Gluten: are you allergic, intolerant? how to know?

Gluten is a controversial subject. Most sources claim that it is safe for everyone except people with celiac disease. However, some health experts believe that gluten is harmful to most people. According to a study by 392, up to 5% of people in Western societies report following a gluten-free diet by choice, and up to 13% describe a certain level of sensitivity to products containing gluten. This article explains what gluten is and how it can affect a person’s health.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a family of proteins found in grains, including wheat, rye, spelled and barley. Among the cereals containing gluten, wheat is by far the most common. Glutenin and Gliadin are the two main proteins in gluten. Gliadin is responsible for most of the adverse health effects of gluten.

When flour is mixed with water, the proteins in the gluten form a sticky network that has the consistency of glue. This sticky property makes the dough elastic and gives the bread the ability to rise during baking. It also gives a smooth and satisfying texture. Interestingly, the name gluten comes from this sticking property of wet dough.

Gluten intolerance

Most people can tolerate gluten without adverse effects. However, it can cause problems for people with certain health conditions.

These include celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, wheat allergy and certain other diseases.

Celiac disease

Celiac disease is the most serious form of gluten intolerance . It affects around 1% of the population. This is an autoimmune disorder in which the body treats gluten like a foreign invader. The immune system attacks the trusted source of gluten, as well as the lining of the intestine. This damages the intestinal wall and can lead to nutrient deficiencies, anemia, severe digestive problems, and an increased risk of many diseases.

The most common symptoms of celiac disease are:

– digestive discomfort

– tissue damage in the small intestine

– bloating

– diarrhea

– constipation

– headache

– fatigue

– rash

– depression

– unexplained weight loss

– very smelly stools

However, some people with celiac disease do not have digestive symptoms but other symptoms, such as fatigue or anemia. For this reason, doctors often have trouble diagnosing celiac disease. In fact, in one study, 65% of people with celiac disease were unaware they had it.

Sensitivity to non-celiac gluten

Many people do not test positive for celiac disease, but still react negatively to gluten. This is the sensitivity to non-celiac gluten. At present, researchers do not know how many people have it, but some estimate it to be in the range of 0.5 to 13%.

Symptoms of gluten sensitivity are as follows:

– diarrhea

– stomach pain

– fatigue

– bloating

– depression

There is no no clear definition of non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Still, a doctor can make this diagnosis when a person reacts negatively to gluten, but has ruled out celiac disease and allergies. However, some experts do not think this is a legitimate ailment. They believe that substances other than gluten cause these side effects. One study looked at 364 people with self-diagnosed gluten intolerance and investigated whether their condition improved with a diet without gluten. The results showed that only 14 people had celiac disease, while two people had celiac disease. ‘have a wheat allergy. Only 27 of 364 Remaining people were diagnosed with gluten sensitivity. This means that out of all the participants who thought they had a gluten intolerance, only 40 people (14%) had gluten-related issues. Therefore, many people who think they are gluten intolerant may develop symptoms due to other causes.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common digestive disorder that causes symptoms including:

– abdominal pain

– cramps

– bloating

– gas

– diarrhea or constipation, or both.

IBS is a chronic disease, but many people can manage their symptoms with to diet, lifestyle changes and stress management techniques. Some people with IBS may benefit from a gluten-free diet.

Wheat allergy

For approximately 0.2 to 1% of the population Pediatric, a wheat allergy can cause digestive problems after consuming gluten. However, up to 55% of them find that these problems go away without treatment in adulthood. People with allergies to wheat can still eat other foods that contain gluten, such as barley or rye, without experiencing an adverse reaction. Additionally, research shows that a gluten-free diet may be beneficial for some people with schizophrenia. Other research shows that the gluten-free diet may be beneficial for autism and for a condition called gluten ataxia.

Intolerance and sensitivity

Digestive discomfort is the most common indication of gluten intolerance. The person may also have anemia or have difficulty gaining weight. To determine the cause of the discomfort, people can ask their doctor to check for celiac disease first.

There are two main ways to determine if a person is celiac disease:

– Blood tests: Several blood tests are used to look for antibodies. One of the most common is the tTG-IgA test. If it is positive, the doctor may recommend a tissue biopsy to confirm the results.

Small intestine biopsy: A healthcare professional takes a small sample of tissue from the intestine hail, which a laboratory analyzes for lesions. Both of the above tests should be performed while following a gluten-containing diet. Blood analysis performed on a gluten-free diet will give a false negative. This is because there is no gluten in the system to trigger the production of antibodies. If a person thinks they have celiac disease, they should see their doctor before trying a gluten-free diet. If the person doesn’t have celiac disease, the best way to tell if they are sensitive to gluten is to follow a strict gluten-free diet for a few weeks to see if symptoms improve. Then, she will need to reintroduce gluten into her diet to see if her symptoms return.

If the person’s symptoms do not improve with a gluten-free diet and do not worsen with the reintroduction of gluten, the cause is probably other than gluten.

Gluten-free diet

Some people may find it difficult to start a gluten-free diet. The first thing to do is read the labels of everything you eat and drink. Gluten, especially wheat, is an ingredient in a surprising number of foods. Gluten is also present in barley, rye, and all products that contain these ingredients, such as rye bread. As part of this diet, people should eat mostly healthy whole foods, as most whole foods are naturally gluten free. Avoid processed foods, cereals and grains that contain gluten.

Gluten-free cereals

Several grains and seeds are naturally gluten-free and can be purchased online. These include:

rice

oats

quinoa

flax

millet

sorghum

tapioca

buckwheat

amaranth

However, if oats are naturally gluten-free, cross-contamination may occur if a facility processes oats at the same time than other grains containing gluten, such as wheat. Therefore, it is safer to only consume oats with a gluten-free label.

Gluten-free foods

There are a multitude of healthy and whole foods that are naturally gluten free:

meat

fish and seafood

eggs

dairy products

fruits

vegetables

legumes

nuts

tubers

fats, such as oils and butter

It is generally better to choose foods that are naturally gluten-free rather than processed gluten-free products. The latter tend to be low in nutrients and high in added sugar or refined grains. Most drinks are also gluten-free, with the exception of beer, unless it is labeled gluten-free.

Foods high in gluten

Sources of gluten in the diet include

wheat

spelled

rye

barley

bread

pasta

cereals

beer

cakes, cookies and pastries

Many processed foods may also contain gluten. Anyone who wishes to avoid gluten should read labels carefully.

Who Should Avoid Gluten?

For many people, it is no need to avoid gluten. However, for people with certain health conditions, eliminating gluten from the diet can make a huge difference. If people eliminate gluten products and do not properly replace them with other carbohydrates in their diet, they may not be getting enough fiber, calories and B vitamins. Professional professional advice should always be sought. before trying a gluten-free diet.

People should also make sure to choose healthy foods. A gluten-free label does not automatically mean that a food is healthy, and gluten-free processed foods remain processed foods.

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