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The number of people suffering from food sensitivities and allergies is growing, as is the awareness. Many experts report that more than 50 percent of the population is lactose intolerant, leaving them unable to easily consume and digest dairy products. Yet another hot topic these days is the gluten-free trend. Many new products have been introduced to the market and no longer is the gluten-free person unable to enjoy some of their favorite foods.

Elyse Wagner (a holistic nutritionist) and Amari Thomsen (a registered dietitian) share some thoughts on knowing if you should try a gluten-free diet.

Amari's Advice

"Gluten is the protein found in specific grains including wheat, barley, rye and oats. The protein gives these grains an elastic quality that is beneficial in baking. Gluten intolerances and sensitivities are becoming more and more recognized. Gluten can be extremely inflammatory to the gut, and many people experience signs and symptoms such as digestive distress, bloating, stomach cramps, diarrhea, headaches and fatigue when they consume it. Individuals with Celiac disease and gluten allergies have lab test results that show an obvious intolerance to gluten. Those individuals should absolutely avoid gluten when possible to avoid a reaction. Today, more and more individuals are self diagnosing themselves with “gluten sensitivities” without lab testing to show a full blown allergy. Through their own self experimentation, these individuals have found that many of their digestive signs and symptoms subside when gluten is removed from the diet."

Elyse's Advice

"The simplest way to know if you should be on a gluten free diet is if you are suffering from numerous physical and emotional issues. Some of your symptoms may be alleviated by going gluten-free. Observe how you feel after eliminating gluten to see if it is a right decision for you."

About the Experts


Amari-expert-photo-FINALAmari Thomsen is a registered dietitian, blogger, and owner of Eat Chic Chicago. She graduated from Loyola University of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in biology. Later, she completed her nutrition education at the University of Illinois at Chicago with a master’s degree in nutrition science. After starting her blog back in 2009, Amari has since expanded her career by developing her own nutrition private practice, Eat Chic Chicago. With previous experience as a nutrition coach for Lifetime Fitness and as a Healthy Eating Specialist for Whole Foods Market, Amari is focused on integrating modern and traditional techniques to promote real food nutrition. Find Amari at Eat Chic Chicago.



Elyse-expert-photo-FINALElyse Wagner is a holistic nutritionist and health psychology expert who helps women of all sizes stop food guilt, body shame, and emotional eating. She helps create peace with their body and build a better relationship with food as they finally give themselves permission to feel fabulous! After being taunted as "Obese Elyse", she has now found peace within her body and helps others do the same through her virtual private one-on-one group coaching programs. Join the conversation and get Elyse’s bites of wisdom through her award winning ETV! episodes and delicious whole foods recipes at My Kitchen Shrink.



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