Dealing with Gluten Anxiety
Symptoms of gluten sensitivity are not always limited to physical manifestations- as research has suggested, various levels of gluten sensitivity can be attributed to psychiatric and neurological conditions, both due to the immune responses triggered by gluten, and due to the stress that is often experienced alongside attempting to maintain gluten-free diets.
Gluten anxiety is something that is prolific in the gluten-free community, due to the numerous and subtle obstacles to gluten-free diet maintenance. Through GluteGuard testimonials and discussions with our community members, it has been revealed that gluten-sensitive individuals find that obstacles to gluten-free diet compliance include:
- Improperly labelled foods
- Misconceptions of or lack of knowledge about gluten-free needs in the food and catering industry
- Language barriers when travelling
- Embarrassment, social or career pressures
Individuals with severe levels of gluten sensitivity often report symptoms of anxiety and depression both before and after beginning a gluten-free diet. This can be due to the symptoms attributed to an undiagnosed or undiscovered gluten-related condition, and, with the introduction of a gluten-free diet, diet compliance-related stress and anxiety. As it was demonstrated in a 2016 study, 91% of gluten-sensitive individuals experience gluten exposure at least once per month, with over half being unaware that they had consumed gluten until they experienced symptoms. The vigilance required to sidestep risks such as cross-contamination can take a psychological and emotional toll on a gluten-sensitive individual’s wellbeing- it is unsurprising that many people avoid eating out or travelling!
It has therefore been suggested that the use of enzyme supplements, such as GluteGuard, in assisting gluten-free diet compliance, not only helps prevent inadvertently ingested gluten from triggering the symptoms of gluten sensitivity, but may also reduce feelings of gluten anxiety and an improvement in emotional wellbeing.
Comments such as below- as disclosed by GluteGuard user, Penny- demonstrate the positive influence that GluteGuard can have, not only for gluten-free diet compliance but for greater personal wellbeing!
“My 24 year old son has gluten intolerances and would not eat out at cafes or restaurants for fear of gluten cross-contamination. I purchased some GluteGuard in the hope that we could change this behaviour and its been a lifesaver. He still adheres to a strict GF diet, but can now eat a GF meal out and take the GluteGuard in case of contamination. It really has given him more options socially. Thank you very much” – Kim, AUS.
Comino, I, Fernández-Bañares, F, Esteve, M, Ortigosa, L, Castillejo, G, Fambuena, B, Ribes-Koninckx, C, Sierra, C, Rodríguez-Herrera, A, Salazar, J, Caunedo, Á, Marugán-Miguelsanz, J, Garrote, J, Vivas, S, Lo Iacono, O, Nuñez, A, Vaquero, L, Vegas, A, Crespo, L, Fernández-Salazar, L, Arranz, E, Jiménez-García, V, Antonio Montes-Cano, M, Espín, B, Galera, A, Valverde, J, Girón, F, Bolonio, M, Millán, A, Cerezo, F, Guajardo, C, Alberto, J, Rosinach, M, Segura, V, León, F, Marinich, J, Muñoz-Suano, A, Romero-Gómez, M, Cebolla, Á, & Sousa, C 2016, ‘Fecal Gluten Peptides Reveal Limitations of Serological Tests and Food Questionnaires for Monitoring Gluten-Free Diet in Celiac Disease Patients’, The American Journal Of Gastroenterology, 111, 10, pp. 1456-1465.
Jackson, J, Eaton, W, Cascella, N, Fasano, A, Kelly, D 2012, ‘Neurological and Psychiatric Manifestations of Coeliac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity’, Psychiatric Quarterly, 83(1), pp.91-102.
Addolorato, G, Mirijello, A, D’Angelo, C, Leggio, L, Ferrulli, A, Vonghia, L, Cardone, S, Leso, V, Miceli, A, Gasbarrini, G 2008, ‘Social Phobia in Coeliac Disease’, Scand J Gastroenterol, 43(4), pp.410-415.
Contributor: Georgie, Glutagen.