It seems like more and more people are going gluten-free these days, whether because they have celiac disease, are intolerant to gluten, or are simply trying to pinpoint and fix digestive issues and other nagging issues. Gluten, which is a protein found primarily in wheat, barley and rye, can cause symptoms ranging from brain frog and bloating to headaches and diarrhea in individuals who are sensitive to it, explains the Mayo Clinic.
“A gluten-free diet excludes all foods that contain gluten means eating only whole foods that do not contain gluten, such as fruits, vegetables, meats, and eggs, as well as gluten-free processed foods such as gluten-free bread or pasta,” Selvi Rajagopal, MD, an internal medicine and obesity specialist, told John Hopkins Medicine. “Some people think that going gluten-free means not eating carbohydrates, but that’s not the case. Many foods that contain carbohydrates, such as rice, potatoes and beans, are gluten-free.”
Going gluten-free is certainly such a long life-style change, pizza and sandwiches but other than adjusting your spending habits and standing ordering for takeout, what can you expect when you make this change? Read on to find out what can happen to your body when you stop eating gluten.
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Just like lifting weights for a few days won’t give you rippled arms, cutting out gluten won’t solve your digestive issues right away. “Once you start a gluten-free diet, your symptoms are unlikely to go away overnight,” she says. Christine Towl, a certified clinical nutritionist with Charlie’s Table Oasis. “In fact, you may feel worse before you start feeling better.” She says The best life that the amount of time it takes to see a difference will depend on what your symptoms are, how long you’ve had them, and how severe they are.
And while Rajagopal told John Hopkins that there is “no scientific evidence” that gluten withdrawal causes withdrawal, he said there AND anecdotal evidence of problems adjusting to a gluten-free diet. “Some people report feeling dizzy, nauseous, extreme hunger, and even anxiety and depression when they suddenly go from eating a lot of gluten to being gluten-free,” she said. “These symptoms usually go away after a few weeks on a gluten-free diet, but talk to your doctor if they persist.”
When you stop eating gluten, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough whole grains, fiber and other nutrients in your diet from other sources, say experts at Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Having enough whole grains in your diet is especially important if you’re at risk for heart disease or diabetes,” they write, noting that whole grains help lower cholesterol levels and regulate blood sugar, and that some gluten-containing foods also contain “important vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins, iron, and magnesium.”
Rajagopal said that for people who do not have celiac disease, removing highly processed foods, rather than those containing gluten, from their diets may be enough to resolve their symptoms, and stressed that “a gluten-free label does not necessarily make a food healthy Some processed gluten-free foods contain high amounts of unhealthy ingredients like sodium, sugar, and fat.Consuming these foods can lead to weight gain, blood sugar swings, high blood pressure, and other problems.
On the plus side, if you’re sensitive to gluten, cutting it out might help you feel a lot better over time. And while it won’t happen overnight, your digestive issues (constipation, bloating, diarrhea, etc.) may not take as long as you think to resolve. “Many people report improvement in digestive symptoms within days of cutting out gluten,” reports Verywell Health.
Be warned, though: The site writes that once you stop eating gluten, you may have an even worse reaction to gluten if you accidentally ingest it, or decide to cheat a bit and indulge in some pizza or pasta. “Unfortunately, it’s common for your reactions to gluten, even slightly, to get worse once you go gluten-free,” they say, warning that you’ll need to be wary of possible gluten cross-contamination after adopting your new lifestyle.
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Digestive issues aren’t the only thing that could go away when you cut gluten out of your diet. Charles Gasiaa certified sleep science coach at Sleepopolis, says some people may notice they’re resting better after changing their eating habits.
“Some people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity have reported improved quality of sleep after eliminating gluten from their diet. This may be due to the reduction of digestive problems and inflammation that can disrupt sleep,” she says. The best life. “Inflammation is a natural immune response to injury or infection, but chronic inflammation can lead to a variety of health problems, including sleep problems.”
Gasia notes, however, that stress levels, sleep environment, and overall health also impact sleep quality, and that eliminating gluten from your diet isn’t a panacea for disturbed sleep. “It’s also possible that people have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity and don’t have sleep problems.”
Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research and healthcare agencies, but our content is not intended to replace career guidance. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, always consult your doctor directly.
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