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I am on a gluten and lactose free diet and I am dizzy. How come?

  1. I am on a gluten and lactose free diet, but the last few weeks I have been so dizzy and lightheaded. I also suffer from diarrhea while I strictly adhere to my diet. How come? Maybe I should have blood taken?

  1. Linda Hogervorst, dietician Thank you for your question. How annoying that you have recently had complaints. I understand that you are looking for a suitable solution.

Gluten-free diet

  1. A gluten-free diet must be free of the following gluten-containing grains (or products made from them): wheat, rye, barley, spelled, kamut, triticale, wheat flour, wheat flour, wheat malt, wheat semolina, wheat bran, wheat flakes, wheat germ, couscous, bulgur, seitan, rye flour, rye flour, barley, pearl barley, barley flour, barley flour and barley malt. Contaminated products (which can still contain gluten) must also be avoided. If you have been diagnosed with celiac disease (gluten intolerance), the absorption of nutrients in the gut may not be optimal. In particular, you may become deficient in iron, folic acid and vitamin B12. You also need grain products to get enough vitamins and minerals. That means that you will have to replace gluten-containing products with gluten-free products. Examples of gluten-free grains are: buckwheat grains, buckwheat flakes, corn grains, corn flakes, corn bran, quinoa, oats, teff, amaranth, millet, potatoes and brown rice. If you do not replace gluten-containing products sufficiently (or not enough), you can become deficient in iron and vitamin B1. Symptoms of Iron Deficiency: fatigue dizziness reduced ability to concentrate pale skin quickly out of breath restless legs anemia Symptoms of folic acid deficiency: fatigue intestinal disorders (reduced absorption of nutrients) anemia Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency: (Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause folic acid deficiency.) fatigue dizziness palpitations decreased appetite ringing in the ears tingling in the fingers amnesia problems with coordination muscle weakness in the legs anemia Symptoms of Vitamin B1 Deficiency: depression concentration problems amnesia muscle weakness decreased appetite weight loss stomach disorders numbness in the legs heart complaints

Lactose-free diet

  1. With a strict lactose-free diet, the following lactose-containing products should be avoided: cow, goat, sheep, horse and donkey milk, soft goat and sheep cheese, cream cheese, buttermilk, yoghurt , cottage cheese, kefir, yogurt drinks and fruit dairy drinks, coffee creamer and butter. You should also pay close attention to products to which lactose has been added (such as ready-to-use products and spice mixes). Just like with the gluten-free diet, with the lactose-free diet you also need dairy products to get enough vitamins and minerals. That means you will have to use lactose-free dairy substitutes. Examples of lactose-free dairy products are: soy milk, soy yogurt, lactose-free milk and lactose-free yogurt. With a lactose-free diet, a shortage of protein, calcium and vitamin B2 can occur. Symptoms of Protein Deficiency: muscle breakdown and reduced muscle strength (long term) reduced resistance (long term) Symptoms of a calcium deficiency: bone loss / osteoporosis (long term) Symptoms of Vitamin B2 Deficiency: fatigue skin abnormalities (corners of the mouth, tongue and inflammation of the nose)

  2. With a strict lactose-free diet, the following lactose-containing products should be avoided: cow, goat, sheep, horse and donkey milk, soft goat and sheep cheese, cream cheese, buttermilk, yogurt , cottage cheese, kefir, yogurt drinks and fruit dairy drinks, coffee creamer and butter. You must also pay close attention to products to which lactose has been added (such as ready-made products and spice mixes). Just like with the gluten-free diet, with the lactose-free diet you also need dairy products to get enough vitamins and minerals. That means you will have to use lactose-free dairy substitutes. Examples of lactose-free dairy products are: soy milk, soy yogurt, lactose-free milk and lactose-free yogurt. With a lactose-free diet, a shortage of protein, calcium and vitamin B2 can occur. Symptoms of Protein Deficiency: muscle breakdown and reduced muscle strength (long term) reduced resistance (long term) Symptoms of a calcium deficiency: bone loss / osteoporosis (long term) Symptoms of Vitamin B2 Deficiency: fatigue skin abnormalities (corners of the mouth, tongue and inflammation of the nose)

Diarrhea

  1. Diarrhea can have several causes. For example, it is also possible that you had / have a flu among the members. However, diarrhea is also one of the symptoms that can occur with celiac disease and lactose intolerance. You may still have eaten or drank a food that was contaminated with gluten and / or lactose.

Advice Based on your symptoms (dizziness and light-headedness), it is possible that you have a shortage of, for example, iron and / or vitamin B12. In addition, it could be that (given the diarrhea), despite your strict diet, you still ingested gluten or lactose. I advise you to make an appointment with a (specialized) dietician. He / she can monitor your diet. It is important to check whether your diet is complete, whether you are using the right substitute products (in the correct amounts) and whether you may have missed anything. He / she may also recommend having a blood test. Measuring is knowing. After all, following a gluten-free and lactose-free diet is not easy. Linda Hogervorst is a freelance dietician and has a master's degree in Nutrition and Health. She owns the sole proprietorship Into Food. She no longer answers expert questions for Health Net. Do you have a question about nutrition? Send an email to nutritionist Patricia Schutte Do you also have a question? Then ask one of our experts. Always go to your doctor with urgent questions, the experts are not the right person for that. They also don't make diagnoses. You can find the other conditions here. Don't miss anything anymore?

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