Recent studies are showing that adhering to a strict gluten-free diet isn’t enough.
Even after completely removing gluten from a well-balanced diet, our guts aren’t able to fully heal themselves and many individuals still experience pain and other symptoms of celiac.
How do probiotics play a role? How can they help us? We’ve combed through the research and brought you the 3 most important things you need to know about how and why probiotics can help your celiac lifestyle.
1. Celiac and Your Gut
Compared to healthy individuals, those with celiac have higher amounts of negative bacteria and lower amounts of positive bacteria floating around in the gut. This translates to more pro-inflammatory processes, causing discomfort and pain. Those with celiac can also suffer from leaky gut, a condition causing gas, diarrhea and fatigue, among other uncomfortable symptoms.
As we previously mentioned, adhering to a strict gluten-free diet doesn’t necessarily mean that your gut bacteria will return to normal, healthy levels. Enter probiotics.
2. The Benefits of Probiotics
Probiotics are healthy bacteria which keep the microflora (bacterial balance) of our digestive systems intact and prevent overgrowth of bad bacteria. They also provide a long list of additional benefits in maintaining a healthy gut. They lower inflammatory processes, help prevent autoimmune allergic reactions, reduce levels of cancer-promoting gut enzymes, lower cholesterol, and help normalize gut contractions.
But recent research is revealing that the benefits of probiotics go even further for those of us with celiac disease. Probiotics can actually help prevent the intestinal damage caused by celiac disease. They have also been shown to significantly reduce bloating, diarrhea, gluten-associated joint and muscle pain and fatigue in both celiac and gluten-intolerant individuals.
3. How Do I Take Probiotics?
Probiotics are found naturally in certain foods and can also be taken as dietary supplements. It’s important to know what you’re looking for when it comes to probiotics, as their recent increase in popularity has translated into products on the market that won’t give you the benefits you’re looking for.
The best way to get a healthy dose of probiotics is through natural, traditionally fermented foods such as kefir, or by taking a high quality supplement containing probiotics. To achieve results, take probiotics on an empty stomach and with plenty of fluids. It’s also important to be patient, as the effects of probiotics are usually felt only after a few months.
How do you get your daily dose of probiotics?