Ask the Experts… Will Cutting Out Gluten Help My Digestive Issues?

wheat Q I don’t have diagnosed coeliac disease but do suffer with digestive issues – bloating and irregular bowel movements! Will cutting out gluten help or could it be something else?

There can be many causes of digestive symptoms and unfortunately it’s not usually as simple as singling out gluten as the culprit. The gut issues you’ve described, as well as heartburn, flatulence, diorrhea and/or constipation indicate an imbalance in gut flora. The health of our gut can be directly influenced by a number of things – yes gluten is one, but also antibiotics, the contraceptive pill, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and aspirin, a diet low in fibre and high in refined carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods, bacteria or parasitic infections and stress can all play a role.

Following a Low FODMAP approach can help to reduce symptoms. These are foods that contain fermentable carbohydrates such as fruit, dairy, garlic, onion, bananas, beans, lentils and artificial sweeteners. This is by no means an intuitive or full list of foods to avoid and is best undertaken with the help of a professional.

Getting to the bottom of unexplained digestive issues can be a frustrating and long journey, a registered nutritional therapist will take into account a full health history and devise the best protocol for your specific symptoms. They also have access to a large number of laboratory tests that can help to identify the root cause.

About our expert: HeadshotAbout the author: Becky Graham is a registered nutritional therapist based at the renowned Institute for Optimum Nutrition in Richmond, London. She is trained in functional medicine, which uses a completely personalised approach to nutrition, working with a wide range of conditions from stress and low energy to digestive or hormonal imbalances. As well as working with clients on an individual basis, Becky works with large companies to support health and wellbeing initiatives. Combining nutrition with work in television, she is passionate about supporting busy lifestyles with food.

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