Are you suffering from Celiac disease or Gluten Intolerance? Is there any difference between these two? What are the symptoms to diagnose it? What to do if you have gluten allergy? Are there any gluten-free foods or meals?
This article will calm all your queries from symptoms, remedies to the hacks.
Allergy is a hypersensitive reaction of your immune system indicating intolerance and denial of contact towards a particular substance. One of the most common allergies which influences the minds is “Gluten allergy”.
Now the question is – What is Gluten Allergy?
Gluten is a type of protein that is found in grains like wheat, barley etc. This protein ‘Gluten’ constitutes two proteins within itself – Glutenin and Gliadin.
To be precise, Gliadin is the evil one and hence makes one allergic to Gluten.
Though the term sounds familiar, still there’s a lot we need to know about it.
Gluten Allergy Symptoms
Before we dig out on it, we need to know that about 86% of the worldwide population believes that they are allergic to gluten, however according to the study performed by the University of L’Aquila only 1% of the population is suffering from gluten allergy.
Kind of Allergy you inherit
If you consider yourself gluten allergic then, you must need to classify what kind of gluten allergy you inherit and its symptoms.
This is the most uncompromising form of gluten allergy. It is an autoimmune disorder where gluten is treated like unfriendly invader by the body. Consumption of gluten under it may result prone to diseases like anaemia, digestive issues, damages to the gut wall etc.
Celiac disease symptoms
- Diarrhea / Constipation – due to gluten intolerance, gut lining faces damage and thus it results either in Diarrhea or Constipation. Approximately 50% of gluten-sensitive people experience Diarrhea, while 25% experience constipation.
- Headache and Tiredness – Regular Headaches or Migraine is a common condition in gluten sensitive or intolerant people.
- Skin Problems – There are many skin problems that can be caused due to gluten allergy, however, dermatitis herpetiformis – a blistering skin condition is one popular among them.
- Weight Loss – it is assumed that due to poor absorption of nutrients, there is an unexplained weight loss in people.
- Foul – smelling feces – due to poor nutrient absorption the feces might be pale with a foul smell.
Non – celiac gluten allergy
This is another phenomenon exists in people where they test negative for celiac disease however they are intolerant towards gluten. This phenomenon is termed as non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Interestingly 13% of the gluten allergic are non- celiac gluten allergic.
Non – celiac gluten allergy Symptoms
- Stomach pain – it is the most common syndrome that gluten intolerant people face. About 83% of people confirmed that it is the first symptom after they consume gluten.
- Tiredness – About 60–82% people are prone to fatigue after they consume gluten. Gluten intolerance also results in iron –deficiency, and lack of energy.
- Bloating- when you feel your belly is swollen or full of gas, which makes you feel miserable. In cases of non-celiac gluten sensitivity, 87% of the people experience bloating.
- Depression – due to the improper digestion of gluten, peptides are formed which interfere with the nervous system, causing depression and anxiety.
FACTS you should know about Gluten Allergy
- People with Celiac disease will be gluten sensitive, however people with gluten sensitive might or might not develop Celiac disease.
- Processed gluten free is a bad idea.
- Gluten free diet is not at all dangerous if you do not suffer with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity
- Gluten is also present in cosmetics and skin products as well.
- Wheat- free does not mean gluten-free.
- Gluten free diet is not tasteless and boring.
- Gluten is also known as ‘wheat meat’ and ‘seitan’. So be careful.
Remedies you should consider if you are suffering from Gluten allergy
- Foods that contain Gluten like Cakes, Cookies, Pastries, Cereal, and Beer etc. Basically all processed foods or involves wheat that have gluten present in it is BIG NO! NO!! For you.
- Replace your whole grain bread with a Gluten -free Bread
- Read ingredients before buying any sort of processed food.
- Carry a food allergic card, it will help you and others to acknowledge your medical history in emergencies.
- Always carry a grain and gluten–free granola bars while you travel, in case of emergencies you might need it.
- When you dine out, make sure you convey your dietary restrictions properly.
- For people who are suffering from celiac disease, it is advisable to consult a specialist before opting a gluten-free diet.
- If the tests are negative for celiac disease, it might be the case, that you are sensitive to gluten. To be sure, try following a strict gluten-free diet for a couple of weeks. If the situation improves, try introducing gluten to your diet again, if symptoms reappear, then I guess you know who the culprit is.
- Fish Oil act as a coating in your small intestine. Daily consumption of fish oil, can prevent up to flare up in case you accidentally consume gluten.
- In order to rectify the damage of digestive tract, the stimulating bacteria of Yogurt is quite helpful.
- Aloe Vera juice is helpful in reducing the effects of constipation and ease the gluten sensitivity.
- Ginger is a friend in disguise, due to its bitter taste, it ignites the digestive system.
REPLACEMENT OF GLUTEN
- Since Wheat is rich in Gluten, introduce Millets, Buckwheat, Corn or Rice in your diet.
- Personalized your spices by grinding them in your own supervision.
- Fruits and Vegetables like fig, pineapple, plum, peppers, spinach, turnip, sprouts etc. is good in nutrition.
- Meat, eggs and dairy products will provide a full- fledged support to your body.
- Still not convinced, you can opt for gluten –free flour. Certain companies produce gluten- free healthy products for people who are allergic to gluten.
- Just because gluten is eliminated from your diet, that doesn’t mean you don’t have options. Be it snack or dessert, there are plenty of options available to satisfy your food cravings.
- Skin is also an important part of your body since you are allergic to Gluten apply gluten-free body butter.
What about Oats – Is it allowed to celiac and gluten allergic people?
For people who are quite health conscious and yet are allergic to Gluten; oats will be their first concern. To which the answer is – YES!! Gluten allergic people can include oats in their diet. Since oats are rich in fiber and protein, it is a great option if you replace wheat from your diet if you are suffering from gluten allergy. However, there are certain things you need to consider and take precaution before you consume Oats.
- Oats are naturally gluten-free grains, however during cultivation, oats and other grains like wheat, barley etc. are grown in the same piece of land or by using same equipment’s. This increases the chances of cross-contamination in grains. For celiac and gluten- sensitive people even the tiniest amount can be dangerous.
- There are brands that have specifically dedicated gluten-free oat products. Companies like Quaker, Bob’s Red Mill etc. make gluten-free oats available in the market. However, make sure you read the ingredients before consuming it because these brands make not gluten-free oats as well.
- Most importantly, make sure you consult your doctor before you consume oats because Oats have a protein called avenin. Researches are still going on, and it varies from person to person.
- Thus it is advisable to consume a couple of spoons of gluten-free oats until not diagnosed. Once the doctor confirms the resistance capacity of your body, you can modify your oats intake. (Note – there is a possibility that a couple of spoons of gluten-free oats is also not tolerated by your body)
If it’s not gluten Allergy, then what?
Apart from Gluten allergy, there are other syndromes which might obscure your judgment that whether you are allergic to gluten or not.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Wheat Allergy