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  • How Long Does Gluten Stay in Your System After You Stop Eating It?

    Gluten is one of the most common food allergens that people are exposed to on a regular basis. For some, it's just an inconvenience; for others, it can be life-threatening. If you want to see symptom relief, how long does gluten stay in your system? You may be wondering: if you're going gluten-free or have already done so, how long does gluten stay in your system after you stop eating it? It's important to know how long gluten stays in your body and what you should do about it. This article will help answer that question and more! Photo Credit: Polina Rytova on Unsplash Real quick: what is gluten? Gluten is a protein that naturally occurs in wheat, barley and rye. In people with celiac disease it can cause serious damage to the small intestine if consumed. For this reason, many people who have been diagnosed with this condition must go on a gluten-free diet for life. This means avoiding foods that contain gluten: wheat (ALL forms including spelt, Eikhorn etc.), rye, barley and anything made from those grains...which is a lot, once you really start looking at labels. If you don't have a reaction to gluten, there is no reason to avoid it. Protein digestion Gluten is an example of just one of the many proteins found in our food. And whether we’re talking about beans, eggs or gluten, digestion of proteins follows the same steps and timeline. Proteins are enormous molecules that are made up of amino acids. Our body does the hard work of taking proteins apart into their individual parts so that they’re small enough to be absorbed in the small intestine. The timing varies from one person to another, but in general, the digestion of proteins doesn’t take any longer than a day or two (1). So while non-expert bloggers are quick to claim that gluten will “remain in your system” for weeks or even months, it simply isn’t true. What is true, however, is that the inflammation reaction to gluten can last for a very long time. Let’s talk about that fine print, now. Photo credit: Wesual Click on Unsplash. Lasting reactions to gluten Your body having an overreaction to gluten – such as gluten intolerance – can last for a while, even if the protein is completely out of your system. This varies by person, but can last for weeks or even months. This all depends on the degree to which your gut has been affected by the gluten, how thoroughly you’re able to remove all gluten from your diet as well as how well you’re nourishing your body with the right nutrients to be able to optimize recovery. Who needs to avoid gluten? There are a lot of people who need to avoid gluten, and how long they have to stay away from it will depend on how severe their reaction is. For some with milder symptoms or less-severe conditions like dermatitis herpetiformis (which causes skin problems), avoiding eating gluten for just three days can help clear up the issue. If you have a diagnosis of any of the following conditions, you may need to avoid gluten for a time (long enough to reduce inflammation and heal leaky gut) or you may need to avoid gluten for life. And while it can seem like food allergies and intolerances are the same thing, they actually aren’t. More on that here: Food allergies, food intolerance and food sensitivities...what's the difference? What are the symptoms of gluten intolerance? If you're having a negative reaction to gluten, what does that look like or feel like? It can be remarkably different from one person to the next. Allergy If you're having a gluten allergy (which is quite rare and not to be confused with a wheat allergy) or celiac disease, you'll experience an immune response in your small intestine (2). Symptoms of wheat allergy are like that to a peanut allergy: Itchy mouth, lips or throat Difficulty breathing Headaches Cramps, diarrhea Celiac disease Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition in which the body self-destructs and attacks its own living tissue. In this case, the immune system attacks the cells of the digestive system, causing damage. The damage can accumulate over time (and takes a while to heal, once the person has an accurate diagnosis and is able to fully eliminate gluten from his or her diet.) Celiac disease symptoms can include (3): Diarrhea and belly pain Unintended weight loss Nutritional deficiencies Brain fog Fatigue And the last known reaction to gluten? Gluten intolerance, otherwise known as gluten sensitivity. Gluten intolerance If you're having a gluten intolerance the symptoms will involve how food makes you feel or how it affects other parts of your body like how well you sleep. Some people who are intolerant to gluten report issues with their digestion, just not quite as quickly as with an allergy (4). Symptoms may include: Bloating, belly