Dr. Mehmet Oz examined the warning signs of gluten sensitivity and the health and weight loss benefits of a gluten-free diet on the June 23 episode of the Dr. Oz Show.
Dr. Oz said one out of every two people is walking around with gluten sensitivity and isn't even aware of it. "We always associate gluten issues with the gut, but gluten sensitivity is not celiac disease," said Dr. Oz.
Dr. Oz's guest was Dr. Amy Myers, an expert on gluten sensitivity and author of the forthcoming book, The Autoimmune Solution. Dr. Myers, a specialist in functional medicine, said about 55 different diseases are associated with gluten intolerance.
Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity Attacks the Immune System
Dr. Myers said many people miss the signs of gluten sensitivity because most doctors think it's associated only with gut issues, such as stomach pain or diarrhea.
But gluten sensitivity attacks the joints, skin and immune systems — in addition to the gut. So if you experience chronic migraines, brain fog, depression, or weight gain, those could be hidden signs of gluten sensitivity, even if you don't have digestive issues.
Dr. Myers said gluten sensitivity is not the same as celiac disease, but its symptoms can be just as traumatic. Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disorder that prevents the intestines from absorbing nutrients properly.
As a result, a person with celiac disease can experience vitamin deficiencies and become malnourished if they ingest gluten. They also suffer the most common symptoms: severe abdominal pain, bloating, and digestive problems.
Symptoms of gluten sensitivity include the following:
- Headaches or migraines.
- Joint pain.
- Brain fog.
- Weight gain.
- Chronic fatigue.
- Skin rashes or acne.
Side Benefit of Low-Carb, Gluten-Free Diet Is Weight Loss
Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grain products and is what gives bread its chewy texture. Gluten is used in a surprising number of foods, such as soy sauce, bacon bits, blue cheese, beer and flavored coffee, which is why it's a hidden danger for those who are sensitive to it.
Fortunately, eliminating gluten from your diet can immediately cure gluten sensitivity. As a side benefit, many people who stop eating gluten experience weight loss.
Neurologist David Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain, said a low-carb, gluten-free diet prevents dementia and Alzheimer's, while cardiologist William Davis, author of Wheat Belly, said it promotes weight loss and reverses diabetes and heart disease.
Gluten-Free Paleo Diet Shown Twice as Effective for Weight Loss
Gluten-free eating is also the foundation of the Paleo diet, which emphasizes high-quality animal proteins, healthy fats, vegetables and fruits, and excludes gluten, sugar, dairy, legumes, starches, alcohol and processed foods.
The Paleo diet is the most popular diet around today, and has a huge celebrity following, including supermodel Adriana Lima, and actors Megan Fox, Jessica Biel, Robin Wright and Kellan Lutz.
Tim McGraw recently credited the gluten-free Paleo diet for his jaw-dropping 40-pound weight loss. Similarly, Jack Osbourne lost 70 pounds and manages his multiple sclerosis with the Paleo diet. Osbourne said eliminating gluten dramatically reduced inflammation, which curbs his multiple sclerosis symptoms.
Research suggests the gluten-free Paleo diet accelerates weight loss, and prevents/manages cancer, epilepsy, diabetes, heart disease, depression, and even Alzheimer's. Proponents say they enjoy weight loss without calorie restriction.
“Clinical trials have shown the Paleo diet is the optimum diet that can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, blood pressure, markers of inflammation, help with weight loss, reduce acne, promote optimum health and athletic performance,” said professor Loren Cordain, author of The Paleo Diet for Athletes and The Paleo Diet Cookbook.
A recent study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed the Paleo diet is twice as effective as other diets for promoting weight loss and reducing belly fat in middle-aged women.
The gluten-free Paleo diet works well for women because it reduces the blood sugar spikes and hormone surges that fuel overeating, mood swings and weight gain, said Nell Stephenson, author of Paleoista: Gain Energy, Get Lean.