Gluten and Indigestion

by Clive V. Lewis
(Chesham, England, UK)

Clive's question...


Can a sensitivity to gluten cause an inflammatory condition in the stomach, and perhaps cause a reflux tendency? (My lady friend suffers from this.)

From Clive Lewis ... a keen follower of your website.

Suzy's answer...

Hi, Clive! The subject of gluten sensitivity has become wildly popular over the last few years. It has even been the basis for popular weight loss plans and anti-aging regimens.

The short answer to your question is that yes, gluten sensitivity can cause inflammation and digestive upsets in a variety of forms. However, the only way for your friend to know for sure if this is the cause of her problems is to get tested by an allergist.

If she is allergic to gluten, the protein in certain grains, particularly wheat, then she will need to change her diet to exclude those foods that could aggravate her digestive system. Here is a link to our "What is Gluten?" page that should help with the basics of eating a gluten-free diet:

What is Gluten?

Having said that, if your friend finds that she is not gluten sensitive, which most people are not, then she will need to look at other possible causes for her indigestion.

Drinking with meals, eating too fast, overeating, not chewing food properly, eating high fat foods or spicy foods can all lead to digestive problems, such as you describe. Keep in mind that as we age, our digestive system becomes less effective, and any of the above-listed behaviors can be more problematic than when we were younger.

Here is a link to our digestion tips page that may be of some help:

Digestion Tips

Chronic acid reflux can damage the esophagus and even lead to serious complications, so it is important that the causes and cures by addressed.

In any case, choosing whole foods, with an emphasis on vegetables and fruits, lean proteins, whole grains (gluten-free ones, if necessary), and healthy fats will help keep inflammation in the body at a minimum.

I hope this helps and thank you for being a follower of our healthy eating website. Please keep in touch with any questions or comments about the website.

Eat and be healthy with my warmest regards,

Suzy

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