Do you often feel bloated, tired, or do you have other unexplained complaints after eating? You may be gluten intolerant or gluten sensitive. Follow this step-by-step plan to discover whether this could be the cause of your complaints.
Step 1: Identify Symptoms
The first thing you should do is identify your symptoms. Gluten intolerance, or celiac disease, and gluten sensitivity can both result in a range of symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, headaches, joint pain, and skin problems. Keep a symptom diary to see if there is a pattern in when you experience symptoms.
Step 2: Diet Evaluation
Evaluate your diet and see if you eat a lot of foods that contain gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, and is found in many everyday foods, such as bread, pasta, cereal, and cookies.
Step 3: Elimination diet
Consider an elimination diet. This is a diet in which you completely eliminate gluten from your diet for a certain period of time, usually several weeks. If your symptoms decrease or disappear during this diet, this may be a sign that you are sensitive to gluten. Make sure you get enough nutrients by eating gluten-free alternatives.
Step 4: Anti-Gluten Pills
Try Anti-Gluten Pills from Little Helpers. These supplements contain Tolerase® G, a groundbreaking enzyme that helps break down gluten and are a very suitable addition to a gluten-free diet as an extra layer of protection against the gluten that still slips by unnoticed. This will maximally reduce the complaints you experience. In the Netherlands, these pills are directly available online via the webshop: littlehelpers.nl .
Step 5: Self-test
In the Netherlands, self-tests are available in various web shops and drugstores, such as Kruidvat.
Self-tests for gluten intolerance or celiac disease usually work by detecting specific antibodies in the blood that indicate an immune reaction against gluten. As with everything, there are advantages and disadvantages, which we have listed for you below:
Benefits of a gluten intolerance self-test
Accessibility: Self-tests are often easy to find in pharmacies or online and can be performed at home, which can be much more convenient than a visit to the doctor.
Privacy: A self-test allows you to test in the privacy of your own home, which can be appealing if you feel uncomfortable discussing your symptoms with a doctor.
Time savings: It may be faster to get a test at home than to make an appointment at the doctor, especially if you live in an area with long wait times for appointments.
Disadvantages of a gluten intolerance self-test
Inaccuracy: Although many self-tests can be accurate, they are usually less reliable than tests performed in a laboratory. This means they can give false positives or false negatives.
Interpretation of Results: Without medical training, it may be difficult to understand the results of the test. It is also possible that you experience symptoms of celiac disease, but the test gives a negative result.
Not a complete diagnosis: Even if a self-test is positive, it is necessary to see a doctor for further tests to confirm the diagnosis. Celiac disease can be complex and there may be other health problems that cause similar symptoms.
False reassurance: A negative test can provide false reassurance, especially if you continue to experience symptoms. It is important to seek medical advice if you have any concerns about your health.
Step 6: Medical Advice
If you continue to experience symptoms even after eliminating gluten from your diet and trying Anti-Gluten Pills, it is important to seek medical advice.
Using a series of specialized medical tests, your doctor can diagnose you with gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity. In this chapter we explore the different medical tests for gluten intolerance that are available, including blood tests, intestinal biopsy and genetic testing.
The blood test is usually the first step in investigating gluten intolerance. The doctor can measure specific antibodies in your blood that are usually higher in people with celiac disease. These antibodies are your immune system's response to the presence of gluten in the body. Some of these antibodies are tissue transglutaminase antibodies (tTGA) and endomysium antibodies (EMA). If these antibodies are elevated, this may indicate gluten intolerance.
If the blood test is positive, your GP may refer you for an intestinal biopsy, the gold standard for diagnosing celiac disease. This procedure involves taking a small sample of the small intestine to examine for damage. Celiac disease causes inflammation and damage to the villi – the small, finger-like projections that line the wall of the small intestine. This leads to problems with nutrient absorption.
Even with blood tests and intestinal biopsy, the diagnosis of celiac disease can still sometimes be uncertain. In such cases, a genetic test can help to gain more insight. Most people with celiac disease have one of two genetic markers, HLA-DQ2 or HLA-DQ8. Although having these genes does not necessarily mean you have celiac disease, not having these genes makes it very unlikely.
Celiac disease ruled out?
If the medical tests in step 6 rule out celiac disease, but you found out in steps 2 & 3 that you experience complaints after consuming gluten, then you probably have gluten sensitivity, also called non-celiac gluten sensitivity. This form of gluten sensitivity causes the same symptoms as celiac disease, but without the damage to the small intestine that is characteristic of celiac disease.
Step 7 - Gluten Free Living
When diagnosed with gluten intolerance (celiac disease) and gluten sensitivity, it is important to follow a gluten-free diet, possibly in combination with Anti-Gluten Pills, to reduce symptoms and, in the event of gluten intolerance, to prevent further damage to your intestines. Would you like to know more about the gluten-free diet? Then take a look at our blog ' All about gluten and the gluten-free diet '. Would you like to know more about how Anti-Gluten Pills with Tolerase ® G protect your body against the harmful effects of gluten? Then click here . Good luck!