Before you shift to a gluten and diary free diet, it is essential to take a step back and reconsider what is it that you are suffering from. The point to note is that both gluten and lactose intolerance seemingly exhibit the same symptoms. So the first thing is to know whether you are suffering from gluten intolerance or lactose intolerance – then again, you could be suffering from both.
Given that the symptoms of both issues are similar, it is best to know a bit more about both.
When your body is unable to digest lactose, you suffer from the symptoms of lactose intolerance. The body needs the enzyme lactase to digest lactose – and this enzyme is generated in the small intestine. But when your small intestine is unable to produce the required amounts of lactase, you fall prey to dairy intolerance.
This issue affects the gastrointestinal tract and the colon. Prolonged lactose intolerance can lead to nutrition deficiency as the body is unable to absorb and assimilate the nutrients from the food you consume.
The symptoms to look out for include:
- Stomach pain
Gluten intolerance or celiac disease
Is a much more serious concern – it is more than just gluten sensitivity. Rather it is an autoimmune issue that needs immediate care. The body is unable to digest the gluten content in food and this induces an inflammatory response in the immune system. The ‘villi’ in the small intestine which are responsible for absorbing nutrition are unable to do so, and over time a person suffering from gluten intolerance lacks the proper nutrition because of the malfunction of the villi.
Sometimes gluten intolerance is not diagnosed till the symptoms become very prominent; at other times you might not even realize that you are gluten intolerant. The symptoms are varied and not always very clear.
Symptoms to look out for include:
- Weight loss
- Slow digestion
Once you figure out what you’re suffering from, you can opt for a gluten free, or dairy free or a complete gluten and dairy free diet.