Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Coeliac Disease and Gluten Intolerance: What You Need to Know


Coeliac Disease and Gluten Intolerance: What You Need to Know

Medical research driven by improved diagnostic procedures has started to throw up an increasing number of allergies that were hitherto unknown. Doctors have, for example, come to the understanding that some people are highly reactive to iodine, which is essential for proper functioning of thyroid, and the popular food dye called red 40; in other words, they are allergic to these substances. Coeliac disease or gluten intolerance is another type of food allergy and the awareness of this dangerous condition has risen in recent times.

Coeliac disease sufferers are known to be allergic to gluten, which is a protein found in such grains as barley, wheat and rye. Gluten is believed to be capable of causing damage to the small intestines of such people through reactions in the tiny hair-like villi. If a coeliac disease patient continues to consume gluten unabated in their diet, the villi in their small intestines would be badly damaged thereby making it rather hard for the much-needed nutrients to be absorbed from foods eaten during digestion.

Gluten intolerance goes beyond merely being an allergy in that it is believed to be genetic in nature. So if you know anyone having such a problem or you are the one having it, there is need for you or that person to go for genetic testing before severe damage is done to the small intestines leading to further complications. Osteoporosis, neurological problems, pancreatic and gall bladder malfunctions, and anemia are some of the health issues that could result from gluten intolerance.

Coeliac disease patients need to stay away from gluten totally in order to ensure good health. Diarrhea, back pain, bloating, abdominal pains, weight loss, weakness and muscle cramps are some possible symptoms of this disorder that should be noted. Once you realize you have the disorder, it is highly important that you completely steer clear of baked foods containing wheat flour as well as pasta, soy sauce and malted beers. You will be surprised when you realize the long list of foods containing gluten in them, so you have to watch it!

It is really a surprise realizing how many people suffer from gluten intolerance in America. Approximately 3 million Americans are believed to be affected by the medical condition. It is, therefore, advisable to start looking in the direction of substitutes for foods made from such grains as wheat, rye and barley known to contain gluten to maintain good health.

These days, it is possible to get pasta, bread and crackers that are completely gluten-free from the stores. Another alternative is to make them in your own home making use of flours derived from cassava, rice, arrowroot and so on.

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