People who have coeliac disease have an adverse reaction to gluten and need to avoid it entirely. If they don’t, there will be ongoing gut problems, tiredness, and the condition could lead to osteoporosis (weak bones) and anaemia.

However, I see lots of patients who don’t have coeliac disease but still suffer from tiredness and gut problems and who feel much better when they stop, or reduce, wheat-based products. Wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) is a chemical in wheat responsible for many of the symptoms and ill effects caused by wheat.

MY ADVICE

The simplest way to discover whether you’re experiencing an intolerance to wheat is to simply cut it out of your life for two weeks. If you feel better, there’s your answer. It’s easy, quick and you don’t need any expensive laboratory tests.

After an initial period of cutting out wheat, I normally advise my clients to restrict consumption to one or two times a week, and just a small amount at a time. I tell my patients to do the same with dairy if I think they’re reacting to it, but not at the same time or we won’t know which eliminated food product is making the difference.

There are tests that show if you have DNA that makes you more intolerant to gluten too but these normally have to be arranged with a functional doctor.