pain, diarrhea Headache and brain fog Fatigue Joint pain Anemia Depression You may have noticed that some of the symptoms overlap. So, how do you know which condition you have related to gluten, if any? How do you know if you have gluten intolerance? While there is currently no one specific test available to determine gluten intolerance/sensitivity, if you have been tested for celiac and are negative then you can give the removal of gluten a try and see if you feel better. One thing to keep in mind though, is that gluten containing foods (such as wheat, rye and barley) are also high in the FODMAP fructan so it might be the FODMAP and not the gluten that is causing an issue. Sometimes determining if there is a gluten intolerance requires looking at the big picture and working with a clinician that can help put the pieces of the puzzle together. For example, I use MRT testing, a blood test, to see how my clients are reacting to gluten-containing grains and other potential food offenders. I also use GI MAP to help identify if gluten may be an issue since it looks at markers such as zonulin and anti-gliadin IgA. While intestinal biopsy is an option for testing to see if you have celiac disease, it isn’t an accurate measure for gluten sensitivity. Those with gluten sensitivity don’t have the same measurable damage to their intestine as those with celiac (5). (P.S. This is why gluten sensitivity was considered to be a fake syndrome for so long - the usual testing wasn’t able to detect anything wrong. Turns out we just needed a different tool to be able to test for the different condition.) How do you know if you have celiac? There are three ways to test for celiac disease. Do an intestinal biopsy to note the damage to your intestine Do blood testing to look for the antibody to gluten Genetic testing If you are suspicious that you have one of the above three reactions to gluten, should you just stop eating it? Should I just stop eating gluten? No! Let me be crystal clear here: if you suspect that you have celiac disease, do NOT stop eating gluten before doing testing. The blood testing measures a reaction to gluten. If you’re not eating gluten, we cannot measure the reaction. This creates a “false-negative” test result. The test says that you do not have a reaction to gluten, but it isn’t actually true. And without the reaction to gluten, you also will not be able to see the damage done with a biopsy (Or the biopsy will be skipped based on the false-negative reaction from the blood testing). If you have celiac disease, it's critical that doctors know how much damage your intestines have already sustained.[1] [2] [3] When gluten enters the digestive system and starts its trip through the small intestine, a person with undamaged intestines might only experience mild bloating or discomfort at worst from eating too many noodles. Will Going Gluten Free Help My IBS? A GI Dietitian Explains. Photo Credit: Jose Aragones on Unsplash What if I have already stopped eating gluten? Because the blood testing looks for markers that your immune system is responding to gluten, you won’t be able to measure them if you’ve been avoiding gluten for a while. This means you cannot accurately test for a reaction to gluten without eating gluten. Before you can do testing, you’ll need to eat gluten. I know that this can feel scary, but it is the only way to get accurate results. The recommended gluten intake will range from 1-2 servings per day for 2-8 weeks before testing (6). Bread is usually one of the easiest ways to incorporate gluten into the diet before testing. For my clients, especially if you’re eating gluten for the first time in a while, I recommend eating spelt bread, or even spelt sourdough bread. Spelt contains gluten but tends to be a bit better tolerated. I’m stopping gluten: how long will it stay in my system? The gluten proteins themselves are only physically in your body for a day or two. Normal digestion is fast and efficient. However, if you’re having an immune reaction to gluten, the inflammatory response to having eaten gluten can stick around for a while. Especially if your gut is damaged during the process, causing a leaky gut. You need to heal your leaky gut before you see the most complete remission of your symptoms. Unfortunately, that isn’t a fast process either, but I can help make it as efficient as possible for you. How Long Does It Take to Heal a Leaky Gut? Key takeaways: how long does gluten stay in your system If you suspect that you’re having a reaction to gluten, keep eating it long enough to do thorough testing. While the treatment – avoiding gluten – may be the same, there is no reason to avoid gluten unless you’re 100% sure it is causing your symptoms. If you’re ready to see remission from your digestive health issues, reach out! Get started by scheduling an initial visit.

