How to know if you’re sensitive to gluten or dairy?
Written by: Victoria Williams R.H.N.
Victoria Williams R.H.N.
Victoria is Head of Operations at Queen of the Thrones®. Victoria obtained a Pre-Health Science Certificate with Honours from Georgian College, which ignited her passion for natural wellness and nutrition.
Medically reviewed by: Melanie Swackhammer B.A.
Est. reading time: 7 minutes.
The clue to having gut glue
Having frequent digestive problems means not knowing when it will strike. During an important work presentation, a first date, or at the movies. Can you relate?
You’re at the mercy of loose stools, constipation, painful gas or bloating. And these symptoms might especially come after specific food items, unfortunately, many of which are your favorite, including pizza, fettuccine alfredo, or grilled cheese. This may make you wonder if gluten and dairy are the cause of your stomach problems?
Well, it might not be that one or the other is causing problems. It’s more so the combination of gluten with dairy.
You see, studies have shown that poor food combining can produce fermentation, indigestion, putrefaction, gas and bloating! 1
Like consuming dairy with wheat, this combination could create, what I like to call, “gut glue”! Yes, you read that right… gut GLUE!
Frequent consumption of these food combinations may result in exhausting and frustrating problems.
The good news: knowing what to have or avoid can allow you to feel fresh and be healthy even after consuming your favorite food items.
While you’re here, would you love to know how you can use Castor Oil Packs to support your gut health, and ease digestive problems?
Before we talk about gut glue, I would love to discuss a bit about gluten and dairy on their own.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein commonly found in barley, wheat, and rye.
If you have tried gluten-free cookies, you know they are typically drier and crumble easily.
This is because gluten protein provides the elasticity associated with pasta and baked products.
And these gluten-free products are becoming increasingly popular, as the media has made many believe that this protein is bad for your health. Sound familiar?
But before getting on the gluten-free bandwagon, let’s understand whether it’s really all bad.
Gluten isn’t all bad
Frankly, what thoughts come to your mind when you think about gluten?
For most, it is sticky bowels or bloating, agreed?
However, it’s essential to understand that humans have been consuming gluten as long as the discovery of bread. It’s a great source of soluble fiber, protein, and other nutrients.
Let’s get scienc-y for a minute.
Your digestive system produces the enzyme protease, which breaks down proteins. But this enzyme can’t entirely break down gluten, and undigested gluten moves through your bowels.
Most people can manage undigested gluten.
So, the nutrients from gluten are beneficial for those who can tolerate it.
Studies have linked consumption of whole grains to lower risk of stroke, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. The participants of the study daily consumed two to three servings of grains daily, including wheat.2
Moreover, gluten also acts as a prebiotic, supporting the growth of “good” bacteria in your body. It can also help imbalance of bad and good bacteria associated with gut dysbiosis.
What about dairy?
Eating dairy products is the easiest way to get vitamin D, calcium, and proteins needed for the healthy heart, bones, and muscles.
It helps maintain bone density and reduces the risk of fractures.
Studies have even suggested that the right kind of dairy may prevent heart disease.3
So, why is there so much discussion about dairy-free foods?
Well, similar to gluten, your digestive system releases the enzyme lactase to digest sugar in dairy products called lactose.
If you have a problem producing lactase, you probably have symptoms of lactose intolerance, including stomach pain, diarrhea, bloating, and nausea. Makes sense, agreed?
Moreover, evidence suggests that dairy products may improve body composition by reducing waist circumference and fat composition.4
A review of 25 studies also found that various types of yogurt were linked to the lower risk of metabolic syndrome risk factors, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.5
With this in mind, let’s understand more about gut glue.
What about dairy?
My best and favorite example of this is how glue is made.
White school glue, if you didn’t know, is actually edible. You can essentially make it at home with milk, flour, and baking soda, and then the ingredient that is the pièce de résistance is vinegar.
