diet

What to Know Before You Go Gluten Free

When Robin finally decided to head to the doctor for a checkup it was after months of not feeling well. Her main complaint was bloating after eating foods like pasta and bread. Certain foods like ice cream, granola bars or beans also caused significant abdominal pain, gas and diarrhea. After asking a few questions, the doctor suggested a diet change, she was handed a paper on the gluten free diet and asked to return in a month. Within a week Robin began to feel significantly better. Problem solved, right?

You probably know someone with celiac disease. With the prevalence rising to 1 in 133 people, nearly 3 million individuals in the United States have this autoimmune disorder. Unfortunately, 80- 90% of people who have celiac disease don’t actually know it. Randomly starting a gluten free diet without understanding how celiac disease is identified can do more harm than good.

What is Gluten?

Gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley is a common food ingredient in the United States. Gliadin, a part of gluten, cannot be fully broken down by the intestine in those with celiac disease, and can pass through the barrier of the intestinal wall causing an inflammatory response. Over time, the ability of the small intestine to absorb nutrients is decreased due to damage by exposure to gluten.

Symptoms of Celiac Disease

Symptoms of celiac disease include abdominal pain, abdominal bloating, diarrhea, constipation, gastrointestinal reflux, or vomiting. People with undiagnosed celiac disease often become lactose intolerant due to the damage in the area of the small intestine that produces enzymes which help us break down and absorb our food. Although this sounds a lot like irritable bowel syndrome the cause and treatment is different.

When someone […]

Support Your Health During Stressful Times

For thirteen years as a nursing professor I posed this question to my nutrition students– “How does stress and life as a nursing student effect your eating habits?

Inevitably students always had one of two answers:

“As a nursing student I have a very busy schedule with studying. I know I have to make good food choices to keep myself healthy to do all the work I need to do.”

OR

“As a nursing student I have a very busy schedule with studying. I have no time to make good food choices with all the work I need to do.”

What is the difference between these two groups? Does the group that prioritizes healthy eating have more time? Do they have more money?

The difference between the two groups is their attitude.

April is Stress Awareness Month. Stress can have a significant impact on our immune system and overall health. While we sometimes have little control over the stressors in our life, we can control our attitudes towards stress and how we take care of our bodies while under stress. Research has shown that our immune systems function best when supported by adequate sleep, regular exercise, and balanced food choices.

If your stress level is high make sure to do your best in these key areas:
• Make it a priority to go to bed earlier. Poor quality sleep is a trigger for inflammation and can increase your sensitivity to stressors in your life. Important health supporting hormones are released during each stage of sleep, but hormones produced in the early stages of sleep can especially be beneficial while under stress.
• Our quality of life, energy level, and health are significantly impacted by our daily dietary choices. Stress can also interfere with the […]