There are a number of reasons people choose to eliminate gluten -- a protein found in wheat, barley and rye - from their diets. Celiac disease is an allergy to gluten that causes irritation in the small intestine and can lead to more serious consequences including skin rash, diarrhea and depression. Only your doctor can tell you for sure if you have celiac disease. But even those without the disease can still be sensitive to gluten and may experience symptoms including upset stomach, lethargy and joint pain. Detoxifying the body from gluten will help eliminate these symptoms, but you should be prepared for some negative side effects.
Eliminate all foods containing gluten from your diet, including any foods containing wheat, barley and rye. Common foods containing gluten include breads and pastries, cakes, pizza crust, dumplings, pretzels, malted drinks, beer, bran, oats and yeast.
Read food labels carefully for less conspicuous sources of gluten. Avoid gravies and sauces that may contain flour, ground meat products that may contain bread, anything breaded or fried, condiments like mayo, soy sauce and mustard, pre-packaged soups and soup mixes, nutritional drinks and supplements, pie fillings and salad dressings.
Eat a diet of nutrient-rich foods that will leave you feeling full and satiated and help you avoid cravings that result from gluten withdrawal. Choose lean sources of protein, such as grass-fed beef, poultry and seafood, starchy vegetables like squash and beets, eggs and fiber-rich dark leafy green vegetables.
Pay careful attention to foods labeled as "gluten-free." While these foods are free of gluten, they may be highly processed and refined and contain other unhealthy ingredients that can either mask detox symptoms, prolonging gluten withdrawal, or make symptoms worse.
Drink plenty of pure water to flush your system and help curb cravings. At least 64 oz. of water per day in 8 oz. servings is recommended, but drink more if you live in a warm climate or if you exercise a lot.
Exercise regularly to combat the negative effects of stress and withdrawal and to stave off hunger pains and cravings. Exercise promotes good circulation and a healthy lymphatic system and helps remove toxins from the body.
Consult with your doctor to decide whether a gluten-free diet is right for you.
If not conducted properly, a gluten-free diet can result in nutritional imbalance and weight gain.