What happens when you eat gluten and your body cannot tolerate it?

A friend with Celiac’s disease cannot tolerate gluten and has become very visually impaired because of it.  I asked on Facebook:  “Several people tell me they no longer eat gluten — but I don’t know what happens when you eat gluten and cannot tolerate it.  If you eat a gluten-free diet, tell me the answer ok?”  I don’t have a gluten intolerance but was so surprised by the answers that I wanted to share it here with you.  Basically, if you feel low energy and sickish with tummy issues, try eating no gluten for 30 days and see if it doesn’t clear right up. 

Katie: It’s like an allergic reaction. Some people break out. I had a friend who had serious gut issues and was sick 2 years straight before they figured out it was gluten. My mom gets inflamed muscles.

Beverly:  when you’re gluten sensative… you also get what’s called Wheat belly… pluffy tummy, gas pain… headaches… both my sister and her daughter have been gluten free for 6 months they’ve lost weight as a byproduct of the process… you have to read everything everywhere you go… even slight traces of gluten can cause the sensativity to trigger.

Terri: Anything with wheat goes in and two hours or so later, extreme bloating cramps and then runs right out taking all of your electrolytes and nutrients with it.

Karen: I have Celiacs Disease. When I eat gluten. I get very sick. It is like being poisioned. It takes me a week to feel better. I have gone to the ER over it a couple of times before they fiqured what was going on. It is like a real bad case of the flu. The upside is , I lost 40 lbs, stopped eating most processed foods , stopped eating at fast food resurants ( I do miss Mc Donalds) . They’re other ups to this as well, but cant go through them all. I feel better and REALY watch what I eat. So I am Happy with it.

Laurie: Omg… I liken it to ANY movie you saw when an Alien is bursting from a humans stomach. It hurts REALLY bad. Stomach cramps for days and then you are in such a weakened state you typically will catch some cold bug going around. Takes about a good month to recover from an exposure. Once I was given some digestive enzymes by Dr. Hunton at Wellspring medical (the ONLY one in Brevard County that was helpful) my stomach began to heal and the exposure (stomach cramps that kept me in bed for days) lessened. But I still feel the drain of my energy and have to watch my immune system.

Beverly: there’s variances as well sensativity to intolerance Celiacs… sensativity you can chance gluten now and then… however, intolerance… ask yourself….’you feeling lucky punk?’ answer of Celiacs…..NOO NOOO NOOO.

Andrea de Michaelis: Yowza, sounds no fun. I take digestive enzymes when I eat since I had my gall bladder out. Vitacost Mega Digestive Enzymes with Pancreatin 10X  is what I’ve taken for years but II do not have a Gluten sensitivity

Laurie: Isenhart Overcash This is the big thing now. Digestive enzymes. Not only good for gluten issues but also finding for lots of tummy troubles. Milk allergies, red wine, take 15 min before you eat something like ice cream that gives you stomach aches, and people do much better.

Scarlet: Andrea, My daughter was sick for years, fatigued all the time and always sinus or gastrointestinal problems. She was diagnosed with Epstein Barr Disease and given all sorts of meds, including 2 hour infusions of immune boosting drugs. We’re talking years, at least 2 that she had this. While Googling, she finally put in the right group of sympons and came up with Celiac Disease–allergy to gluten. She cut that from her diet and made a miraculous recovery. Occasionally she will accidentally ingest gluten and it makes her sick for a day or so.

Ganga Ma: the early part of your digestion works very fast and you store as fat just about everything you eat, the latter part of your digestion works very slow and does not convert your fat into energy… this eventually leads to excess water weight build up as the cells walls become impermeable…

Debra: I quit eating wheat and my joint pain ceased. I will still eat small amounts, like say bread crumbs on chicken parm or something and that’s ok, but I have been interested in trying those digestive enzymes.

Miro Posavec You’ve got some great answers here Andrea. The truth is that the wheat made today has 60% more gluten than it had even 10 years ago. Compared to a 100 years ago??? The gluten-free stuff used to be hard to find, now they have an entire aisle at WalMart.  One of the first things I recommend to people is to pull Gluten out of their diet. They done extensive studies and found that depression is caused by inflammation.  Basically the body is over-reacting to something, and it throws off the body chemistry, including the brain chemistry.  It’s all connected! Gluten is found in almost every packaged food, and restaurant food. It’s used as a thickener, and a preservative. And it’s CHEAP. Your best bet is to eat nothing that came from a box, or a package. I have a weightloss program, and the first thing I do, is take Gluten out of the diet. Within a few days, almost everybody feels BETTER.

