Gluten is essentially a type of protein that is found in grains, such as rye, barley, oats and wheat. Corn and millet also have high level of gluten. Because grains are common ingredients in many processed food products, we may also find gluten in marinades, sauces, canned soups and others. Powdered grains are often used to thicken food products. As an example, the thick tomato paste or sauce that we find in supermarket may contain some gluten, due to the use of grain-based thickener ingredient.
Before going further, we should know about the difference between gluten intolerance and celiac disease. It’s really easy to get confused about his matter. When we are gluten intolerant, it means that our body is unable to tolerate the presence of gluten in the food. In some cases, the symptom of this condition is relatively mild and we may not realize that we are intolerant to gluten. Celiac disease is a more serious condition and it is indicated as an allergic reaction to gluten. Just like other allergies, our immune system will also be activated, because gluten is wrongly accused as dangerous external substance. Early symptom can appear between 30 minutes to 3 hours after the ingestion of gluten. Symptoms can be quite dramatic and in some cases, we may need medical assistance.
You will definitely know when you have celiac disease, because it’s very apparent. Common symptoms of celiac disease may include weight gain/loss, constipation/diarrhea, lung problems, fatigue, inability to concentrate, depression and joint problems. So, we need to check with the doctor when our condition seems to get worse, each time we eat food that may contain some amount of gluten. It’s probably a good idea to take gluten out for a period of time and find out whether this small step could help us.
Improper reaction to gluten may result in a variety of health issues. If we continue to eat gluten regardless of our allergic reactions, the tissue in our body can be poorly affected and we will get sick. This isn’t a good condition and we should care about things that can happen to our body. We need to ensure our long term health and this include ensuring that our body responds properly to any external trigger. We may need to see the doctor, so we will be able to share our concerns. If we have been diagnosed with gluten intolerance or allergy, we need to do best we can to achieve a gluten free lifestyle.
Our best bet is to choose unprocessed ingredient that contains zero gluten, such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, fish and unprocessed meat. Some nuts and legumes should be safe to eat, but we need to ensure that they don’t contain gluten naturally or as additives in the manufacturing process. In general, don’t be scared. A gluten-free lifestyle isn’t a difficult thing to do. In reality, many people have limited variety of things that they eat and gluten-free diet could provide access to various healthy ingredients.