To Gluten Free or Not to Gluten Free, a Naturopathic Question

Vancouver Naturopath – Dr. Katie Smith

Part I: To Gluten or Not to Gluten?

Going gluten free is becoming more and more popular these days and in many instances, for good reason.  It has become easier to avoid gluten today than 5 years ago, as the options for gluten free products grows each day, however there are some pitfalls to be aware of.

What is ‘Gluten’?

    • Gluten is a protein that consists of a mixture of glutelin and gliadin
      • It is found naturally in many grains such as wheat, rye, spelt and barley
      •  It is found particularly high amounts in wheat
    • Gluten is the substance that gives bread its fluffy texture and helps it to stick together (like glue).
      • This is why many gluten free baked goods, particularly the early attempts, tend to have the texture of chalk.
    • Gluten is often used as a food additive and a source of protein in many different products
      • Gluten can hide in many strange places like soya sauce and processed meats.

What is so bad about Gluten?

Gluten first got its bad rap as a result of a condition called ‘Celiac disease’, an autoimmune condition where your body reacts strongly to the gluten proteins. Symptoms of Celiac Disease include

      • Gut Inflammation
      • ‘Villous Atrophy’: Shrinking of the villi in the small intestine
        • Leads to malabsorption, a range of gastrointestinal symptoms, nutrient depletion and even malnutrition if it is not treated in time.

The treatment for this condition is strict avoidance of all gluten sources and it is often very effective.

Book an Appointment with a Naturopathic Doctor

To gluten or not to gluten?  That depends. To find out if you should make the move to a gluten free diet, book an appointment with Dr. Katie Smith, our East Vancouver naturopathic doctor, call 604-876-9977 or email today!

Backs in Action Wellness Centre is easily accessible from Burnaby and Downtown Vancouver by skytrain, as we are located just steps away from the Commercial Broadway Skytrain Station.

Follow all of our Natropathic Medicine Blog posts for more great information on natural health by our wonderful East Vancouver Naturopathic Doctors. Of course we warmly welcome you drop in to our Wellness Centre to meet our fantastic team in person!