Gluten is a protein that is found in barley, oats, rye, and wheat. For most people eating foods that are not gluten free does not bother them but there are three health reasons why someone might have to give up eating foods that contain gluten.
• Celiac Disease-people who have this disease, according to the Mayo Clinic, have an immune reaction to gluten that interferes with the absorption of vital nutrients and causes damage to their small intestine. Some of the mild symptoms are minor skin rashes and digestive problems but there can also be severe symptoms like intense abdominal pain, anemia, and arthritis. So many people have not been diagnosed with Celiac disease that it is hard to pinpoint how many in the United States has it but health experts figure it is two to three million people.
• Wheat allergy-this is a completely separate health condition from celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. This is a histamine reaction to wheat. It is like a shellfish or peanut allergy. Usually if a person has a wheat allergy they will have stomach pain, rashes, or hives after they eat anything with wheat in it.
• Gluten intolerance-many people are gluten intolerant or have sensitivity to gluten. They can experience many of the same symptoms as people with celiac disease but they do not have any damage to their small intestine. Some studies and theories link gluten intolerance to things such as depression, anxiety, irritability, and chronic fatigue.
How to treat these health conditions
The main way to treat these is to eliminate gluten and wheat from your diet. Being gluten free will usually clear up all the major systems along with the healing of the lining of your small intestine. This will help to fade intestinal discomfort. You will have to have a totally gluten free diet that you follow which means no barley, rye, or wheat of any type. For some people with any of these health conditions ingesting even a tiny amount of gluten by accident can cause a recurrence of the symptoms.
It is important to note that you can eliminate gluten entirely from your diet by just giving up bread of any kind. The truth is, gluten is in many processed foods. This means that you will have to eat less processed food and being able to cook from scratch more often. When doing grocery-shopping look for foods like cereals that state they are gluten free It is hard to go out to eat because many foods in restaurants contain even small amounts of gluten. It can be hard for many people to go gluten free because there are so many things that you cannot eat.
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