Gluten Intolerance symptoms are often wrongly associated with food allergies. These symptoms, however, are not caused by food allergy but are the result of gluten sensitivity due to an immune disorder. Allergies generally indicate an immediate reaction whereas intolerances leads to long term effects.
Gluten is a highly complex protein that is usually found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye and oats. It is generally present in all types of wheat grains including whole grain wheat, spelt, wheat bran etc. Sensitivity or intolerance to any product containing this complex protein is referred to as Gluten Intolerance.
The intensity of Gluten symptoms usually varies from one individual to another. Some basic gastrointestinal Gluten Intolerance symptoms include problems like abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, vomiting, etc.
Other common symptoms of Gluten Intolerance are headaches, skin rashes, excessive fatigue, gas, flatulence, bloating and other short term effects of Gluten on the body. Few individuals may also experience constipation; however, this is less common.
Factors like emotional stress, serious infection, pregnancy, surgery or other traumatic events tend to increase the risk of developing this frustrating condition.
Gluten Effects on Body
Effects of Gluten on body are generally systemic and tend to cause problems after the individual suffering from this problem continues having gluten products over a period of time.
Therefore, Gluten Intolerance usually becomes severe and serious in due course of time, especially when it is accompanied by Celiac Disease. For instance, Gluten Intolerance symptom of nutritional deficiency mostly appears after a long period of time.
Negative effects of gluten also include problems like weight gain or weight loss, persistent anemia, dizziness, joint pain, numbness, irritability, anxiety, infertility, dental problems and poor growth in case of babies. Ill effect of gluten on the body, in case of women, is characterized by irregular menstruation and increased risk of miscarriages as well.
Gluten Intolerance is often confused with Celiac Disease as both the conditions are quite similar to one another. Thus, it often becomes imperative to distinguish between both these conditions.
For instance, the onset of Celiac Disease is more suddenly as compared to Gluten Intolerance. In addition, Gluten Intolerance is usually more difficult to diagnose as it is a broader term that includes all types of gluten sensitivities.
Dealing with Gluten Intolerance
Eliminating components of gluten from the diet through proper nutrition therapy is the best cure for Gluten Intolerance. Buckwheat, rice, corn flour, soy, potato and similar other products serve as good alternatives to foods containing gluten.
Individuals relying more on packaged foods can bear in mind that products bearing the label ‘wheat-free’ are not necessarily ‘gluten-free’. Hence, they need to choose their foods wisely.
Blood tests involving tests for antibodies and biopsy of the small intestine are generally required to diagnose this disease. Proper diagnosis plays a key role in dealing with this problem effectively under proper guidance. Gluten Intolerance symptoms, however, are less serious when the condition is not accompanied by Celiac Disease.