The Mayo Clinic confirms that there is no test that currently diagnoses gluten sensitivity, but it is very possible to determine if you have a gluten sensitivity or not. There are a lot of expensive books and health plans out there, but the process is actually very simple and can be done at home, for free. Simply follow these simple steps:
Step One: Educate Yourself
The internet is full of information about gluten and gluten sensitivity. The following are good basic sources for information:
For starters, the basics are: gluten is an indigestible protein that has been medically proven to damage the lining of your intestines. Damage to your digestive tract lining can result in problems ranging from weight management, stomach and digestive problems, emotional disorders, issues with mental acuity and memory and immune system problems.
A large portion of the population reports feeling better, managing weight better, improved digestion and enhanced mood and mental capabilities when eating a healthy gluten-free diet. (Note: not all gluten-free diets are healthy. Eating a diet of candy and meat will not get you the results you are looking for.)
Step Two: Document Concerning Symptoms
Before you get started, document your symptoms of concern. Are you looking to lose weight? Gain weight? Improve bowel/digestive problems? Enhance memory and mental acuity? Improve mood? Set up a way to track your symptoms.
Step Three: Eliminate Gluten from your Diet for One Month
Simply eat gluten-free for a month. You can use the free eating gluten-free resources found here on this site or on many other sites to figure out what you can and cannot eat. Try to eat truly gluten-free foods and avoid gluten-free substitutions (like gluten-free muffins) for this trial month.
Step Four: Gradually Add Back in Food Items
If you noticed health improvements, document what you experienced. Gradually add in food items you eliminated or try gluten-free substitute items to see if you tolerate them well or not.
Step Five: Evaluate
Use the information you’ve gained to determine if you are best off eating gluten-free or if gluten is not the problem. You are the best person to decide if you have a gluten sensitivity or not. Make the choices that best support your health.