Gluten Sensitivity Vs. Celiac Disease Vs. Gluten Intolerance

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Hahaha. This Jimmy video is classic.  I probably would have frozen up being put on the spot like that myself.  What is gluten? ” Ya know, proteins in grains…….Ugh.  Dunno.”

It’s been swirling around in my head for a while and I see it quite a bit and this Jimmy Kimmel spot validates a great point.  Are you eating gluten-free without knowing what it is, not having been actually tested or done a successful elimination for a period of time to know it is actually causing your system distress?

It is my belief that the most effective place to start is an elimination diet if you don’t have the means for a proper genetic test. Gluten is one of the elements we remove from our  seasonal elimination diet workshops because it can cause people problems.  During this time if you aren’t to cracked out on bread and other gluttonous delights (trust me I get it!) to cut them out for 7 days (ideally 30 days) you will find out if adding back gluten is a good idea.  Maybe you need to go GF or grain free for a few months to clear up some underlying issues or it may need to be along term lifestyle change. It could also may be the case that  you just need to kick it on the pasta, french bread and cupcakes in general. Bread lover raises hand!

We see this a lot….”But I started feeling so great when I cut gluten out of my diet.”  YES!  People generally do feel great right out of the gate after eliminating gluten because going gluten-free cuts  the pastas, grains, breads, pastries, and nasty processed foods right on out of the equation.

Common symptoms that Gluten is problem.  

  • bloating
  • abdominal discomfort or pain
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • muscular disturbances
  • headaches
  • migraines
  • severe acne
  • fatigue,
  • and bone or joint pain.

These symptoms are pretty generic but if you have any of these things you totally want to feel better. Who wouldn’t?

Dr. Amy Meyers leader in Functional Medicine wrote an informative little ditty over on Mind Body Green –  10 Signs You Are Gluten Intolerant 


I see it, you see it and we realize this is nothing new.  People jumping from solution to solution fretting what to do?  It’s no fluff when I (or anyone) says that each persons dietary needs are very unique.  Our bodies are a bunch of systems, inside another system, inside another and another  and the reality of that is big. What you need to thrive is not what your best friend, your husband, or what your co workers may need.  Your needs are individual to you.

So what is gluten exactly?

Gluten is a protein found in ALL grain species and literally means glue in latin. The protein found in grains gives dough its stretch, helps it rise, and keep its shape giving food stuffs its delicious chewy texture. It can be found in hair products and cosmetics as well.

Wheat and several other grains such as spelt, rye, barley seems to be the most highlighted of the culprit grains.  However ALL grains have gluten  but each grain has a different rating, with different types of gluten in different concentrations of the protein percentage content.  So, while you may be wheat intolerant because it has the highest percentage of gluten protein you may be able to eat oats and so forth.

To get even more scientific on you:

Gluten is the composite of a gliadin and a glutenin, which is conjoined with starch in the endosperm of various grass-related grains. The prolamin and glutelin from wheat (gliadin, which is alcohol-soluble, and glutenin, which is only soluble in dilute acids or alkalis) constitute about 80% of the protein contained in wheat fruit. Being insoluble in water, they can be purified by washing away the associated starch. Worldwide, gluten is a source of protein, both in foods prepared directly from sources containing it, and as an additive to foods otherwise low in protein.

The fruit of most flowering plants have endosperms with stored protein to nourish embryonic plants during germination. True gluten, with gliadin and glutenin, is limited to certain members of the grass family. The stored proteins of maize and rice are sometimes called gluten grains, but their proteins differ from true gluten.

I read that 18 million Americans have non-celiac gluten sensitivity according to research finding. That’s 6 times the amount of Americans who  actually have full-blown celiac disease.

If you want to continue reading more scientific data with graphs and all that jazz check out this Celiac, Allergy or Non-Celiac Gluten  Intolerance: What is the Difference?  It’s got some great information.

Those of you that jumped on the gluten-free band wagon without genetic testing or so much as a comprehensive elimination diet you could be missing out on some great grains needlessly. Gluten free cookies are still cookies and gluten free doesn’t automatically equal healthy.  Also, if you are going to be gluten-free…. you might want to be able to explain exactly what gluten is when someone asks.

If  you would like to further educate yourself  on the matter of Gluten Sensitivity Vs. Celiac Disease Vs. Gluten Intolerance listen to this a calm cool and collected lecture, which I found super interesting.

Thank you Dr. Peter Osborne – Diplomate of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition for sharing.











Mind Body Green


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  • Gema - May 17, 2014 - 11:46 am

    I seem to do better with Sprouted breads. Why is that?ReplyCancel

    • amyb - May 30, 2014 - 10:13 am

      Hi Gemma, There are claims that the sprouting process allows nutrients to be absorbed more effectively and there usually aren’t preservatives or artificial colors/flavors. The whole grains also add a good bit of protein. Maybe your guts just don’t appreciate the milling process of traditional floured breads? I say find what works, what makes you feel awesome and keeping tweaking and adding and subtracting from your list.ReplyCancel

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