  • Foods for Leaky Gut: What Helps?

    Let me start by saying, I don't like the term leaky gut. Leaky gut is something that is being talked about all the time. And as a GI dietitian, I love the fact that people are digging deeper into their own health and discovering the root causes of why they’ve been feeling crappy for so long. But the term leaky gut is a bit misleading and doesn't sound very evidence based. So let's clarify what it is (and isn't) shall we? What is Leaky Gut? The truth is, all of our guts are technically a bit “leaky" (or semi-permeable). This is normal digestion and absorption. In order for our bodies to be able to utilize the nutrients from our food, food needs to be broken down and get from our digestive tract to our cells via the bloodstream. I like to think of the gut like a kingdom that has guards standing by, shoulder to shoulder and protecting the gate to entry. These "guards" are the tight gap junctions that in a healthy gut will naturally have good control over what is allowed inside the kingdom (the bloodstream) and what is kept out (for example, bad bacteria, toxins or incompletely broken down food). To understand further, when we consume food, through the process of digestion, food is broken down into components until they’re small – really small – small enough to be absorbed and pass through the lining of the digestive tract and then into the bloodstream. These food components are micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, amino acids, monosaccharides, etc). As an example, a complex carbohydrate molecule is broken down into individual simple sugar molecule such as glucose. Glucose is then small enough to be absorbed (pass through the lining of the gut), enter the blood stream and be carried to our cells where it can be utilized. It is also possible for our digestive tract have increased intestinal permeability (or hyperpermeability aka "leaky gut") and now those tight gap junctions aren't so tight (back to the kingdom analogy - think of it as having less guards at the gate, so instead of guards standing shoulder to shoulder, there is a guard every 15 feet). When this happens, things that normally would be kept out like undigested food particles, toxins, bacteria can get through, they then become marked as foreign by your immune system and your immune system attacks. Causes of Increased Intestinal Permeability Increased intestinal permeability (aka leaky gut) – can be caused by a number of things. If you’re feeling symptomatic, it can require some detective work to get to the bottom of things. It wasn’t that long ago that leaky gut was brushed off as pseudoscience. But, research has uncovered mechanisms to explain why some people are experiencing symptoms. For example, the work of Dr. Fasano discovered that gluten can trigger leaky gut for some people. He discovered a protein called zonulin which is the main "gatekeeper" (that we know of at this time) of those tight gap junctions mentioned earlier (1, 2, 3). Discovering zonulin was an important advancement in science because it was something that we can actually detect and measure. In our chaotic modern lifestyle, your dietary choices are one important factor in how permeable your intestinal lining is, but diet is far from the only factor. Other factors can cause increased permeability. These include: ● Having an infection, such as traveler’s diarrhea, SIBO or candida overgrowth ● Certain medications ● Chronic stress ● Certain food additives Foods That Can Contribute to Leaky Gut While there is no need to have a “perfect” diet but our habitual choices over time influence our health for the long run. To cultivate a healthy intestinal tract and prevent an increase in intestinal permeability, you might choose to avoid: ● Excessive added sugar ● Alcohol (2) ● Highly processed foods ● Unnecessary additives, such as emulsifiers and preservatives (for example, polysorbate 