If you're asking yourself the all-important question "why?", you’re definitely not alone. If you have discovered that you’re sensitive to gluten, it could be related to a number of risk factors that include:
For many sufferers of gluten sensitivity, it's difficult to cut out gluten altogether. You may rationalize it by telling yourself that you can eat just one piece of bread without wreaking havoc on your digestive system.
What's so wrong with having just one bite of cake at a birthday party?
Understanding what occurs underneath the surface will help to put gluten sensitivity in perspective. For those with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, after "just one bite" the belly will swell. Several hours later, a myriad of unpleasant symptoms may pop up, including cramping, diarrhea, or constipation. As autoimmunity spirals out of control, it may even lead to other chronic symptoms, like the flare-up of an old back injury.
What went wrong?
This vicious cycle of uncomfortable physical symptoms is a direct result of inflammation. When pain is found anywhere in the body, including joint pain or symptoms of a pre-existing autoimmune condition, it means that inflammation in the gut has gone systemic.
Even minor symptoms like fatigue or brain fog after eating a piece of cake can be caused by systemic inflammation. This means that your blood-brain barrier has likely been compromised.
So before you decide to eat "just one" cracker or cookie, keep in mind that studies indicate that eating even the smallest amount of gluten - equivalent to a cracker the size of an eighth of your thumbnail - could cause a full-blown inflammatory cascade in the body for up to six months afterward if you are gluten sensitive!2
On a gluten-free diet, there is no middle ground. And for sufferers of celiac disease, it could make or break your quality of life.
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