Can Gluten affect your Hormones?
The wheat today is not the same as the wheat that was eaten 50 years ago.
Gluten is found in wheat, barley, spelt, semolina and rye and in sauces, cakes, syrups, soy-sauce and you'll find it listed in code words like malt, modified food-starch & dextrin on the backs of random labels. Without these ingredients it's pretty much impossible to to make light and fluffy morsels. However, these ingredients can have a far-reaching negative effect on your health.
If you're suffering from obesity, fatigue, depression, headaches, arthritis, or digestive problems then you might have a gluten sensitivity or Celiac Disease. Even more so, gluten can affect your hormonal health by stressing the adrenal glands. This can cause adrenal fatigue and other hormone-related health problems.
Wait one minute! Something you might not realize is that by living with a gluten sensitivity or Celiac Disease, you might not notice your own symptoms. I'm rolling up my sleeves for this one! So I have a very different experience with Gluten because I found out I had Celiac Disease in 2005. Before I found out, I caught every cold I was exposed to, and every flu. I had a mild stomach ache after eating sometimes and when I'd mention it my mother she would say I probably ate too much. That was the extent of my symptoms.
When my mom was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2004 it was a very new concept that no one knew anything about it. She only found out because she was craving ice and that can mean you're low in iron. Luckily her doctor at the time wanted her to have an endoscopy to check for Celiac Disease as he knew low iron could be linked, plus other mentioned history like a series of miscarriages. Well, Celiac Disease is hereditary, so my sister and I also had an endoscopy. It turned out I had it and my stomach was in pretty bad shape. I was 15, about a year into having periods and major food cravings, it was right before Christmas and I was miserable having Gluten taken out of my life. However, it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
It took 3 years of being on the diet (no cheating ever) to be the healthiest person I know. I stopped getting sick. I had a huge increase in energy and I just felt, well, AMAZING!
This could be you, and you don't even realize it!
A bulk of evidence has shown that switching to gluten-free (GF) diet may combat variety of symptoms. That does not mean that giving up on gluten is a permanent cure to hormonal imbalance but it undeniably plays a vital role in stimulating hormonal healing.
The Adrenal Glands and Gluten:
The adrenal glands sit above your kidneys and release hormones into your bloodstream, and likewise respond to feedback from other hormones and chemicals in your body. Gluten sensitivity puts direct stress on your adrenal glands. Where does this stress come from? It’s the inflammatory response in your digestive tract. This inflammatory response occurs every time you eat if you have a gluten sensitivity (It’s estimated that 40% of the population has a Gluten sensitivity or has Celiac Disease) and your body can’t keep up with it. This puts stress on your adrenals and eventually they become incapable of repairing themselves; as a result, their function slowly begins to deteriorate. Eventually this causes chronic stress on your adrenal glands from the gluten in your diet and the symptoms cause “adrenal exhaustion.”
Normally your adrenals make hormones called Pregnenolone “Mother Hormones” which are the building blocks for many hormones including sex hormones (DHEA, estrogen, testosterone and progesterone). Which all need to be maintained to prevent PMS, fatigue, depression, loss of libido, hot flashes, anxiety, infertility, and miscarriages.
What else can a Gluten Diet Cause?
Gluten can damage the villi attached on the small intestine. The damaged villi make it hard for the body to absorb nutrients and pass through the intestine.
Apart from hormonal imbalance and fertility problems, gluten rich diets can cause skin rashes, diarrhea, and mood problems. It makes absorption of micro-nutrients difficult and can lower your immune system, affecting your overall health.
Try 4 Week Gluten-Free Challenge
It can't hurt to try and even though it took me 3 years of being on the diet for my body to be amazing, I did feel better about 2 months in. However, it's hard to make a two month commitment so let's try just 4 weeks! Switching to a 4-week gluten-free diet is a great way to protect hormone health and see if going gluten free will make a difference for you. Although the 4-week plan can help you figure out your body, sticking to the gluten-free diet for 8 weeks may give you more benefits.
You can do it!
As a gluten-free diet can help you keep many health issues at bay, following the diet can be a great way to preserve your hormonal health. Just remember me whenever you start to complain 😝 because in 2005 you couldn't buy amazing GF pasta or GF bread (unless you liked eating cardboard) and there were no GF donuts in the freezer section or GF cookies except ones that resembled eating flavored chalk. Let me just say, you have it pretty good today if you want to eat Gluten Free. My option was to eat potatoes or rice with a protein and a vegetable. No TV dinners, no "just ad hot water" noodles or grab a can of soup. Gluten was in everything and when you went out to eat and said the word "Gluten" you could hear crickets, and when you tried the word "Wheat" you'd finally get a glimpse of recognition as they said back, "you're allergic to meat?"
Trust me, you can do it. 😘
This content is strictly the opinion of S'moo and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither S'moo nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.