So You Might Have a Gluten Sensitivity?

By Cassi Cowlam, BHSc(Nat)

(Czaja-Bulsa, 2014, “Non Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity – A New Disease with Gluten Intolerance”)

Do any of these symptoms resonate with you? 

Results of a study published in the Journal Clinical Nutrition identified these as common symptoms associated with individuals who react to gluten, but NOT because they have Coeliac Disease (CD).  CD is an auto-immune condition, yet another syndrome has been identified, which is “Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity” and is an intolerance rather than an allergy.   An intolerance means your body is still reacting and it is contributing to inflammation, but not necessarily via the immune system.

I know …. Naturopaths and their Gluten-Free mantra right? I’ve had it said to me before that all Naturopaths recommend gluten / dairy free “just because” …… Um, not just because.  I don’t prescribe to that theory.  Not all my clients are advised to go GF, although I do encourage many to consider alternatives to make the diet more balanced. There is a scientific rationale to what we do, and there is evidence that gluten can affect your health even if you do not have CD.

This can disrupt absorption of nutrients (research has identified it as a cause of anaemia for example), causes inflammation, affects our mood and neurological balance, causes skin issues, impacts our immunity and affects the gut – leading to symptoms similar to Irritable Bowel Syndrome.   Perhaps your depression is associated with gluten?  Or you find your focus is affected?  One of the issues is that wheat is used as a cheap filler in the food industry, it is fed to cattle (grain fed beef – which should be pasture fed by the way) and it tastes good … after all, who doesn’t like bread? 

However, it can be an unrequited love relationship. You love it, but it doesn’t love you back.

And because it is in so many foods, you may be avoiding bread but still getting enough gluten to trigger a response.

The good news is no one gets ill from a gluten deficiency. Taking it out of the diet and replacing it with non-gluten sources of grains can have powerful benefits. We don’t need bread every day, so consider other options instead of toast and sandwiches. Also “gluten-free” doesn’t always mean healthy, so read those labels carefully.

Download my Gluten Free Handout here so that you can see what foods you can enjoy, and what you may need to avoid.

If you suspect you may have intolerances or allergies, further testing can be arranged, and I would be happy to help – go to my Contacts Page and click the Book Now button.


For further enquiries, contact Cassi on


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