reaction which may provoke indigestion, eczema, hives, and other symptoms. This often happens delayed and is therefore difficult to source.

In both cases we see similar symptoms or undifferentiated symptoms, such as fatigue, susceptibility to infections, but also mild depression , etc., which seem to have nothing to do with digestion. With food allergies the body is constantly stressed to deal with a potential threatening substance and the immune responses overwhelm the physical and mental system. Energy is used for these processes, which is lacking then in other areas. One of the long term effects are constant inflammations in the digestive system, triggered by allergies as well as intolerance — another one is depression: L-Tryptophan is exhausted during the immune response which would be normally available to fuel the Seratonin levels. Lacking Tryptophan and Seratonin  leads to depressions.

  • SYMPTOMS ARE SO SIMILAR!
  • abdominal bloating and pain
  • chronic diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • pale, foul-smelling, or fatty stool
  • weight loss
  • unexplained iron-deficiency anemia
  • fatigue
  • bone or joint pain
  • arthritis
  • bone loss or osteoporosis — this is a serious problem, please read more….
  • depression or anxiety
  • tingling numbness in the hands and feet
  • seizures
  • missed menstrual periods
  • infertility or recurrent miscarriage
  • canker sores inside the mouth
  • an itchy skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis

Please consult with your doctor and/medical advisory regarding test methods and therapies. This blog is not intending to substitute a treatment, however, we would like to empower you to seek treatment, because you will feel better and the result will be life changing, in a very good way!

  • DIET SUGGESTIONS

If you  been diagnosed with Celiac Disease you need to stay gluten free in your diet, any intake of gluten will make you sick and have a long term effect.

If you have been diagnosed with a sensitivity to gluten (or any other substance) you have to stay away from gluten (or the substance) for a minimum of 6 months, this is  recommended, and then stay on a Rotation diet, which means: you are eating biologically related foods on the same day and then waiting at least four days before eating them again. Knowledge and experience are a key of success. Whatever causes a reaction you need to take off the diet completely. The positive side: there are so many different seeds and grains, gluten free, non gluten free, …. most people have to recognize that a Western American Diet is based on Wheat (in bread, cakes, sauces, salsas, creams, and hidden ingredient in supplements, medicine, and cosmetics).

I have learned that people who let go of wheat or stay away from gluten completely, they suddenly experience a new sensitivity  often it is corn, or tomatoes or sweeteners. They are confused.  However, if you have an allergy to a food and you continue eating your undiscovered allergen, no gluten free diet will help! You will still experience symptoms and have long time effects of the allergy.

The allergy might be milk or dairy, and the reaction might be intolerance to grains! You got the picture?

positive_thoughts_create_a_positive_world_mousepad-ra9db8545b055495eae6cecc6ce8e3bfe_x74vi_8byvr_512If you have sourced with your therapist and doctor the allergens involved you need to stay away for a minimum of 6 months. Additionally a body cleanse, raw food, intake of green smoothies and green juices will help the system to recover from the allergic overload and Histamin and the body will start to re-balance itself. A rotation diet is very helpful after the 6 months.

Please see any change as a positive adventure, not a restriction. When the body speaks, listen. A new lifestyle can be overwhelming but very liberating on the long run!

 

Disclaimer: The statements made on this blog have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. All information provided on this blog is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this blog for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new vitamins, supplements, diet, or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. 

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