80) (3) ● Lectins ● Foods that you are sensitive too that may be causing inflammation. Common offenders are soy, gluten and corn although a person can be sensitive to any food (even ones typically considered "healthy"). Foods That Can Heal Leaky Gut There are a few mechanisms in which foods can promote having a sound intestinal barrier. Different foods offer different benefits. Overall, a healthy eating plan is one with lots of fruits and vegetables, diversity, lots of water and not too many unnecessary additives. Easier said than done, right? Here are a few foods that may help to heal leaky gut. Probiotics Including probiotics and fermented foods keeps the population of “good guys” in your gut microbiome happy. Probiotics can come from fermented foods (if they’re not pasteurized) as well as supplements. ● Yogurt (if you tolerate dairy) ● Kimchi ● Fermented pickles ● Kombucha ● Raw apple cider vinegar Tip: supplements are not regulated in the USA. Please work with a knowledgeable practitioner to source high-quality supplements. High Fiber Foods Fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds are all rich sources of naturally occurring fiber. We can’t actually digest fiber, but the cool thing is, the bacteria in our digestive system can. Fiber is their food. By having a fiber-rich diet, you are enjoying the health benefits for your own body as well as setting out the welcome mat (and a snack) for the bacteria in our gut that we want to thrive. ● Fruits, especially berries and pears ● Vegetables, especially leafy greens, beans, and pears ● Nuts and seeds - almonds, chia seeds, flaxseeds ● Whole grains - as tolerated And before you reach for a fiber supplement, consider the fact that the above foods have fiber plus many other vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals – all with health-boosting properties. A fiber supplement is only that: fiber. Note of caution: supplementing fiber can cause constipation in some individuals. Herbs and Spices You may be surprised to learn that your spice cabinet can offer relief more than your medicine cabinet. Cooking with herbs and spices not only boosts the flavor and satisfaction of your meals, they also offer anti-inflammatory benefits, too! ● Turmeric (pair with black pepper for best absorption) ● Garlic - if tolerated (garlic is a high FODMAP food) Bone Broth (aka collagen) Collagen can help to promote the integrity of your intestinal lining (4). While it sounds tricky to make bone broth, you can boil your chicken bones after having a roasted chicken for a few hours - et voila! You can also buy bone broth or collagen supplements. Collagen can be added to hot coffee, smoothies or used in your golden milk turmeric latte. Note: “chicken stock” may or may not be rich in collagen, the beneficial protein that helps our gut. Foods Rich in Zinc Food rich in zinc, or even zinc supplements, can strengthen the gut linings (5). Meat, shellfish, nuts, seeds and (wonderfully), chocolate, are all good sources of zinc. Note: Be cautious of supplementing with too much zinc or for too long as a delicate balance between zinc and copper needs to be maintained. Anti -Inflammatory Diet While the above suggestions focused on individual foods for their specific impact on the gut lining, what you eat overall matters and having a diet that is anti-inflammatory for your body supports the health of your gut lining, minimizing leaky gut. My work with my clients is personalized, helping them to have a truly personalized nutrition plan that promotes their best health. Bottom line: Foods for Leaky Gut You don’t have to assume that just because the term leaky gut is trending that you are experiencing it. But if you are not feeling well and your doctors have been unable to get to the bottom of your symptoms, it might be time to see a specialist. As a GI Specialist Dietitian, I help women get to the bottom of their GI issues for good.

