Okay, let’s cut the chitchat and get down to the facts. We’re gluten free, but why? What is gluten intolerance? Well, first you need to understand that there are two different issues when it comes to gluten. You can be gluten intolerant, which means you have Celiac disease, or you can have gluten sensitivity, which means you have a hard time digesting gluten. The two issues might sound the same, but they’re very different.
What Is Gluten Intolerance (Celiac Disease)? When you hear gluten intolerant that automatically means Celiac disease, which is a serious genetic autoimmune disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. For people who have Celiac disease, every time they eat gluten, their body attacks itself. Yeah, it’s a nasty disease.
If you’re gluten intolerant, it means that you can’t have gluten. Period. There’s no cutting back or enjoying it every once in a while. You need to completely remove gluten from your diet in order to protect your small intestine from permanent damage. Sufferers of Celiac disease have to substitute wheat, barley, rye, oats, and more with gluten-free varieties—like what you can find here on our blog.
Gluten intolerance is also something that you typically get as a kid and it’s genetic. There’s also no treatment for Celiac disease except living with a completely gluten-free diet because your body can’t handle any gluten.
What Is Gluten Sensitivity?
Gluten sensitivity, on the other hand, is quite different. Gluten sensitivity is sometimes mistakenly referred to as gluten intolerance, but they are very different conditions. Gluten sensitivity means that your body has a difficult time digesting gluten, which means you may have many similar symptoms of Celiac disease, but your body does not actively try to harm itself when gluten is introduced.
For those who are sensitive to gluten, it’s possible to still enjoy gluten in your diet, you just have to be careful about how much you consume at one time. Gluten sensitivity is less severe than Celiac disease and causes minimal, if any, intestinal damage. There are also no current tests that can diagnose gluten sensitivity. Your best bet is to see how your body responds to food with gluten and without gluten and go from there.
The Truth About Gluten
The truth is for many individuals gluten can be a problem. Whether you have Celiac disease, or you’re just struggling with gluten sensitivity, your digestive system might not be able to cope with Gluten. That’s why all of our products at 12 Health are gluten-free, but more than that, we’re also dairy and refined sugar free because we believe in using only those ingredients that benefit your body (learn more).