Ever wondered if you were gluten intolerant? Do you even know about it or should I keep minding my business?
Well, Gluten is a type of protein found in most grains like wheat, barley, rye and spelt. When flour made from grinding these grains is mixed with water the two proteins(gliadin and glutenin) combine to form gluten. Gluten cannot be formed without water.
This glue-like property of gluten causes the dough to have an elastic feeling, giving the bread the ability to rise during the process of baking.
While most people can tolerate gluten in their diet, some people with certain health conditions cannot tolerate gluten in their diet.
A rather common disease caused by the adverse effect of gluten intolerance is Celiac disease.
It is an autoimmune reaction experienced when a person consumes any form of gluten. This causes the body's immune system to attack healthy cells leading to an inflammation which damages the lining of the small intestine.
As a result of this, there is malabsorption of nutrients.
Celiac disease is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide.
Most people with this disease usually aren't aware they have it, they just know they experience discomfort after consuming certain foods containing the aforementioned.
Most times, the first reactions gotten are itchy or watery eyes or a hard time breathing in children.
For adults, abdominal pain, bloating, joint pain, constipation and fatigue would be noticed.
There's no certain cause of celiac disease. However, it is known to run in families. Sometimes, experts attribute it to stressful episodes such as surgeries, trauma or a viral infection.
One outstanding symptom of gluten intolerance is diarrhoea.
Other symptoms include:
If you notice that you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms often especially after taking certain meals, I'd advise you see a doctor.
Chances are you might be gluten intolerant and it might be due to an underlying condition such as Celiac disease among others.
An apparent treatment is of course adhering to a strict gluten free diet.
Here are basic Tips on how to manage gluten intolerance
⇒ Read food labels carefully and avoid foods with emulsifiers and modified wheat starch.
⇒ Check all seasonings, thickeners and marinades for gluten-containing additives.
⇒ Avoid all products containing wheat, spelt, rye and barley (including bread and pastas).
⇒ Increase daily intake of fruits and vegetables.
⇒ Avoid baked foods like cake, pie and bread.
Switching diet isn't the easiest task to take on.
Alternatives are there for you to easily switch to.
You're not scrapping your entire diet, rather I see it as an adjustment to suit your body's natural functioning.
✿ Sometimes, gluten gets blamed for health problems caused by other proteins found in grains.
✿ As many as 92% of the people following a gluten free diet continue to have health problems because of the cross contamination, processed foods and consumption of corn, rice, sorghum and other grains.
✿ Most doctors are in the dark about gluten as the average person because the focus in medical school is nutrition deprivation.
Fact credit: Gluten Free Society, 2015.
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