Discomfort after eating grains - is gluten to be blamed?

Carbohydrates are an important part of diet for sportsmen and people who do a lot of physical exercise. An appropriate amount can aid the development of a fit silhouette and help achieving better results. There's no doubt that not only the amount but also the quality of the macro-nutrient counts. The most recommended are wholemeal products, such as brown rice, brown bread or brown pasta. Unfortunately, many people encounter digestive problems when ingesting these types of foods. Some dietitians and personal trainers blame gluten for this issue. It's worth considering whether this is actually the root of the problem.

A healthy diet and digestive problems

Although it might seem that when changing dietary habits we should only benefit, it sometimes turns out that the healthier we try to eat, the worse we feel. Particularly many problems are linked to eating wholemeal grain products, which sometimes cause stomach pain, gas, bloating and even diarrhea. Understanding the cause of these problems and their resolution is surely important, but in practice - quite difficult. According to some specialist the key factor is gluten - a food component that has been recently accused of all the adverse effects of nutrition on the human organism.

Can gluten cause digestive issues?

Until recently gluten was thought to be the problem only for people suffering from celiac disease. Now we already know that there is something called the non-celiac gluten sensitivity - NCGS. Celiac disease is an auto-immune disease, which affects about 1-2% of the population. NCGS in the light of recent data can occur more often and affect up to 6-7% of the population. In both ailments the symptoms can be similar (at various degrees of intensity), including but not limited to:

  • discomfort in the abdomen
  • tummy ache
  • diarrhea

Aside from the above, there can be also different symptoms, not connected directly to the work and localization of the digestive system:

  • skin conditions
  • headaches
  • problems with concentration
  • fatigue
  • mood swings
  • anemia
  • numb limbs
  • joint aches

In general, though, when it comes to digestive problems - you need to consider the fact that gluten, be it due to gluten sensitivity or total and permanent intolerance can be the root of intestinal problems after ingesting grains. Nevertheless, that is not the only explanation.