Signs Gluten Intolerance May Be Hampering Your Fitness Goals

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

By: Dr. Chad Larson, NMD, DC, CCN, CSCS, Advisor and Consultant on Clinical Consulting Team for Cyrex Laboratories

For some, summer marks the season for showing off all the exercise and healthy choices they’ve committed to this year. On the other hand, for many others, the season can represent an ongoing struggle to reach their fitness goals. There are many variables involved in weight loss, muscle gain and overall physical health: lifestyle choices, age, hormones, genes, thyroid issues, and the list goes on. But let me introduce you to a possible culprit that may surprise you and isn’t always considered in fitness discussions: gluten sensitivity. Gluten is a protein found primarily in wheat, barley and rye. Celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) are two separate types of gluten-related disorders with increasing numbers of sufferers. Celiac Disease, a condition where eating gluten triggers an autoimmune reaction causing damage to the small intestine, is reported to affect one percent of the population. Whether a person suffers from celiac disease or NCGS, any gluten immune reaction can present itself with similar symptoms. While each individual symptom does not indicate gluten immune intolerance, it is worth looking into if you feel like a few or all of the following symptoms may be hindering your personal summer fitness and wellness goals:

• Abdominal issues – It should be of no surprise that the following digestive reactions would be at the top of the gluten-sensitivity symptom chain: Pain or discomfort; Bloating; and Diarrhea

• Chronic fatigue – CF is a symptom of many disorders and diseases and alone does not indicate gluten sensitivity. However, when coupled with other common symptoms of gluten sensitivities, this could be an indicator of gluten intolerance. When our digestive system is not functioning properly or has autoimmune aggravation, it can result in lack of energy and an overall tired or sluggish feeling. Needless to say, this does not bode well for anyone trying to reach his or her fitness goals.

• Depression – Including anxiety, irritability and even ADHD, are common health conditions found amongst people with undiagnosed celiac disease or NCGS. These symptoms can flare within hours of exposure to gluten and last for up to several days. This can cause an extreme hindrance on workout schedules and healthy eating.

While a gluten-free diet is not necessarily recommended for general weight loss, it can be the answer for those with a gluten sensitivity that is preventing them from achieving their fitness goals. Determining if gluten is holding you back from a healthy life begins with paying attention to how your body is feeling and finding answers through medical advice and the right testing.

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