Why is Gluten Upsetting Your Stomach?

Gluten is a protein found in many widely used grains and is present in products made using them: from bread to beer, stock cubes to sauces it is a constituent part of many of the foods we eat on a daily basis. It gives bread its light and chewy consistency and gives soups their thickened appearance. However, over recent years, sensitivity to gluten has been increasingly linked to stomach problems.



Consequently the market in gluten free foods has boomed and most supermarkets have an area devoted to foods and ingredients which are suitable for those seeking an entirely gluten free diet. Great news for people searching for alternatives to the ghastly wheat grain!

The reasons behind why there has been such a spike in the number of people experiencing stomach problems seemingly linked to wheat gluten is less clear. Writing in the ‘New Yorker Magazine’ in 2014, Michael Spector speculated that it could be due to changes in the genetic make­up of gluten or the increased use of ‘vital wheat gluten’ which is used in the bread industry to make bread rise more quickly. Or even not gluten at all but FODMAPs (a group of carbohydrates that are found in foods containing fructose such as fruit and vegetables; dairy products, such as milk and ice cream and even garlic and onions).

Whatever the reason, many people are finding that following a gluten free diet is relieving them of their stomach related health problems. Dr Isabel Skypala PhD, specialist allergy dietitian at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, says that an elimination diet followed by careful reintroduction of foods will give you an idea of what triggers your symptoms. Some people have a reaction to bread, for example, but not pasta. After cutting out wheat products long enough to be symptom free, reintroduce a simple wheat product such as weetabix or pasta to give a clear indication of whether wheat/gluten is behind your symptoms and not another ingredient.

It is worth noting that if your symptoms are severe you should always consult your doctor and, as with any restrictive diet, always be sure that you are not cutting out any nutrients necessary for good health.

Here are The Raven we are happy to cater for any special dietary requirements that you may have, so just let us know when you book to dine and we will serve you up something suitable and delish.

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