Laurie: With water weight gain, that can be caused from a histimine release. Your body reacts to something it sees as offensive. Thus the swelling. Got that from the doc on Thursday because I retain so much water right after the exposure. And so there are no mistakes or confusion, here is the 411 on how digestion works.

Kelly: Wow great question and great comments…have had several trips to er then they finally admitted me and ran a bunch of tests…all teats clear although they are still to test for celiac…that might be it!

Gretchen:  glue comes from the word gluten or something similar such as glue in meat etc

Andrea de Michaelis: Kelly, try assuming it is and do the dietary changes for 30 days and see how your body responds.

Laurie: Andrea… the only thing is if she IS Celiac they will not be able to catch it with the testing if she’s off it. So they recommend: Having the test done before any changes are made. If you aren’t getting the test done….there won’t be a problem. This bit me in the butt because I stopped the gluten before having the tests done. But there were able to see from blood work it IS an Wheat allergy and NOT Celiac. So that was very good to hear.

Laurie: Gosh this is so nice we can share all this here. Thank you Andrea de Michaelis for opening this up. It’s such a life altering problem and so little is out there on it.

Andrea de Michaelis: Laurie, you’re exactly right. I just thought of that – your thought must have come into my mind and made me come back here. I don’t do doctors unless it’s an emergency, so I think of trying alternative methods first for things like digestion trouble. If you’re getting tested, you’re right, don’t stop beforehand, let them see what’s going on while you’re in the midst of it.

Laurie: I’m happy to help you with any info I have. I’ve suffered all my life with stomach aches. Bad ones. So much so they thought I had an ulcer. Did a endoscopy only to find nothing. They didn’t check for Celiac. Been trying to find a doc to help me with this since 2007. Only after seeing Dr. Hunton in suntree Wellspring Medical Center/Radiantly Healthy MD I FINALLY got the answers. She is a holistic doc with a medical degree. And she is fabulous. She literally saved my life.

Miro Posavec: Don’t get too exciting about the testing. The testing for celiac is invasive. And the other tests are hit-and-miss. Most of the tests are not 100%. And they are expensive. So, BEFORE you do a test find out what the error ratio is. If you have a bad reaction to Gluten, and they say you don’t have Celiac, you should still stay away from it. (And BTW Celiac is serious. People used to die from it… not as much now as more docs are looking for it.)

If you’re at a moment where you’re really strong, the test will come out negative. If you want to know what your allergy/reactions are, then keep a detailed food diary, and then compare how you feel. Some foods will affect you 2 days later depending on “where they are” in your system. The diary is the your first, best step. The most common food allergies I see are 1: Gluten 2: Dairy 3: artificial sweeteners 4:MSG food preservatives, 5: beef….. If you take the first 4 out of your diet for a month, your belly will often get a lot better fast.

Laurie: Miro…..but the blood work for determininng if it’s merely an allergy IS. It’s actually a good way to know which way to go.

Miro: Celiac isn’t just an allergy. The Gluten actually damages the intestines, and hampers food absorbtion. It takes a while to “grow back” the damaged areas. Laurie, I appreciate that blood work is used to help sort it out. I find that in matters of health, there is a LOT of variables. In order to confirm Celiac, they order a biopsy. An invasive procedure. I’m not saying don’t do testing. I’m saying that you should do your homework FIRST. And then make your own educated choices. For example: If the test come back OK. And your Biopsy comes out OK. And they tell you that you don’t have any allergies to Gluten. Yet, when you eat it, you crap your pants?? I’d make the personal choice NOT to eat it. I’ve been down this path, and have taken responsibility for my health, and my kids.  My bottom line is do your own homework. From a variety of sources.

Laurie: Miro… correct.  The auto immune disease called Celiac is far more difficult to wrestle with than an allergy being the level of repercussions on the body. But the good news is if you are ONLY allergic to wheat the blood test will pick it up. But not a Celiac determination. That will take the intestinal biopsy. I’ve been at this only since 2007. But since then the research and opinions have changed so many times. You really have to keep on your toes to keep up with this. I’m very lucky to belong to a group that makes sure to pass along any new findings. So I do recommend as well people do a LOT of homework. That was very wise of you to make sure people know this.

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