By Staff of Forum Health Modesto
You’ve likely noticed an uptick in gluten-free items on store shelves, restaurant menus and diet plans offered by nutritionists everywhere. Primarily, the gluten-free take on eating serves one particular group of people: those who suffer from Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder in which your gut cannot process gluten properly. So, naturally, people who discover that they have this autoimmune disease will steer clear of gluten in order to protect themselves from often severe reactions.
But what about prevention, if possible, and other forms of treatment? Recent research has shown that certain bacterial imbalances in our microbiome can be one of the underlying causes of such a severe and abnormal reaction to gluten. Treating these underlying issues, in the spirit of functional medicine, means that you reduce your chances of developing this and many other autoimmune disorders and you might even help your body cope.
Symptoms To Be Mindful Of
Some of the issues you might feel could be linked with gluten sensitivity instead of having full-blown Celiac disease, but either way, recognizing these recurring issues can help you curb them in time.
- Bloating and abdominal cramps and pain.
- Changes in your bowl function.
- Fatigue and a lack of energy.
- Headaches, but also joint and bone pain.
- Skin issues like eczema and rashes, often very irritating and itchy.
- Tooth discoloration and enamel issues.
Maybe you don’t have severe symptoms to begin with, but consuming foods with gluten (like barley, rye and wheat) is typically the first thing that goes out the window to reduce discomfort and boost your quality of life. Let’s see what else is on the menu to help prevent, treat and manage Celiac disease!
Probiotic-Packed Foods To Add
As you’ve noticed from the list, many of the most prominent symptoms point to your gastrointestinal tract. Knowing that and recognizing the new research that points to a link between the microbiome and autoimmune disorders, you can optimize your nutrition by more than just eliminating gluten from your diet. With the help and guidance of your doctor, of course!
Targeted probiotics help replenish healthy bacteria in your gut, which restores the balance in your microbiome, allowing for your body to fight inflammation. Probiotic foods like yogurt, kefir and kimchi are just some of many you can add to your list, thus helping your gut slowly recover.
Balancing With Supplementation
More often than not, people might suffer from multiple disorders or food sensitivities, or they simply dislike certain foods like dairy. If you belong in any of these groups, it can be a little trickier to introduce enough healthy probiotics through food only. This is where probioticsa combine different and most crucial bacterial strains that contribute to a healthy gut.
They help balance your healthy gut flora and can potentially help with reducing some of the symptoms common with Celiac disease. If used consistently and with the right professional guidance and lifestyle changes, probiotics could have the potential to reduce the risk of developing Celiac disease in the first place as well as other autoimmune disorders, and not just for managing symptoms.
Managing Your Gut Health
Now that we’ve established the relevance of probiotics when you’re battling or trying to prevent Celiac disease and other autoimmune issues, you should also focus on other aspects of your life that affect your gut health!
- Make sure that your overall diet is healthy – if you eat junk food and introduce probiotic supplements, chances are that the results won’t be as good for your gut health. Optimal nutrition supported by supplements is the best way to protect your health and prevent disease.
- Sleep! Your body, your gut included, depends on this essential time to recover. Research has shown that sleep affects your microbiome, so make sure to get plenty of down-time.
- Keep calm – stress is a major factor in disease prevention, and that includes autoimmune disorders.
- Work out regularly – together with eating well, training helps with your gut health and allows your body to make the most of the nutrients you consume.
In managing your gut through probiotic consumption and other lifestyle changes, many people with autoimmune disorders can drastically reduce not just their symptoms, but the initial reactions and sensitivities that have caused the disorders in the first place. With a healthy microbiome, you set the stage for disease prevention, and not just treatment.