You must have read some product boasting on its label as “100% Gluten-free” or the likes of this. If you’re someone who does not have any allergy or Intolerance for gluten, you must have waved off the label. But for people who do have some issue with intake of Gluten, then that label means the world to them!
In an ever-developing market, one should know the kind of ingredients and the food that they consume. Awareness about healthy foods for your body type especially, is highly important for maintaining a good lifestyle.
Gluten is one such component in your diet that can affect your health. This can vary from individual to individual, based on their Gluten sensitivity. If you have any kind of gluten allergy or a disease related to it, then you are highly recommended to adopt a Gluten-free lifestyle.
In this article, we will take it as a step-by-step guide to help you understand what is Gluten, why you should adopt a Gluten-free lifestyle and what are some of the autoimmune or other diseases related to Gluten.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is basically a “family” of proteins that are commonly found in foods like wheat, rye, barley, etc. It is a mixture of two proteins.
The main proteins in Gluten are Glutenin and Gliadin, out of which the latter is usually responsible for the negative health affects reported.
The name Gluten itself is derived from the glue-like consistency of dough when flour and water are mixed.
Although not exactly harmful to majority, but some percentage of people are affected by Gluten intake. This is the reason why they should recognise their issue and adopt a diet that is ultimately free of Gluten.
Why do you need to adopt Gluten-free diet?
If you do not have any drastic health effects related to Gluten, there is no need to get alarmed. But if you have any sort of adverse reaction, allergy or some disease related to the consumption of this one component, then it is highly essential for you to adopt a Gluten-free lifestyle. As they say, prevention is better than cure. So, to cater to the health of an individual, the protein Gluten should be eliminated from their diet.
The plus point in this century is that now you get a viable option of using the kind of products that you like. This is because of the development of a vast market.
Gluten-free supplements, foods, cereals, etc. are easily available in the market. You just need to find the authentic products that you can trust, as many can have fake claims too.
Diseases related to Gluten:
A number of diseases related to Gluten diet can have some harmful effects on the body.
Now we will look at some of the types or kinds of diseases related to Gluten. This will include the symptomatic knowledge of each, along with negative health affects briefly. This, on the whole, should be reason enough for adopting a lifestyle that is free of Gluten products.
Some of the diseases or disorders related to Gluten are listed below:
- Gluten Intolerance merely refers to the discomfort associated with Gluten consumption. It can include symptoms like digestive discomfort, bloating, constipation, abdominal pain, etc. You can check with your doctor to see if you’ve Celiac Disease or not.
- Celiac Disease is the most severe form of Gluten Intolerance. It is also known as Coeliac disease. It is an autoimmune disease where Gluten is treated as an invader and this immune action can result in an attack on Gluten. The biggest side effect is the destruction of your villi or lining of gut. A number of health risks including anemia, digestive problems and nutrient deficiency are related with this health risk. If you’ve the symptoms of Gluten Intolerance, you need to get it checked first and foremost if you have this disease.
- Non-celiac Gluten sensitivity cannot be clearly defined in concrete terms. But the main thing is the negative reaction to Gluten and not Celiac. Research has shown that a small percentage of self-diagnosed Gluten allergic people either had wheat allergy or Celiac Disease. The rest had some other health related problems and did not test for Celiac. Yet they still had a negative reaction to Gluten. This is referred to as non-celiac Gluten insensitivity basically.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a digestive disorder that also has symptoms of abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea, cramping, etc. Although this syndrome can have other reasons too but if on inspection, Gluten is the causal link, then obviously a dietary change needs to take place. People with this disorder can adopt a Gluten-free diet to avoid these symptoms.
- Wheat allergy can also be the causal effect for digestive discomfort or issues. This happens when your body produces antibodies to the proteins found in wheat. Your immune action propels negative side effects. It is not necessarily gluten only, like in Celiac disease, causing the problem. It could simply be a matter of wheat allergy. So, you can adopt a diet free of not only Gluten, but mainly wheat, or products that have wheat as a cor ingredient in them. Start reading your labels now!
- Gluten ataxia is a neurological condition. This immune-mediated disease is triggered by Gluten intake, especially in individuals that are genetically susceptible to this response. The symptoms may vary and include unsteadiness on feet or body balance, vision problems, difficulty swallowing, etc. Gluten ataxia is a rare autoimmune disease that can also damage your cerebellum part in brain. This damage caused is irreversible. So it is essential to avoid Gluten at all costs.
FODMAPs “are short-chain carbohydrates found in many foods, including wheat.” Those people who are unable to digest these properly may also suffer from similar symptoms related to Gluten diseases, which makes them think that Gluten might be the core issue, which it is not. So the identification of the problem is important to diagnose its treatment. You might be having trouble with FODMAPs instead of Gluten.
It is highly recommended to consult your nutritionist or physician rather than proclaiming a self-diagnosed ailment or allergy for Gluten. This way you can ensure that your decision for a Gluten-free diet is a wise one and not misinformed.