Weight gain. Bloating. Brain fog. Those symptoms are just a few examples of the condition known as gluten sensitivity. With potentially millions of people suffering from gluten sensitivity because they don't recognize the symptoms, Dr. Mehmet Oz explored what he considers to be an epidemic on his December 2 talk show.
What is gluten sensitivity? It's a medical condition that can result in digestive problems, such as bloating; neurological symptoms, such as headaches and brain fog; emotional signs, such as anxiety, and hormonal symptoms, such as fatigue.
It's important to recognize that celiac disease is not the same as gluten intolerance.While the symptoms are similar, celiac disease is less common. In addition, celiac disease causes intestinal damage, which can result in malnutrition.
What is the same: You must eliminate all forms of gluten from your diet to avoid symptoms. And that requires carefully scrutinizing food labels. On the list to avoid:
- Bread, crackers
- Cookies, cakes and pies
- Gravies/sauces with flour
- Processed sauces, such as soy sauce (look at the label as some are now gluten-free)
Foods that you can eat on a gluten-free diet:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meats, fish and poultry (unbreaded)
- Most dairy products
- Gluten-free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato)
What if you're not sure that you're sensitive to gluten? Remove all forms of gluten from your diet for two to four weeks to see if your symptoms improve. If you lose weight, beat the bloat and feel more energetic, consider giving up gluten permanently. Your menus during this test period should include:
- Unprocessed foods, such as fruits, vegetables and poultry
- Dairy in its natural form (read the labels carefully)
- Foods that aren't in packaged form (such as cereals and soups)