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Online clinic on bowel issues & IBS - Apr 2018

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Gluten or wheat intolerance

Postby EJ2018UK on Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:46 am

How would you know if stomach pain & discomfort is related to IBS or if it is a gluten or wheat intolerance? And what is the best and quickest way to ease the pain when having a “flare up”?
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Re: Gluten or wheat intolerance

Postby Wendy Green on Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:01 pm


When it comes to gluten It's important that you don't jump to conclusions too quickly without ruling out other possible IBS triggers. Many people cut out gluten thinking they'll be healthier, but the truth is, unless you have a firm diagnosis of a gluten intolerance or coeliac disease, it won't improve your health. In fact many gluten-free products such as bread, pasta and crackers can contain extra sugar and additives, which means that unless you have a medical reason for eating them, they are not a particularly healthy choice. They can also be very expensive.

Some people experience IBS symptoms when they eat insoluble fibre, which is found mainly in wholegrain cereals such as wholemeal bread, wholewheat and bran cereals, brown rice and pasta and the skins of fruit and vegetables. Many people find that when they avoid these foods and eat more soluble fibre - found in oats, barley, rye, root vegetables, pulses, apples, pears, bananas and strawberries, their symptoms ease.

Also some people experience problems when they eat foods containing certain sugars - these include wheat, dairy, sugar and sugar substitutes and certain fruit and vegetables. To find out if these foods are the cause of your symptoms you would need to follow a low FODMAP diet. The IBS Network has further information about this https://www.theibsnetwork.org/diet/fodmaps/

However, I'd recommend asking your GP to refer you to a dietician, as you'll need support to help you follow this type of eating plan.

Also, if you regularly experience pain and other symptoms, such as diarrhoea/constipation, fatigue and unexplained weightloss, you should ask your GP if you can be tested for coeliac disease. However it's important that you keep eating gluten-containing foods i.e. wheat, barley and rye, to make sure the test is accurate. If tests rule out coeliac disease you may non-coeliac gluten sensitivity. If your GP suspects you have this condition they should be able to offer you advice on following a gluten-free diet or refer you to a dietician. Coeliac UK offers advice on following a gluten-free diet https://www.coeliac.org.uk/gluten-free- ... lifestyle/

I hope this advice helps.

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Wendy Green
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