so chances are you’re on this blog because you are have just been told that you have to live a gluten-free lifestyle. there are 4 main reasons to be gluten-free that I will be covering to give more information. the 4 reasons are celiac disease, gluten-sensitivity, a wheat allergy, or gluten intolerance. I have a gluten-sensitivity, but I am well-versed on all the reasons.
first: celiac disease – Celiac Disease is a serious autoimmune disorder where the small intestine lacks the microvilli necessary to digest the protein gluten which is found in all wheats, and also rye and barley. What this means is that whenever gluten enters the body, it tears small holes in the lining of the small intestine. There are over 200 symptoms of Celiac Disease but the most common ones are nausea, migraines, ADHD, stomach issues, back pain, and iron deficiency. Celiac Disease affects about 1% of all Americans. There is no cure for celiac disease but it can be treated by a completely gluten-free diet which includes all gluten-free food, and all food that has been touched by gluten aka cross-contamination.
second: gluten sensitivity – Gluten sensitivity is where individuals have a sensitivity to the protein gluten but do not have celiac disease. These people experience the same symptoms as people with Celiac’s but do not have Celiac Disease. Gluten sensitive people also need to avoid all gluten and cross-contamination. Gluten sensitivity is not as severe as Celiac Disease because it does not cause as much intestine damage as Celiac Disease.
third: wheat allergy – If you have a wheat allergy when your immune system has an abnormal reaction to any of the proteins found in wheat. The difference between celiacs and a wheat allergy is that celiacs affects your intestinal system while a wheat allergy affects your immune system. Symptoms of a wheat allergy include hives or rash, irritation of the mouth and throat, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, nasal congestion, eye irritation, trouble breathing. If you have a severe enough allergy, you can go into anaphylaxis which is potentially life-threatening. People with a wheat allergy need to avoid all products that have wheat, so your best bet is going gluten-free.
fourth: gluten intolerance – People who are gluten-intolerant are people who have symptoms and may or may not have celiac disease. This means that you typically haven’t received the blood test to see if you have or don’t have celiacs. Symptoms include cramping, bloating, nausea, and diarrhea. If you have gluten intolerance, I recommend going to your doctors to have a blood test to see if you do have celiacs.
I know all of these reasons sound scary but it’s easy to avoid these symptoms by simply going gluten-free which is a lot easier that it seems!