Recognizing the Signs of Gluten Allergy Symptoms
The word "gluten" is buzzing around the health word. But what actually is this "gluten" everyone keeps chatting about? Is it the bad guy it is perceived to be? Find those common questions answered and discussed here!
The word "gluten" is buzzing around the health word. But what actually is this "gluten" everyone keeps chatting about? Is it the bad guy it is perceived to be? Might you be allergic or sensitive to it? What foods should or do not need to be avoided? Find those common questions answered and discussed here!
What Is Gluten?
Unlike popular belief, gluten is not the weight-enhancing or health-tarnishing compound located in the food supply. In fact, it is a generally harmless protein naturally produced in barley, rye, and wheat and their products such as breads and pastas. Gluten, however, is destructive within the body if diagnosed with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance. Additionally, gluten-containing wheat products may trigger an allergic reaction.
What Are the Most Prominent Gluten Allergy Symptoms?
A gluten allergy can be an umbrella term for either a gluten sensitivity or a wheat allergy. Common symptoms of gluten intolerance or sensitivity include:
• Abdominal bloating and pain
• Mouth ulcers
• Gas (flatulence)
• Fat in the stool (steatorrhea)
• Weight loss
• Skin rashes
• Burning sensation in the chest
• Feelings of anxiety
Prominent allergy symptoms are much like other food or seasonal allergies along with gastrointestinal symptoms appearing much like celiac disease or intolerance:
• Wheezing and difficulty breathing
• Appearance of a rash or hives
• Nausea and vomiting
• Abdominal pain and cramps
What is Gluten Intolerance and A Wheat Allergy?
Gluten intolerance, or sensitivity, matches most of the characteristics of celiac disease though a true celiac diagnosis or allergy is much more severe and damaging to the body. An intolerance still exacerbates similar gastrointestinal symptoms including bloating, diarrhea, and additional distress and upset. However, an intolerance is unlikely to damage the gastrointestinal tract and create a number of nutritional deficiencies and conditions - vitamin and mineral deficiencies and lactose intolerance just to name a few.
A wheat allergy can be severe, mostly depending on the individual's own susceptibility and response. If gluten is consumed and cascades a reaction, the consequence may trigger anaphylactic shock or potentially death. Keeping an epinephrine pen on hand may be lifesaving. Though a wheat allergy is vastly different from celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, all wheat or gluten-related conditions are treated and managed by eliminating wheat and gluten-containing products in the diet.
What Foods Can I Eat on a Gluten-Free Diet?
Though gluten is found in a wide range of products, bountiful gluten-free options exist in wide varieties. Grocery stores commonly feature a gluten-free product aisle to make choices more apparent and an easier task for gluten-free shoppers. Gluten-free labels on food products can further indicate whether or not it actually is an appropriate choice. Additionally, restaurants are making great strides in accommodating to the gluten-free population. But beyond labeled packaged food and offered meal choices at restaurants, there are food options that are naturally gluten-free while others essentially hide its content.
Foods That Are Naturally Gluten-Free
• Some grains and starches including corn, rice, potato, and quinoa
• Eggs and and fresh meats and poultry
• Fish and seafood
• Fruits and veggies
• Milk and dairy products
• Legumes and lentils
• Nuts and nut flours
Overlooked Foods That May Contain Gluten
• Soups and sauces
• Salad dressings
• Dried fruits and premade smoothies
• Alcoholic beverages including beers
• Medications and supplements
What Can I Eat? Celiac Disease Foundation. Available at: https://celiac.org/live-gluten-free/glutenfreediet/food-options/.