Is it gluten that makes me tired?

South Waikato News - - Your Health - GLUTEN IN­TOL­ER­ANCE COELIAC DIS­EASE

I of­ten feel sleepy af­ter I have bread, some­times when I have a sand­wich for lunch I could eas­ily curl up and go to sleep? Could I be gluten in­tol­er­ant? Thank you, Amy.

Hi Amy. If you feel tired af­ter eat­ing bread specif­i­cally, chances are you’re re­spond­ing to changes in blood sugar or brain chem­istry caused by higher lev­els of in­sulin.

Gluten in­tol­er­ance could also be a part of the re­sponse. How­ever, many dif­fer­ent fac­tors have an in­flu­ence.

Wheat, rye, oats and bar­ley con­tain a type of pro­tein called gluten. Some peo­ple can’t di­gest it fully, so they ex­pe­ri­ence symp­toms af­ter eat­ing glu­ten­con­tain­ing foods. Bloat­ing and di­ar­rhoea are fre­quent side ef­fects, but lethargy and brain fog are also symp­toms com­monly as­so­ci­ated with gluten in­tol­er­ance.

If you think gluten is a prob­lem for you, I en­cour­age you to talk to a qual­i­fied health pro­fes­sional.

Both ge­netic and en­vi­ron­men­tal fac­tors play a part in the devel­op­ment of coeliac dis­ease.

It is es­ti­mated that in New Zealand coeliac dis­ease af­fects up to 1 in 100 of the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion but many of these peo­ple will be un­di­ag­nosed. New Zealan­ders of Celtic ori­gins are at the great­est risk of de­vel­op­ing the con­di­tion.

The av­er­age age of di­ag­no­sis of coeliac dis­ease is ap­prox­i­mately 40 years but it can oc­cur at any age. It is pos­si­ble that a ma­jor life event such as preg­nancy, in­fec­tion, se­ri­ous emo­tional stress and surgery may ac­ti­vate the con­di­tion par­tic­u­larly in ge­net­i­cally pre-dis­posed in­di­vid­u­als. If you sus­pect coeliac dis­ease I en­cour­age you to con­sult your GP. De­spite hav­ing a very healthy diet I suf­fer with brit­tle and bro­ken nails. I would ap­pre­ci­ate your re­ply. Thank­ing you, Bev.

Hi Bev. There a num­ber of rea­sons nu­tri­tion­ally why our nails may be­come brit­tle. It can be due to poor di­ges­tive func­tion – of­ten due to poor stom­ach acid pro­duc­tion (com­monly due to stress). This may mean that you eat well but Email your ques­tions for Dr Libby to ask.dr­libby@fair­fax­me­dia.co.nz. Please note, only a selec­tion of ques­tions can be an­swered. don’t ab­sorb the nu­tri­ents ef­fec­tively.

Hav­ing ap­ple cider vine­gar to start the day can as­sist with this. Con­cave nails (like the in­side of a spoon), may be caused by low iron lev­els, or iron de­fi­ciency-anaemia. Iron helps form haemoglobin, a mol­e­cule that helps dis­trib­ute red blood cells loaded with oxy­gen to your nail ma­trix. Brit­tle nails can also be a sign that you need more min­er­als in your diet, such as cal­cium, mag­ne­sium and/or zinc; or that the thy­roid gland needs sup­port.

Re­peated wet­ting and dry­ing of the fin­ger­nails (this oc­curs when wash­ing up with­out gloves) can also be the cause of nail dam­age, this tends to make them dry and brit­tle.

This is of­ten worse in low hu­mid­ity and in the winter. And lastly, nail pol­ish can be da­m­ag­ing to nail health par­tic­u­larly when left on for long pe­ri­ods of time.

PHOTO: 123RF

If you think you may be gluten in­tol­er­ant, go and see a health pro­fes­sional, says Dr Libby.

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