Gluten is a combination of two proteins, gliadin and glutenin. It is found in barley, wheat and rye and when it is mixed with water it becomes sticky forming a doughy texture. Gluten is used in a large selection of foods adding chewiness and texture to baked goods, it is also used as a thicken and binder, a protein supplement and a flavour enhancer.
There are four main proteins in gluten, they are globulins, albumins, prolamins and glutelins. prolamis and glutelins are found in greater quantities in wheat, whilst globulins and albumins are higher in corn and rice. for those that suffer an intolerance to gluten Glutelins is the most dangerous of all the proteins.
Gluten intolerance will cause the body to produce an abnormal reaction in the immune system producing symptoms such as difficulty in breathing, hives, digestive problems and in extreme cases anaphylaxis, which can be life threatening.
Gluten intolerance is also a term used to describe Coeliac Disease which is an autoimmune condition where the gluten causes the immune system to create antibodies which attack the lining of the bowel reducing the nutrients and vitamins the body takes from its food, causing problems such as weight loss, fatigue, and headaches. If left untreated coeliac disease can lead to osteoporosis, anaemia and low bone density.
What are Gluten allergy symptoms?
Coeliac disease can effect children and adults differently and there are many symptoms including:
It is not possible to prevent coeliac disease, however a gluten-free diet can reverse the damage done to the bowls and vitamin and mineral supplements can be taken to restore your body’s natural balance.
The only way that you can prevent continued damage by gluten is to avoid it completely by means of a gluten-free diet, however this can be difficult to do. Gluten is found in many products so you must examine the labels on everything you consume very carefully. Because gluten is used in such a large selection of foods you may find it difficult to find a replacement product to provide you with the fibre, vitamins and minerals that you require for a healthy diet.
As a brief guide to what is gluten free you need to avoid the following:
Foods that you can eat include
Although maintaining a strict diet is difficult it is the only way that you will control your gluten intolerance.