Diarrhea: Gluten or Sugar Intolerance?

It’s only recently that mainstream American doctors have recognized gluten intolerance. 

"Diarrhea Problems, Gluten Intolerance, Carbohydrate Intolerance"If you frequently experience gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or irritable bowel syndrome, your symptoms could be caused by either gluten intolerance or sugar intolerance.

What is Gluten?

Gluten intolerance is an allergic response by the body’s immune system to gluten, a protein that bonds sugars together in certain grains such as wheat, rye, oats, and barley. 

When someone is gluten intolerant, they usually experience severe abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and loose stools after they eat foods that contain gluten. Traditionally doctors thought that gluten causes diarrhea, but now we know that gluten intolerance and gluten sensitivity gives a wide rage of symptoms.  Eventually eating foods that contain gluten can damage the lining of the small intestine, and can lead to poor absorption of minerals, vitamins and most of the food you eat. The effects of gluten intolerance can be devastating.

Following a gluten free diet usually resolves this problem within two or three weeks for most sufferers if the lining of the small intestine has not been severely damaged.

If you go on a gluten free diet, you will have to avoid grains that contain gluten such as wheat, barley, rye and oats. However, the tricky part of a gluten free diet is that many processed foods use gluten as a binder, and you may not always realize that you’ve eaten something with gluten in it until you have an adverse reaction. This is especially true when eating out, where you may not know all the ingredients used in a restaurant’s recipe, or other places that serve processed foods.

If you find that you can’t always avoid gluten, there are natural ways of improving your condition by using specially formulated enzymes and our natural allergy elimination technique to reduce your sensitivity to gluten. These treatments make living with gluten intolerance much easier, and can help you restore your health.

Research shows that a little more than one percent of the population may be gluten intolerant. So if only one or one and a half of every hundred people has gluten intolerance, why do other people who are not affected by gluten intolerance experience symptoms such as gas, bloating, and loose stools? The answer is frequently carbohydrate intolerances - intolertances to sugars found in grains, milk and sweets.

“Far more people experience carbohydrate intolerances than gluten intolerance” 

So what’s the difference between gluten and carbohydrate intolerance? Gluten intolerance is an actual allergy to gluten that your immune system responds to immediately.

Carbohydrate intolerance occurs when your small intestine does not make enough of the enzymes to digest two part sugars.

One form of carbohydrate intolerance that you may be familiar with is lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose, the sugar present in milk products. People who are lactose intolerant do not make enough of the enzymes to chemically break down lactose into its component parts so the body can absorb the sugars.  Incomplete digestion of dairy products results in gas, bloating and diarrhea. 

Many people suffer from the inability to digest other two part sugars as well. Maltose, a sugar which is found in grain products can also produce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in people who do not produce enough enzymes to digest this sugar. That’s why you may hear that carbs and diarrhea are associated with each other. 

And who hasn’t been treated to the rhyming lyrics and potty humor of young boys regarding the digestion disturbances caused by beans. If you guessed that the culprit was sugar you’re right. Beans have two types sugars that are very hard for humans to digest.

Lastly, don’t forget about that sweet old favorite, table sugar or sucrose that is used to sweeten so many foods. It’s a two-part sugar, and can wreak a lot of havoc with your digestive system if you don’t digest this one completely. 

As you can see, gluten intolerance, dairy products, grains, beans, and sugar can all cause uncomfortable and embarrassing bowel problems. If you experience bowel disorders, testing can help you identify the cause of your problem and the appropriate measures to overcome the problem. You may find that more it’s more than gluten causing diarrhea.

If you frequently experience gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation or irritable bowel syndrome, calling our office may be the start to healing your body. To learn more about gluten and carbohydrate intolerances and how you can recover from irritable bowel syndrome, visit our office in Chico, CA or schedule a consultation. 

Dr. Patrick Giammarise, DC, Internal Health Specialist, Founder of the Digestion Relief Center, in Chico California specializes in effective, natural relief for IBS, food sensitivities and digestive problems in the Chico, Redding, and Northern California.

Published in the Chico Enterprise Record Healthbeat April 24, 2007.

2007, © Dr. Patrick Giammarise, DC. All Rights Reserved.

See How Byron Overcame Diarrhea! Click here.

Related Articles

Diarrhea  - wikipedia

Gluten Free Diet - Mayo Clinic

The Basics of Diarrhea - Webmd

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