  • Do I Have IBS or Something Else? No Self-diagnosis, Please!

    You’ve been struggling with bloating and other belly issues, so you think to yourself, do I have IBS? What you should really be asking yourself is: “Do I have IBS or something else?”. An accurate diagnosis of your digestive issues is critical for being able to have effective treatment. Photo by Cookie the Pom on Unsplash It's not a surprise that IBS can be difficult to deal with. IBS symptoms can range from feeling bloated and uncomfortable in your stomach, to having diarrhea or constipation. The good news is that IBS doesn't have to rule your life. In this post, I’ll walk you through steps to ensure that you have an accurate diagnosis so that you can partner with a healthcare professional to resolve your symptoms. What is IBS? You just got the new diagnosis, explaining your symptoms that have been forcing you to the bathroom again and again: IBS. First off, what is IBS, exactly? IBS stands for irritable bowel syndrome. IBS is a chronic disorder that affects the large intestine and by proxy, the rest of your body, too (hello fatigue and brain fog) (1). There are a lot of potential causes of IBS. It surprises a lot of my clients that management of IBS isn’t just about food; it is about getting down to the root causes of why your IBS flared up, to begin with. Food is an integral part of the solution, but so too is stress management, supplements, sleep, and more. If you’re interested in diving a little deeper into causes, check out my post: Top 5 Root Causes of IBS That You Should Know About. Symptoms of IBS IBS can present itself in many ways: Constipation or diarrhea (or both) Feeling bloated after eating Cramps and stomach pains Feeling full too soon Fatigue What makes diagnosing IBS tricky is that those same symptoms are also caused by other conditions. That is why it is important to have an accurate diagnosis so that you receive the care and treatment you need to feel your best. For example, SIBO and IBS have a lot of overlapping symptoms...and it is possible that you can have both conditions at the same time. Yikes! What about H. Pylori and SIBO: Can you have both? And to further complicate things, IBS symptoms aren’t always the same. Symptoms can wax and wane and sometimes we can have LOTS of IBS symptoms, known as a flare. If this sounds like you, I have strategies for How to Calm IBS Flare-Ups: Things You Can Try Today. Don’t self diagnose yourself IBS or something else? This is a question many people ask themselves when they experience symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and bloating. Unfortunately for those who suffer from IBS, there isn't an easy answer to this question. Symptoms of IBS are very similar to other gastrointestinal diseases like Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and celiac disease, which means that it can be difficult to diagnose without the help of a medical professional. Let's take a look at some symptoms associated with IBS so you know what to expect if you think you might have IBS. Accurate diagnosis of IBS When it comes to first being diagnosed with IBS, it is very important to know that IBS is diagnosed by ruling out other things that share similar symptoms. There is not a specific test or lab marker for IBS, your doctor will come to that conclusion by ruling other things out (2). Expert tip: I recommend asking your doctor what has been ruled out to come to the conclusion that you have IBS. Celiac disease Celiac disease is always crucial to rule out anytime there are GI issues. People think Celiac only happens as children or only involves diarrhea and so if someone is 30 and has constipation they don’t suspect celiac...but that isn’t always the case. And as such, it doesn't always get ruled out by doctors. Good news: there is precise testing for celiac disease (3). Note: if you suspect that you might have celiac disease, please (oh please) don’t immediately eliminate gluten. Accurate testing for celiac disease depends on being able to measure your body’s reaction to gluten. If you’re not eating gluten, you cannot measure a reaction to it and therefore cannot have an accurate diagnosis. If you're wondering how long gluten stays in your system after eating it, check out How Long Does Gluten Stay in Your System After Eating It. Going gluten-free might actually help your IBS...but once again – for the seats in the back – you’ll want to have an accurate diagnosis before beginning your interventions. ​​Will Going Gluten-Free Help My IBS? A GI Dietitian Explains. Inflammatory bowel disease It's also good to know if inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has been ruled in or out. IBD is a group of digestive health disorders that includes Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis (4). Testing for IBD typically starts with a calprotectin test for inflammation and if elevated then a colonoscopy is typically ordered. Other options There are a few more conditions to think about, too. Other conditions to rule out are H. pylori and SIBO. Your doctor should also be working to rule out infections and parasites. Why does an accurate diagnosis matter? Why is it crucial to have an accurate diagnosis of IBS or any other digestive health condition? Because nutrition plays a huge role in managing all of them, but the specific treatment has to match the condition. You need to get the RIGHT therapy for your symptoms. And in order to do that, we have to know what condition (or conditions, as you could have more than one) to begin with. It is completely normal to want to try different things to see if you can figure out what eating plan helps you to feel your best and to minimize symptoms. The problem is that without expert guidance, it is easier than you’d think to make mistakes that actually set your progress back. For example, when people consider the Low-FODMAP diet as their first step dietary intervention (new to that term? Here is my post with the full explanation: What is the Low-FODMAP diet?). The Low-FODMAP diet is evidenced based – there is great research to support its use for managing IBS. I’ve had a lot of clients make great strides with their IBS. But here is where the fine print comes in: you’re not supposed to be in the elimination phase of the low-FODMAP plan for forever...and a lot of my clients have been on elimination diets for far too long before working with me to safely add foods back in. Wondering if you’ve been on an elimination diet for too long? Check out this post for the full scoop: Have you been on an elimination diet too long? Key takeaways: IBS or something else? The most important thing to take away from this post is to have an accurate diagnosis of what is causing your symptoms. You cannot get the best interventions that will actually work without an accurate diagnosis - many different conditions share similar symptoms but need very different treatment plans.

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  • error404 | Wholistic Works LLC

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  • Wholistic Works LLC | Digestive Health Dietitian Nutritionist