This combination is basically what happens in your belly, when you combine bread (flour) with cheese (dairy/milk) and you swallow it down into your stomach that contains your stomach acid (like vinegar, because it’s acidic!) and bicarbonate (like baking soda).6
Guess what, you’ve got glue in your belly!
So imagine what your gut is like, if you are consuming glue.
Let’s talk anatomy for a second. Ready?
Your small intestine is lined by finger-like projections called villi, that help you absorb nutrients from your food.
Gut glue could cause these projections to get stuck together and reduce your ability to properly digest your food!
In addition, because the carbohydrates and protein don’t digest well together, you get this glue moving all along your digestive tract.
All in all, it’s rarely only one thing that is causing discomfort. It is often multifactorial and there are many contributing factors and culprits.
This is simply an example where combining gluten and dairy together may not be ideal for digestion (they also happen to be some of the most common food sensitivities and allergies that people deal with).
This is not it.
According to the traditional Ayurveda medicine, excessive amounts of proteins, carbohydrates and fats should not be taken together as this leads to a feeling of heaviness in the stomach.7
Plus, milk is considered as a complete food.
It contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, proteins, good fats, amino acids, calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, lactose, and all nutrients necessary for a healthy body.
That is why in Ayurveda it has been advised not to take wheat products with milk.
What can you do about your digestion problems?
When we choose nourishing food combinations, time our meals accordingly, and create healthy habits like proper chewing, we reduce the chances of these uncomfortable, and sometimes painful symptoms.
Plus, adding the practice of Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil Packs after your meal may further help with inflammation regulation and help to improve liver detoxification, lymphatic drainage and colon cleansing, which means less digestive problems. Amazing, right?
Would you love to know how Castor Oil Packs work and how they can support your gut health?
Are you a practitioner, health coach or wellness influencer? If you’re interested in recommending our easy-to-use tools and practically applying them in your health and wellness professional practice, in clinic, or online with the people you serve, you can join now!
Click here for references
1. Cömert ED, Gökmen V. Effect of food combinations and their co-digestion on total antioxidant capacity under simulated gastrointestinal conditions. Curr Res Food Sci. 2022 Feb 17;5:414-422. doi: 10.1016/j.crfs.2022.02.008. PMID: 35243354; PMCID: PMC8866489.
2. Ye EQ, Chacko SA, Chou EL, Kugizaki M, Liu S. Greater whole-grain intake is associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and weight gain. J Nutr. 2012 Jul;142(7):1304-13. doi: 10.3945/jn.111.155325. Epub 2012 May 30. Erratum in: J Nutr. 2013 Sep;143(9):1524. PMID: 22649266; PMCID: PMC6498460.
3. Lordan R, Tsoupras A, Mitra B, Zabetakis I. Dairy Fats and Cardiovascular Disease: Do We Really Need to be Concerned? Foods. 2018 Mar 1;7(3):29. doi: 10.3390/foods7030029. PMID: 29494487; PMCID: PMC5867544.
4. Abargouei AS, Janghorbani M, Salehi-Marzijarani M, Esmaillzadeh A. Effect of dairy consumption on weight and body composition in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials. Int J Obes (Lond). 2012 Dec;36(12):1485-93. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2011.269. Epub 2012 Jan 17. PMID: 22249225.
5. Khorraminezhad L, Rudkowska I. Effect of Yogurt Consumption on Metabolic Syndrome Risk Factors: a Narrative Review. Curr Nutr Rep. 2021 Mar;10(1):83-92. doi: 10.1007/s13668-020-00344-y. Epub 2021 Jan 6. PMID: 33405074.
6. G. Lynn Carlson. A New approach to the baking soda-vinegar reaction. J. Chem. Educ., 1990, 67 (7), p 597 DOI: 10.1021/ed067p597. Publication Date: July 1990
7. Sabnis M. Viruddha Ahara: A critical view. Ayu. 2012 Jul;33(3):332-6. doi: 10.4103/0974-8520.108817. PMID: 23723637; PMCID: PMC3665091.