So many people have digestive and health problems caused by eating gluten or wheat, even if they haven’t been diagnosed with Celiac’s.
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It’s important to understand what gluten is– it’s a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Wheat is a grain commonly found in breads, pastas, and cereal. It also often finds its way into foods like processed foods like soups and salad dressings as well. Barley is often found in beer and foods containing malt. Rye is commonly found in rye bread, rye beer, and some cereals.
In some people, gluten is mistaken as a foreign invader (such as a bacteria) when it reaches the immune system cells in the digestive tract. This is often what triggers allergic reactions.
You’re probably starting to see now that Gluten is all over, and can be difficult to avoid. If you have an allergy to gluten and don’t manage to avoid it, you might experience symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, eye irritation, difficulty breathing, irritation of the mouth and throat, or hives and a rash. You might also experience a mental fog, fatigue, abdominal discomfort, or a headache.
You aren’t alone in this, either– gluten is one of the top 8 allergens in the U.S., and the symptoms can range from mild to severe. About 6% of the U.S. population suffers from some degree of gluten intolerance, which for now is only treatable with a gluten-free diet.
Researchers continue the search for specific biomarkers that will tell us how to definitively diagnose someone with gluten intolerance (without a Celiac’s diagnosis).
It’s been quite a struggle to get gluten intolerance (without a Celiac’s diagnosis) to be recognized by the medical community, but in the last few years, it’s received a lot of attention. Diagnoses are on the rise for both Celiac’s and gluten intolerance, and more Americans than ever are cutting gluten out of their diets.
Do you think that you have gluten intolerance? How have you worked to cut your gluten intake?
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