What is gluten?
Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat and other cereal grains like rye, barley, and newer grains like triticale that’s a cross between wheat and rye.7 Gluten acts like “glue” to hold foods together and help them keep their shape.7 Gluten is commonly found in many types of foods like bread, baked goods, cereals and pasta.7 Gluten can also be found in foods that you may not expect like some condiments and even candies.4
What is gluten sensitivity?
Gluten sensitivity is a condition that is similar to celiac disease.3 You may have the same symptoms as someone who suffers from celiac disease but without actually testing positive for it.3
Symptoms may include: abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea or constipation, headaches, bone or joint pain, skin rash, muscle pain, “foggy mind”, depression, and chronic fatigue. These symptoms are most noticeable after ingesting gluten-containing foods.3,8
Just like many others, you may be gluten sensitive. This condition is referred to as gluten sensitivity (GS) or non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS).4,8,9 In fact, 6% of the U.S. population, or about 18 million people have gluten sensitivity according to the National Celiac Center, compared to 1% with celiac disease.8
The best way to deal with gluten sensitivity is to remove gluten from your diet. Of course that’s easier said than done.4,5 While gluten-containing foods are usually breads and pastas, there are many other unexpected foods that may also contain gluten.4-6
Gluten is very common and found in most of the foods we buy and eat.6,7 Hidden sources of gluten may be found in salad dressings, soups, soy sauce, ketchup, cookies, candies, luncheon meat, French fries and snack foods. Food additives like malt flavoring or modified food starch which is often listed on food labels, may also contain gluten.4,6 Even some medications, makeup and vitamins use gluten as a binding agent.5,6
Reading food labels and asking about food items on a menu, can help when trying to reduce gluten in your diet.4,6 Today there are many food options as well that are labeled “gluten-free.”4,5
Even with the best of intentions, following a gluten-free diet isn’t always easy. Even small amounts of gluten consumed accidentally, can result in symptoms of bloating, abdominal pain or diarrhea.3,4
While Glutagest is not intended to replace a gluten free diet, taking it before and after consuming possible gluten-containing foods may help to support digestion of gluten.†
†Refer to Glutagest® package label.
Dealing with dining out
When dining out, choose a restaurant that serves either naturally gluten-free items with meals that include proteins like chicken, meat or fish that are not breaded or served with a sauce, as many gravies or sauces are thickened with flour.5,10 Check ahead online to review the restaurant’s menu or call the restaurant to ask about your gluten-free options. Be sure to ask your server if they have choices on their menu that are truly gluten-free.10
When you are at the restaurant, let the staff know that you have gluten. (Even a baked potato may be coated in flour to make it crispy, so be sure to find out how the food is prepared.)10
Of course, make sure to bring Glutagest to the table. Take 1 to 2 capsules 5 minutes prior to a gluten containing meal and 1 to 2 capsules following the meal. Glutagest breaks down the gluten in food by actively breaking the gluten protein into smaller proteins to make it easier to absorb and may help in the digestion of gluten containing foods– so you can enjoy your favorite foods with friends.
Protecting against cross-contamination
Cross-contamination is when gluten-free foods come into contact with foods that contain gluten.4,6 There are many ways it can happen – during the manufacturing process if the same equipment makes a variety of products, when eating out, or even eating at home if foods are prepared on the same surfaces or with the same utensils. Using the toaster for gluten-free bread and regular bread can also cause contamination.4
Some food labels can show “may contain” gluten if there is a chance that the process of making the product has come in contact with gluten.4 Even foods that are labeled “wheat-free,” may not be 100% gluten free.6 Food producers can include that label with a product that contains 20 parts per million of gluten, which means it still contains gluten.6
That’s why it’s important to read labels and understand how easy it is to unknowingly eat a food that contains gluten or has come in contact with gluten.6
3. Gluten Sensitivity. Celiac Disease Foundation, 2015. http://celiac.org/celiac-disease/non-celiac-gluten-sensitivity/ Accessed March 31, 2015.
4. Gluten-free diet. Nutrition and Healthy Living. Mayo Clinic, 2015. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/gluten-free-diet/art-20048530?pg=2&p=1 Accessed March 29, 2015.
5. What Can I Eat? Celiac Disease Foundation, 2015. http://celiac.org/live-gluten-free/glutenfreediet/food-options/ Accessed March 31, 2015.
6. Sources of Gluten. Celiac Disease Foundation, 2015. http://celiac.org/live-gluten-free/glutenfreediet/sources-of-gluten/ Accessed March 31, 2015.
7. What is Gluten? Celiac Disease Foundation, 2015. http://www.celiac.org/live-gluten-free/glutenfreediet/what-is-gluten/ Accessed March 31, 2015.
8. Should You Be Gluten-Free? Celiac Disease & Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity. National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. http://www.celiaccentral.org/SiteData/docs/NFCACeliac/a5c2249c6b6762ab/NFCA_CeliacDisease_vs_NonCeliacGlutenSensitivity.pdf Accessed April 2, 2015.
9. Catassi C et al. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity: the new frontier of gluten related disorders. MDPPI (Published online). 2013;5(10):3839-3853. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3820047/ Accessed March 30, 2015.
10. Dining Out. Celiac Disease Foundation, 2015. http://celiac.org/live-gluten-dfree/gluten-free-lifestyle/dining-out/ Accessed March 31, 2015.