Why Is Gluten Intolerance on the Rise?

Why is Gluten Intolerance on the Rise?

Why Is Gluten Intolerance on the Rise?

Just 10 short years ago, gluten-intolerance levels were at 1 in 2,500 worldwide. Today, that number is 1 in 133. So why is gluten intolerance (or gluten sensitivity) on the rise? There are many different theories why some people experience intestinal trouble when eating gluten while others do not seem to have any problems whatsoever eating bread, pasta, and other delicious food items that contain this protein. Sensitivity to gluten is real, and its effects range from mild gastric discomfort to debilitating stomach aches and more. Let’s explore why it’s more prevalent today.

Is it Gluten Intolerance or is it a Gluten Allergy?

First, it’s important to make clear what we’re talking about. Although the two terms are often confused since their symptoms can be quite similar, there are definite differences between gluten intolerance and a gluten allergy.

Gluten allergy (or celiac disease) causes the immune system to attack the lining of the small intestine, which can result in malnutrition, osteoporosis, and—rarely—even cancer. There is no “cure” for a gluten allergy, and intake of any amount can cause damage.

Gluten intolerance is a condition where the body has difficulty digesting the protein, leaving tiny particles behind, which results in uncomfortable symptoms such as stomach ache, gassiness, and more. Symptoms can go away completely when gluten is removed from the diet and—depending on the level of reaction to symptoms—gluten can even be reintroduced in small amounts.

So Why is Gluten Intolerance on the Rise?

Opinions vary and research continues, but here are five possible reasons why intolerance is becoming more prevalent:

  1. Wheat grain has been altered over the decades, allowing it to be more drought-resistant on the farm and baker-friendly in the kitchen. Unfortunately, our guts have not made the same adjustments and have not adapted as quickly as today’s modern grains. Humans are also eating more grains than ever before. Stop for a moment and think about how much bread and other wheat-based products you’re eating!
  2. High usage of antibiotics can damage the gut flora whose health is essential to proper digestion
  3. The world is a much cleaner place today than it was for our ancestors, and our antibodies are not getting as much of a workout. Because our environment is so clean, our bodies may overreact to harmless things they shouldn’t have a problem with—like gluten, peanuts, etc.
  4. Vitamin deficiencies run rampant today, since our diets contain a lot of processed foods and we’re not eating recommended amounts of fruits, vegetables, and other vitamin- and mineral-rich edibles. This can interfere with the proper function of our immune system and result in sensitivities
  5. Our DNA can also be the culprit. Gluten sensitivty is affected by environment, but we can also be predisposed to this sensitivity at the cellular level. Taking a DNA test to determine potential sensitivity to gluten—or whether your symptoms might be caused by something else—can help to pinpoint the sources of gastric discomfort

The Bottom Line

One of the hardest parts of dealing with suspected food-related sensitivities is trying to narrow down what may be causing symptoms. This is where an easy home test like the HomeDNA Food & Pet Sensitivity cellular analysis can help. If you are genetically predisposed to gluten sensitivity, your DNA will show it. The test is a convenient, private, and affordable jumping-off point to discovering the foods, like gluten, that may be causing you discomfort.

Where to buy HomeDNA Food & Pet

Pick up a kit at select CVS locations, ShopKo, any Walgreens location, or at your local independent pharmacy. You can also order online at HomeDNA.com.

Learn More About HomeDNA Food & Pet

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