We have covered this in a previous post but it is worth discussing again for anyone who has asked this question and doesn't know the answer.
What is Gluten Intolerance?
Gluten Intolerance is also known as Celiac disease (or Coeliac disease). To put it in very simple terms, a person who suffers from Celiac Disease has a genetic disorder that makes them intolerant to gluten.
Celiac disease is caused by the bodies reaction to a gluten protein found in wheat known as gliadin. Although it can affect anyone, it seems to be more prevalent among people of Northern European descent.
Around 1 in 133 people in North America and Europe suffer from Celiac disease.
Symptoms of Celiac Disease Can Include:
- Mild weakness
- Weight Loss
- Ill health with no gastrointestinal symptoms
- Bone pain
- Abdominal bloating
- Nutrient Deficiencies
The Most Common Foods that Contain Gluten are:
What Foods to Avoid:
Most don't realize that many processed foods use ingredients containing gluten. You should always read the label on processed foods and look for labels on the package that have "Gluten Free" written on it. Food that contains Wheat, Rye or Barley should ALWAYS be avoided. A person who suffers from Celiac Disease can suffer a number of health problems if they consume food that contain gluten.
Consequences of Ingesting Gluten:
Anyone who has a gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity should never eat food that contains gluten. Aside from the symptoms listed above that dramatically reduce quality of life, people who have Celiac Disease and continually consume foods than contain gluten will substantially increase the chance of developing gastrointestinal cancer. Other, sometimes fatal, diseases have also been linked to the Celiac disease.
Testing for Celiac Disease or Gluten Sensitivity:
There is a simple test available to determine if you have Celiac Disease or suffer from gluten sensitivity. A patient can have their blood screened for Antigliadin (AMA) and for Andomysium Antibodies (EmA). You can also have a biopsy to determine if you have the disorder.
Treatment for Celiac Disease:
The only known treatment for celiac disease is to avoid all products that contain gluten. If you want to avoid all of the health risks this lifestyle change is necessary. Living with Celiac Disease is very manageable and there are many delicious recipes and ways to eliminate gluten.