Does Gluten Really Cause You To Feel Bloated?

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We’ve all felt it: after a meal, it feels like our pants just become two sizes too small! What could we have possibly been eating to cause this “food baby” as many people call it! Lately, popularity tells us the culprit should be none other than gluten- this mystery substance found in almost everything we eat that is certainly out to get both us and our stomachs. But is gluten really to blame for our post-meal discomfort?

Gluten is a protein found in certain cereal products like rye, wheat, and barley, and contributes to the elastic texture that these cereals can have. It’s become famous in the food world as of late, due to the increased awareness and diagnosis of celiac disease and gluten intolerance in North America.

Gluten has earned a reputation for causing bloating and pain since many people diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance experience these feelings after meals. In actuality, there is nothing inherently ‘intolerable’ about gluten itself in people without sensitivity to it.  So unless you have an intolerance, gluten itself does not cause bloating after meals.

Even among those with celiac disease, there are many who suffer from what is called “silent celiac disease”,  a condition where they experience little or no symptoms when eating gluten-containing products, despite having a diagnosed intolerance. In other words, bloating and pain after eating gluten-containing products could mean intolerance, but you can also be intolerance without these uncomfortable side effects.

So don’t be so quick to judge gluten! Chronic fatigue, stomach ulcers, lactose intolerance and Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and even just eating large amount in a short time; are all conditions that could cause bloating and pain after eating, and could be mistaken for gluten intolerance. Keeping a food diary that also records your symptoms after meals can be reviewed with a Registered Dietitian to help you determine what is the cause of your bloating and discomfort.

Meet Alessandra, Cappino’s expert nutritionist.


Dietitian Alessandra BarbaRegistered dietitian and member of l’ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec (l’OPDQ), Alessandra has a passion for nutrition, healthy living, and helping people achieve their personal goals. She is a graduate from McGill University who excelled academically and was nominated by her peers to represent her graduating class as valedictorian. Alessandra has a multitude of experience with different clinical specialities, including weight loss, geriatrics, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sports nutrition, among others. She understands that a good rapport with open communication between a dietitian and her client is a crucial factor for success, and her enthusiasm for her work is contagious. To book an appointment with Alessandra click here.

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