What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten has binding properties that give food structure, so it is added to many processed and packaged foods. Some individuals are not able to tolerate gluten. Read further to learn why.
Some individuals who are not able to tolerate gluten may have celiac disease. Celiac disease is an inherited autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the lining of the gut. This affects the body’s ability to absorb certain nutrients. Symptoms of undiagnosed celiac disease include, weight loss, anemia, cramping, bloating and diarrhea. Some people are diagnosed in childhood, while others are diagnosed as adults. Currently, there is no cure for celiac disease. The only known treatment is the avoidance of gluten in the diet.
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity
Some individuals who cannot tolerate gluten may have non-celiac gluten sensitivity. This is a condition where the consumption of gluten causes a variety of symptoms including bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation and nausea. While some of the symptoms may be similar to celiac disease, there is no damage to the lining of the gut, as in celiac disease, so nutrients can be absorbed. Those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity often feel better and have relief from their symptoms by avoiding gluten containing foods.
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