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Wheat-Free Diets

The average western diet is high in wheat and wheat products, leading many health practitioners to suggest that wheat is responsible for a host of health problems.

Many people have found that sticking to a wheat-free diet has had a dramatic effect on their health and wellbeing, including weight loss and improved clarity of mind. For most people it is just not wheat that is causing the problem, but wheat is thought to be on of the main culprits. Gluten can also be a problem, so some people would need to follow a gluten-free diet.

Common Symptoms of Wheat Intolerance

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If you are one of the many people that are intolerant to wheat then you may suffer the obvious digestive symptoms such as diarrhoea, constipation, flatulence, indigestion, bloating, etc. But wheat can also have other effects on wheat intolerant people. These include anxiety, asthma, blocked or runny nose, eczema and other skin problems, lack of energy, headaches, insomnia, and more. Some people with wheat allergies have more serious conditions, such as celiac disease. These people are also sensitive to gluten, so should be following a gluten-free diet.

How Does Wheat Cause These Problems

  • Wheat is known to block certain nutrients such as zinc and magnesium, so the body isn't getting the nutrition that it needs. It can also block the elimination of waste products.
  • Wheat contains gluten, a protein that many people find difficult to digest.
  • Wheat encourages fluid retention.
  • Unless you buy organic wheat and wheat products, the wheat may be contaminated with pesticides, insecticides and other chemicals that are used during the growing and storage stage.
  • Processed wheat is stripped of many of its nutrients.
  • Wheat is acidic and so can cause the body to become more acidic, which is a negative for your health.

What To Expect If You Give Up Wheat

When you eliminate wheat from your diet, you may suffer a range of symptoms, but these vary from person to person. It's also possible that you won't have any symptoms at all. The symptoms most often reported are headaches, lack of energy and a general feeling of unwellness. But this should all pass in a day or two. If you suffer these symptoms it is probably a good sign that it is in fact wheat that was causing some of your problems.

When you're following a wheat-free diet you should also start to feel much better and some of your original symptoms should start disappearing. But beware that some symptoms could take many weeks to clear. The general rule is that the more serious the original symptom then the longer it will take to clear, as it is more deeply rooted and needs more time to heal.

I personally have a problem with wheat, especially bread. If I eat bread every day I tend to wake during the night to urinate, I don't sleep very well and I wake up in the morning feeling very groggy. I also find that my mind is less clear and feel lacking in energy. Just avoiding wheat for one day has a dramatic effect on my symptoms. The first night I sleep quite well and don't get up during the night to urinate. In the morning I wake up earlier than usual and feel a lot more refreshed. The longer I avoid wheat, the better I feel. After 5-6 weeks it is quite remarkable how different I feel compared to when I'm eating wheat. My mind is very clear, I can concentrate of longer periods, I have an abundance of energy, my skin improves and my eyesight gets better. It should be noted that just because I get these benefits, it doesn't mean that you will.

So if you think you may have a wheat allergy or a gluten allergy I would suggest you try following a wheat free or gluten free diet for a few weeks. This will help you to tell if you really do have an allergy to foods containing wheat or gluten.

 

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