Gluten-free diets are popular for a reason: they’ve helped many people feel better. But is gluten-free good or bad for diabetics? Would a gluten-free diet help with blood sugar control? As with many diet changes, the answer is not simple. Here are some of the facts about skipping gluten and staying healthy as a diabetic.
How Going Gluten-Free Could Help
For some people, gluten causes inflammation and damage in their body. At the far end of that spectrum are people with celiac disease, who must always avoid gluten. If your body reacts negatively to gluten, whether it’s because of celiac or gluten intolerance, it causes chronic inflammation, which is always destructive. With a gluten-free diet there may be less inflammation which can upset blood sugar control and cause hormonal imbalances. It’s even been shown that up to 10% of people with celiac have type 1 diabetes, making a gluten-free diet a necessity for many diabetics. If your body doesn’t handle gluten well, then removing it from your diet is going to help you function better. With proper management, a gluten-free diet that combats low blood sugar to ensure proper nutrition could be exactly what you need.
How Going Gluten-Free Could Hurt
On the other hand, if your body does process gluten without problems, avoiding it probably won’t give you many benefits. In fact, because gluten-free foods often add sugar to improve the flavor, you run the risk of adding more carbohydrates than your body needs. That may be why scientists have seen a small increase in diabetes in people who don’t eat gluten. If you’re starting out with diabetes, this means you run the risk of problems with blood sugar control. Insulin is one of the hormones that has a huge impact on the body’s ability to shed fat, so keeping it in a balanced state is vital to any weight loss plan.
Another reason to be careful about going gluten-free is nutrition. When you cut out food groups, it’s important that you adjust your diet to be sure you aren’t missing nutrients. Unless there’s a good reason to do so, removing gluten could just complicate your food choices. Ultimately, your diet shouldn’t be any more restrictive than it needs to be.
Should You Try a Gluten-Free Diet?
Basically, the answer to that is “maybe.” There are so many different parts to be considered when you’re adjusting your diet, and there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all plan. With any type of diet including gluten-free diets high and low blood sugar, hormone levels, inflammation, and nutrition status all have to be kept in balance for the best results. For diabetics, it’s especially important to get help from a doctor who understands all the ways diet affects the body, and specifically if a gluten-free diet would be good for your diabetic nutrition management. No one should gamble with their health in the name of weight loss, but when you’re dealing with diabetes it’s even more important to get skilled medical support.
How Apollo Medical Associates Can Help
Understanding the complicated and shifting variables that affect health and weight loss is one of our areas of expertise. At Apollo, we take a medical approach to losing weight, taking into account each patient’s individual needs. We consider nutrition, lifestyle, hormones, and overall health when we create a plan for healthy weight loss. Our evidence-based weight loss approach is a natural companion to the bioidentical hormone replacement therapy we offer. Combining these powerful tools with functional medicine services means we can give you the most effective weight loss support available.
For more information about the services we offer at Apollo Medical Associates, or to schedule a consultation, contact the dietary experts.