Gluten and Diabetes Connection
As we all know, gluten is the protein component mostly found in wheat, rye and barley. The relationship of a gluten-free diet in dealing with diabetes is still under observation and continuous research up to present.
There are suggestions stating that when a person is diagnosed with Diabetes 1, they need to undergo tests for celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes damages in the small intestine along with the intake of any gluten item. Because of the damages that occur, the body is poorly absorbing the nutrients resulting to poor blood glucose control. However, there are still no known proofs that gluten intake as well as celiac disease is linked with Diabetes 2 considering that it is not an autoimmune disorder.
Though there are claims wherein some food labels declare gluten-free status, it is safer to be cautious. You can also take note of the items which are naturally not containing gluten like rice, potatoes, corn, amaranth, buckwheat, millet and teff as well as fruits, vegetables and milk. Take extra dedication and devotion on checking each and every component of your food especially in dealing with pasta, sandwiches, broth, processed seafood and bacon, sauces, beers and even communion wafers.
If you are opting of having a gluten-free diet, be reminded of the following:
- It is not advisable for losing weight as it contains higher levels of carbohydrates
- It is not as nutritious as you think, gluten-free diet might inhibit you from having excess calories from breads or pasta but you are lacking Vitamin B and iron which are also essential to the body
Gluten-free diet is only suitable for the following cases:
- Patients who are highly advised to have it
- For the prevention of intestinal damages caused by celiac disease
- For those who are known to be gluten sensitive.
In summary, gluten is somehow related to diabetes 1 in terms of the damages caused by celiac disease. Because of these damages, the body’s ability to absorb nutrients is becoming poor resulting to deficiencies and weak blood sugar control. If diagnosed with celiac disease, a gluten-free diet is required to avoid further complications of type 1 diabetes.
- Scandinavian Journal of Immunology – T-Cell Reactivity to Wheat Gluten in Patients with Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus
- American Diabetes Association – Gluten-Free Diets – The Basics
- Practical Gastroenterology Journal – Combining Diabetes and Gluten-Free Dietary Management Guidelines
- Clinical and Experimental Diabetes and Metabolism – Dietary gluten and the development of type 1 diabetes