    UNLOCK YOUR IN NER HEALER WITH T HE POWER OF FOOD Wholistic Works LLC REGAIN your Health and Vitality "WHOLE-PERSON APPROACH" to Digestive Wellness T IME to get to the root cause of your SYMPTOMS are you ... Tired of guessing what's safe to eat? Tired of food making you sick? Tired of removing food from your diet? Tired of never feeling any better? Tired of always second-guessing yourself? Tired of wondering if, "You're doing it right?" Tired of thinking, "Is this my new normal?" Ask Yourself Have a B ANDAID SOLUT ION? or Get to the bottom of the ROOT CAUSE? Would you rather ... No "Food Roulette" or "Symptoms Guessing Games" will get to the "Root Cause" of your DIGESTIVE HEALTH PROBLEMS YET , m any traditional GI doctors and nutritionists use a "CATCH-ALL-SOLUTION" hand you a pamphlet and send you on your way. SYMPTOMS DIAGNOSIS MEDS Does Not = SOLUTION SYMPTOMS are the body's way of saying something is wrong . Get This Research has demonstrated that a nutritious diet can significantly impact disease prevention, treatment, and outcome. Yet, only 1 in 4 adults prioritize their digestive health. I came to Marissa after many years of diagnoses, treatments, and protocols to fix ongoing GI issues. Marissa identified the underlying problems through scientific testing and data that other treatments did not. I worked with her for six months consistently and still stay in touch with her. I can now eat foods that for years were not available to me. NO ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL NUTRITION PLAN IS DE SIGNED to treat you as an individual or provide the support you need to be successful GET CLEAR ON THE RIGHT NUTRITION THERAPY FOR YOU not knowing what "food is safe" or what "diet to follow" is not living start moving towards BETTER HEALTH Knowing What Nutritional Approach is Right for You and Your Diagnosis IS Life-Changing Are You Ready To Take Control Of Your Health? Nutritional Plan Tailor-Made Plan for You, Your Specific Issues, and Your Body No More Guessing Identify and Know the Triggers for Your Symptoms Symptom Free Re-discover What it's Like to Have Your Life Back Marissa took the time to explain how my diet may affect my quality of life. She walked me through the steps of determining which foods are not “gut-friendly” (for me) and was always enthusiastic and encouraging. In your corner You Need Someone Who Is Dedicated to enhancing your quality of life Sincerely in it to help you reach your goals That's Precisely why I do, what I do. "You literally changed my life. You hear it, you see it, you feel me." With 18+ years of experience, Marissa specializes in RESTORING CLIENTS' HEALTH by designing customized NUTRITION & LIFESTYLE PROGRAMS based on Functional Nutrition and the concept of "FOOD AS MEDICINE" Her Approach addresses the WHOLE PERSON and NOT just their Diagnosis. ABOUT Hi There ! Marissa Mekelburg Digestive Health Dietitian Nutritionist Gut Health Expert Our Services And Specialties Nutrition Therapy Food Sensitivites Low FODMAP Diet Functional Lab Tests Professionals Take Control of Your Digestive Health and Unlock the Path to a Healthier You! GET STARTED

  • My FAVs | Wholistic Works LLC

    My Favorites Marissa's FAVs enjoy ! My Helpful links, tips, and ideas to help you on your path to Better Health. select ... Category Shop LMNT Electrolytes FREE Sample Pack with first order. Electrolyte Drinks Shop Perfect Amino Essential Amino Acids Shop Joi WHOLISTICWORKS | 10% OFF Plant Based Milk Concentrates Shop ImAware MARISSAMEKELBURG10 | 15% OFF At Home Lab Testing Shop Modify Health Premade Low FODMAP & Mediterranean Meals Shop Hungryroot First Order | $50 OFF Personalized Grocery Service - Making it easy to SHOP, COOK, and LOVE healthy food. Shop Golden Ratio Coffee Shop Fullscript Supplements Shop doTERRA High Quality Essential Oils and Products Shop FODY Low FODMAP Foods These are Affiliate Links , which means we may earn a commission if you purchase through a link. By using these affiliate links, you are helping to support our business, and we genuinely appreciate your support. We only recommend products and services that we have personally used or thoroughly researched. We do not accept free products or services in exchange for sharing the links. You can trust that our opinions are unbiased and not influenced by any company, product, or service. If you have any questions about our affiliate links or our recommendations, please don't hesitate to contact us at support@wholisticworks.com. DOUBLE the Convenience DOUBLE the Options Connect with Us HAVE A QUESTION? Check the FAQ section. Still have a question? Let's CHAT. CHAT NOW SCHEDULE A CONSULT You want to feel better and get to the "ROOT CAUSE" of your symptoms. Book an initial consult with us. BOOK NOW I am walking away with confidence and an understanding of what causes my symptoms, how much of my trigger foods I can or cannot handle, and what to expect if I eat something I am sensitive to. I can manage this on my own and feel SO MUCH BETTER!

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