For anyone who suspects they have an allergy to gluten, there are three simple questions they should have answered, and they are as follows.
What is Gluten? The word gluten, which is Latin for “glue”, refers to a substance found in many grains that is connected to that plant’s starch. It is not uncommon to find gluten in wheat, rye or barley. The name gluten refers to the sticky properties it gives bread, or its elasticity. Gluten also provides the chewiness in bagels or pizza crust. Gluten might also appear in imitation meat or pet food for added protein.
What is a Gluten Allergy? An allergy to gluten is actually a side effect of another disease entirely, coeliac disease, which is caused by an atypical immune response to partially digested gliadin, a variety of gluten found in wheat. Roughly one percent of people have gluten allergies.
How do I Know if I have Gluten Allergies? Unfortunately, trying to pinpoint gluten sensitivity is difficult. These Gluten allergy symptoms include dermatitis and difficulty breathing after exercise. Of course, these symptoms may not occur, and even if they do, they may be indicators of other medical problems. Your best bet is if you are experiencing any symptoms, see your doctor for some basic tests. They can determine if you have allergies, or some other side illness. Should it be anything else, you will want to know that anyway.
If your gluten sensitivity is due to coeliac disease, you may experience diarrhea or fatigue, as the disease causes your small intestine to fail in absorbing necessary nutrients.
Luckily, if you are shown to have gluten sensitivity, many restaurants and store bought products are now advertising themselves as gluten-free. Despite affecting such a small part of society, options are readily available for you, and making the necessary dietary changes should be relatively simple.