Watch out for hidden gluten sources
I developed migraines and after a long process of elimination, realized that a gluten sensitivity was the cause! I have eliminated most wheat from my diet and my migraines have almost gone away. What are some foods that contain gluten that I am missing and what ingredients do I need to look for other than just wheat!
As many people are learning, a gluten intolerance or sensitivity, causes more than just digestive issues. Some, of the more than 200 symptoms, you may not associate with a gluten intolerance is a loss of energy, lack of focus, a diagnosis of an autoimmune disorder, mental illness, infertility, migraines, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, joint pain, mood swings and keratosis pilaris, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation. While the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has developed "gluten-free" labeling standards for food products, these standards do not apply to every items that could contain gluten. While avoiding foods that we know contain gluten like breads and pastas is simple, knowing what ingredients to look for, in other food items, other than wheat, becomes a bit complicated. Before you enjoy that bowel of ice cream, take a quick look at the ingredients and look for wheat starch, malt and artificial colors that may be added. Quite often, artificial colors contain gluten, as a filler. Not all oats are created equal and some may contain molasses or brown sugar flavorings, which can contain caramel coloring that contains wheat. Always opt for a soy sauce, if you must have it, that is labeled gluten free. Fresh herbs and spices are gluten free, however, ground spices might contain gluten as sometimes flour is added to prevent caking. Chocolate is gluten free unless it is coated or covered with a caramel covering or crunchy sprinkles of different varieties. Beware of pickles that list malt vinegar on it list of ingredients. While buckwheat, quinoa (pronounced keen-wa), flax and millet are on the "safe" list, it is best to avoid couscous, spelt, barley and kamut. While we generally think of foods as the biggest culprit, there are other culprits to be aware of. According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, medications may contain binders made from wheat. Beauty products, like lipsticks, may contain gluten. Since the average women swallows about seven pounds of lipstick in her lifetime, that could be problematic. Always select a multi vitamin, or any supplement for that matter, that specifically states it is gluten free, or that it is free of binders, fillers and fragrances.
Thought for the week: Coming together is a beginning, Keeping together is progress and Working together is success. Henry Ford
Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant; email her at email@example.com. This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.