Gluten intolerances are common in today’s society and affect up to 15% of the population worldwide, many times these people are unaware and continue to suffer undiagnosed. What is gluten intolerance? It is where your immune system develops a hypersensitivity to one of the proteins found in gluten, causing your body to react in a negative way. This can cause symptoms such as bloating, gas, abdominal pains, constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion, stomach cramps, fatigue & exhaustion, weight loss or gain, malabsorption, aching joints or arthritis, eczema and headaches. This however, is not to be confused with Coeliac disease, which is an auto- immune disease, as well as a disease of malabsorption, to gluten and can be more severe (as it damages the small intestines) and has a sudden onset.
The foods to avoid as they all contain gluten include, grains and cereals such as wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt as well as breads, flour, biscuits, cakes, tarts, pizza, pies, porridge, pasta, noodles, cold cuts, salad dressings, malt, beer and many other processed foods which contain gluten.
Gluten intolerances are not usually detected early in life (due to the nature of the symptoms displayed) and will usually be triggered in most adults by a traumatic/stressful event in their life such as a job loss, death in the family, divorce, serious illness, surgery, infection, emotional stress and pregnancy/childbirth. You will find that mainly women suffer from this through bloating after eating food and children who get skin rashes or experience abdominal pain. The easiest and most effective way to treat gluten intolerance is through following a gluten-free diet. All it involves is eliminating all products/foods that contain gluten from your diet. This is easier now a days due to the many new gluten-free products available in supermarkets and through many websites or cookbooks which offer gluten-free recipes and restaurants that cater for gluten-free customers.
There are many great websites full of informative literature about this topic, such as http://www.foodintol.com/ . It along with many others explains what it is, how you can identify it, how you can treat it and feel better again. Many people who have experienced some of the above mentioned symptoms and eliminated gluten from their diet have raved about how they feel and the difference it has made to their health. If you are concerned about gluten in your diet speak with your Doctor or a health professional and look at making a change for the better.