Discovering Gluten Sensitivity Through DNA Testing
Gluten is a kind of natural protein that can be found in wheat, barley, rye, and other grains. It is found in many common food and drinks such as dough, pasta, cereal, beer, and even some types of medicines. Too bad for you if you love pizza and carbonara and turns out you have gluten sensitivity. Even food without naturally occurring gluten can still be contaminated if they are processed in factories that also handle grains or otter food that contains gluten.
Gluten acts like a binder, giving food a solid bond and that “stretchy” texture. For example, a dough without gluten cannot be kneaded and hand-tossed without a gluten substitute because it can easily rip apart. While a gluten-free diet may need extra planning and paying attention to nutritional labels, it is possible and millions of people have switched to it, even those without gluten sensitivity issues because of the supposed health benefits it can give you.
What is Gluten Sensitivity?
Gluten sensitivity, also sometimes known as non-Celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) or gluten intolerance, is when you get sick after eating food or drinks that contain gluten. Symptoms of gluten sensitivity may range from occasionally passing gas to locking yourself up in the toilet for hours. These symptoms can manifest anytime from after eating the gluten-containing food up to several days. Signs of gluten sensitivity may include:
Gastrointestinal issues such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome
Bloating and flatulence
Unexpected fatigue or brain fog
Nausea and vomiting
Joint and muscle pain
Skin rashes or hives
Genetics and Gluten Sensitivity
Gluten sensitivity can be influenced by your DNA. Since gluten sensitivity is highly related to food allergies, we have analyzed genetic variants that are linked with allergenic reactions including the varied HLA and MYO9B genes.
Benefits of DNA Testing for Gluten Sensitivity
Doing genetic testing with LifeDNA for personalized nutrition can tell you what your gluten needs (or lack thereof) and you can start from there. A comprehensive nutritional genetic testing on your gluten sensitivities may help with managing your symptoms, identifying potential gluten triggers and avoiding them, as well as reducing your risk of adverse reactions to gluten-containing food and beverages.
LifeDNA can provide a full and comprehensive Nutritional Report that includes gluten sensitivities, food allergies, vitamin deficiencies, and other health factors based on your personalized nutrition test.
What causes gluten sensitivity?
Gluten sensitivity is not to be confused with gluten allergy. Simply speaking, food sensitivities or intolerances affect the digestive system while food allergies are triggered by the immune system. Gluten sensitivity is more common than you might think and affects people of all ages. Some people are born with gluten sensitivity while others develop them with age.
Diagnosing Gluten Sensitivity
To diagnose gluten sensitivity, your primary care physician may ask you to go on a gluten-free diet for a certain period of time, usually for more or less six weeks to rule out Celiac disease or wheat allergies. They might also perform blood tests and skin tests. The former is to see how your immune system will react to wheat proteins and the former is a prick test of wheat protein on an area of your skin for adverse reactions.
Celiac Disease vs. Gluten Sensitivity
Gluten sensitivity vs. Celiac disease has long been lumped together because of the similar symptoms they cause. The two, however, are two different conditions. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition caused by an abnormal gene wherein the body’s response to gluten is to treat it as if it were an invading virus. With this condition, your tissues eat at your gut (small intestines) whenever you ingest gluten, causing much inflammation and damage to your digestive tract.
While gluten sensitivity can become uncomfortable and sometimes downright painful, it is generally considered a less serious condition compared to Celiac disease. Gluten sensitivity also isn’t caused by abnormal genes, although they can be genetic.
Can gluten sensitivity cause hair loss?
Gluten doesn’t directly cause hair loss but there are studies that show gluten can influence hair loss. Celiac disease has hair loss listed as a symptom and because gluten is related to this condition, gluten might aggravate the hair loss situation, especially if you have been diagnosed with Celiac disease.
Can gluten sensitivity cause acne?
While gluten’s relation to Celiac disease can be linked to several skin conditions, there is no scientific evidence that gluten can cause acne. No studies have shown that gluten triggers acne either so you might want to go easy on the spot treatment after eating a burger for dinner.
Plus, did you know that acne can also be influenced by your DNA? Some people are more likely to develop severe acne as compared to others.
If you’d like to discover insights into your skincare based on DNA, order your DNA kit today to get started.
Managing gluten sensitivity via genetic testing for nutritional needs
Genetic testing for gluten sensitivity can help you prepare and manage your symptoms effectively. LifeDNA can give you a comprehensive Nutritional Report that includes gluten sensitivities and tolerance levels. LifeDNA’s diet and health pack include a full Nutrition Report with every health pack subscription. This bundle includes 40 unique trait reports including:
Saturated fat metabolism
Sensitivity to bitter foods
…and a whole lot more!
While gluten sensitivity is fairly common, your symptoms still may vary. Knowing the gravity of your gluten sensitivity via genetic testing for nutrition will not only help you manage your condition but also live a life free from the uncomfortable results of indulging in gluten-heavy meals. Always remember to check with your primary care physician before making any major changes in your diet or if you suspect you have severe gluten sensitivities.
If you’re ready to discover your gluten sensitivity based on DNA, get LifeDNA’s most powerful Nutrition Report today.