What are the Symptoms of Wheat Intolerance and why are so many people suffering from this.
If you suspect that you may be intolerant to wheat or you think you that you may have a wheat allergy you will probably be experiencing all or some of the following symptoms:
- nausea and vomiting
- stomach aches and cramps
- flatulence and wind
- skin rashes,
- hay fever-like symptoms including but not limited to sneezing, cough, runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes
In order to understand why this is such a problem it makes sense for us to take a look at our digestive system through evolutionary biologist’s eyes. Because of this we know that grains such as wheat were not introduced into our diet until around 8000 years BC, which is 10,000 years ago.
Before this period in our history, humans were hunter gatherers, and our diet consisted of mostly protein from any animals such as deer or fish we could catch and kill (hunters), or the vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds we could in the landscape (gathers)
10,000 years ago may sound like a long time, but in the grand scheme of evolution it is just a blink of the eye. The fact is that many evolutionary biologists now believe that this is not long enough for our digestive systems to have evolved to cope with eating grains like wheat and this is one of the reason why we can get the symptoms outlined above.
From a bio chemical point of view gluten (a protein found in wheat and many other grains), is know to cause irritation of the gut, and has a can also cause inflammation on the ultra sensitive lining of our intestines.
It’s true that the majority of us are able to cope with a little wheat, occaisionally, but the fact is that our modern western diet is so centered on wheat and grains that many of us are consuming wheat with every single meal.
A lot of our breakfast cereals contains wheat, loads of us have sandwiches at lunchtime on a regular basis, and we consume a lot of pasta in the evenings because we believe it to be healthier (although thats a whole new article).
Even with the above examples we havent included all of the processed foods that have added wheat, soups that have gluten added to make them thicker and beer that is made from wheat.
If you suspect that you are intolerant to wheat or think you have a wheat allergy you can always take a simple and inexpensive wheat intolerance test, which will leave you in no doubt.
To make things even more interesting, wheat intolerance symptoms may not show up for as long as 2 days after consuming products containing wheat, which can make connecting pinpointing the problem for someone who is uneducated in the causes very difficult.
If you take a wheat intolerance test or suspect that you may indeed be what intolerant then you should think carefully before eating or drinking the following foods:
- All types of Bread
- Cakes and muffins,
- Biscuits and cookies
- Pre-packaged soup
- Baked goods
- Beers and Lagers
If youre not sure which foods to avoid get into the habit of reading the label and look out for the following ingredients, which in many cases will signify the presence of wheat:
- Whole grain
- Wheat germ
- Textured Vegetable Protein (usually made from soy but can in many cases contain wheat)
- Vegetable starch
- Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
- Soy sauce
If you simply avoid wheat containing products, you can very well have a normal and healthy life.
One of the big problems with trying to diagnose a food intolerance on your own is that you can remove the wheat from your diet, and still not see very much improvement. This may not be because you dont have wheat intolerance, but because you also have intolerance to another food. This is why a full elimiation diet sometimes works.
One of the quickest and most effective ways of discovering your intolerances is to have a blood test for IgG antibody.
This test will quickly tell you which foods may be a problem for you, and then you can very easily eliminate them all from your diet.