Fructan May Be the Source of Digestive Problems, Not Gluten

What if gluten wasn’t the reason you decided to steer clear of foods that contain barley, wheat and rye, and adopt a gluten-free diet?

If you have a sensitivity to gluten, eating foods it’s commonly found in like bread, cereal, and pasta can take a toll. For example, common symptoms to a gluten allergy or sensitivity can include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Excessive gas
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • And other health problems

But what if it wasn’t gluten at all? What if something else in your diet is the reason you experience these symptoms?

Maybe there is. In a new study published in the journal Gastroenterology, researchers make a case for gluten not being the primary source of the symptoms associated with a gluten allergy. So if it’s not gluten, then what is it?

It’s called fructan. It’s a carbohydrate found in wheat and vegetables. One small study at the University of Oslo found that fructan was the source of stomach pain and bloating, and not gluten.

And it’s not the first time gluten has been given a pass for causing digestive issues. Health professionals are just beginning to understand the impact fructan can have on the body. And there’s enough evidence to consider making a shift to change the name of the condition from non-celiac gluten sensitivity to non-celiac wheat sensitivity.

Unfortunately, there still aren’t definitive tests to identify a sensitivity to gluten or fructan. If you display symptoms, your doctor will typically take a careful look at your diet, make adjustments, monitor your health, and then make a diagnosis.

Until researchers fully understand gluten and fructan and the impact they can have on your health, following a gluten-free diet is a good idea, if you think you may have an allergy or sensitivity.

And you’ll find plenty of healthy, and tasty meals to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, all made from fresh ingredients, on our Gluten-Free menu.