Not Allergic? Gluten Can Still Make You Sick

gluten- caution!

If gluten-related foods produce nasty reactions when you eat them, you might be allergic to gluten or have Celiac disease. If you do, it's serious. Even a little gluten can damage your small intestines, prevent your body from absorbing nutrients from food, trigger harmful autoimmune responses, and cause several abdominal cramping and digestive problems.

But what if lab test screenings don't produce a positive result, proving you have Celiac disease? Is it all in your head? Are you just looking for an excuse to take up the latest diet trend to go gluten-free? Or are foods made from barley, wheat and rye, that contain gluten actually making you sick?

Finally, there's an answer to these questions. New research presented at the United European Gastroenterology conference suggests that people who have a negative results for Celiac disease from lab tests may still have a sensitivity to gluten. Even if you don't have Celiac disease, you may be sensitive to gluten in such a way that eating foods with gluten can still damage the lining of your intestines and cause inflammation.

But gluten may not be the only nutrient to blame. A separate study found that a protein called amylase-trypsin inhibitors, also found in grain-made foods that contain gluten, can negatively impact the lymph nodes, kidneys, spleen, and brain. ATIs can also cause complications for people with autoimmune disorders, multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory bowel syndrome.

If you think you might be allergic to gluten, see a doctor to find out. If you do have Celiac disease, avoiding gluten and getting proper medical care is critical. If you sense minor discomfort from eating gluten-related foods, listen to your gut. It might be unrelated, but if you start to notice a trend every time you eat foods that contain gluten, it may be time to rethink your diet and go gluten-free.

Here's one way to find out if you're better off going gluten-free . Order a week's worth of your favorite Gluten-Free meals, and keep track of how you feel. If your stomach is happier than usual, you may have a sensitivity to gluten or its protein partner in crime, aka ATIs. If that's the case, going gluten-free isn't trendy, it's a healthy choice.