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My Non Gluten Life | Define Gluten

Define Gluten

by James Novotny 5. February 2010 15:23

Do I Need to Avoid Foods Containing Gluten?

With all of the various food allergies and sensitivities that everyone claims to have these days, in addition to all of the conflicting advice on which foods are healthy and which will make us sick, it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction and decide what is best for us. With all of the new labels touting to be gluten free, many of us are afraid to eat anything resembling a grain. The truth is that, in general, food is not the enemy. However, for many living with food allergies, certain items can be detrimental to one's health and quality of life. Therefore, it is good to pay attention to how you feel after eating certain foods and then, if you suspect an allergy or sensitivity, to consult your doctor for the appropriate diagnostic tests.

Gluten is a protein found in various types of grains. These grains typically include wheat, rye, barley, as well as several others. As this part of the grain can become very sticky, it is what gives dough and baked goods their elasticity and cohesiveness, thus helping them stay together. So why are so many gluten free foods hitting the shelves these days? Well, the reason is that, for many, gluten is simply not very digestible. Many people seem to have some sort of sensitivity to it and can have a variety of symptoms, ranging from a mild fatigue or stomach upset, to a full-blown auto-immune attack.

While a sensitivity is not as serious as someone with an allergy, foods that are not gluten free can cause quite a bit of discomfort for a great number of people. While it is important to pay attention to how certain foods affect you and to take note of the food contains gluten, an allergy can only be officially determined through a series of diagnostic tests. These can include blood tests, endoscopies, and then a variety of others in order to determine the effects that the condition could be having throughout the body.

The reason for these tests is because a true gluten allergy, or Celiac Disease, can damage the small intestine and lead to poor absorption of the nutrients from the food that we eat. Therefore, in addition to avoiding gluten, it is important to determine what other effects this autoimmune condition is having on the body. Luckily, an increasing number of companies and restaurants are getting wise to this widespread condition and are offering more gluten free options than ever before, making it much easier to get and stay healthy.

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Comments


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