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Gluten foods cause for gut-related ailments

Posted:  Thursday, June 02, 2016

Nowadays, people are experiencing digestive ailments more than ever before. The underlying cause may be wheat, and more specifically, gluten. Wheat and gluten are found in nearly everything we consume and use. Gluten can be found in non-dietary components too, and in hair and skin care products.

The most common disorders related to gluten are intolerance or allergy. Gluten protein intolerance triggers an autoimmune response in individuals, resulting in gluten sensitivity or wheat allergy. Allergic symptoms may include hives, anaphylactic shock, eczema, asthma, nausea, arthritis, and vomiting, which can be diagnosed through a skin prick test. In gluten sensitivity, milder forms are hard to diagnose.

Wheat or gluten intolerance can also be associated with the development of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD): Crohn’s Disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), both affecting the GI tract. The symptoms include abdominal pain, vomiting, mouth sores, fever, and diarrhoea. Diagnosis is based on symptoms and a colonoscopy.

Another related disorder is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), symptoms of which include abdominal pain, discomfort, and abnormal bowel habits: sometimes with extreme diarrhoea or constipation, or alternating between the two. The exclusion of wheat or gluten foods from the diet may alleviate these disorders.

The following are sources of wheat or gluten, gluten-free food alternatives, and whole-food alternatives:

Wheat or gluten sources Gluten-free food alternatives Whole-food alternatives
• Wheat, rye, barley, and their products - flour, bread, beer, and pasta, Gluten-free flour, gluten-free bread, gluten-free pasta, and gluten-free alcohol Elimination of processed foods; inclusion of whole foods, fresh and cooked vegetables, and fruits
• Fillers- as “food starch”, in seitan, soy sauce or malt vinegar Microscopic presence of gluten may cause problem for sensitive people or may cause cross reactions to other grains.  
• Frozen foods such as french fries coated with flour    

There are chances of persons being sensitive to more than one protein, hence cross reactions may occur. The possible foods that people may be sensitive other than gluten foods and may experience cross reactions are corn, soy or oats.

Eliminating processed foods not only brings respite from sensitivity or allergic problems but also reduces the risk of excess weight gain, which is associated with a greater intake of processed, high-sugar, or low-fibre foods.

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