Food & Nutrition

What’s Gluten Intolerance, How to Detect it & Gluten-Free Food

In recent years, gluten intolerance has enjoyed great media and public attention, and gluten-free food products occupy an increasing proportion of supermarket shelves. Glutamine has become particularly popular since Miley Cyrus leans on Twitter, saying with blushing expressions that gluten is unsuitable for consumption.

Gluten-free diet a new fashion trend or an objectively imposed health necessity?

To answer this question, we need to start with the basic facts. Well-known gluten is nothing more than protein in cereals, nothing more than hundreds of others. What is then due to its media status? It turns out that there are different forms of gluten sensitivity and intolerance. Here, it is important to clarify that allergy to gluten and Celiac disease, although immunological conditions, are not identical concepts. These are two different medical conditions arising from an abnormal immunological response to the gluten molecule. In particular, Polycystic ovary is a type of autoimmune disease, while allergy is not.

How to detect gluten intolerance?

Most forms of gluten intolerance are manifested by swelling, cramps, joint pain, and diarrhea when consuming gluten. For gluten intolerance there is no cure, it is enough to avoid the protein, as it is especially important for Celiac disease because each subsequent intake of gluten progressively damages the digestive tract and progresses more heavily than the previous one.

Gastroenterologist’s find that the incidence of gluten intolerance and especially Celiac disease is increasing. Many professionals believe that Celiac disease today is 4 times more common than 50 years ago. It is still too early to say what exactly this is due to – a true increase in the incidence of the disease or just an increase in the spread of gluten. The fact is that it is widely used in the food industry as it gives elasticity to the dough. As more and more manufacturers explicitly mark their gluten-free products to meet the needs of people with gluten tolerance, more and more people who can safely eat gluten give up on it.

Why is this and what is more important – is it right?

Many teenagers go on a gluten-free diet to lose weight. It often happens that by refraining from gluten-free foods they are also stripped of important nutrients and minerals such as zinc, fiber and folic acid. Moreover, the exercise is often counterproductive because many of the gluten-free foods contain higher amounts of fat and carbohydrates (gluten is protein), and therefore more calories.

Gluten isn’t a poison!

Therefore, we should point out that gluten is not poison, as many may think. For those who do not suffer from gluten intolerance, it is no different from any other food protein. It is unwise and even dangerous to make drastic changes in the diet just to imitate one or another celebrity, or even a fashion icon.

Even more dangerous, however, may be undiagnosed Celiac disease. If we suspect gluten intolerance or Celiac disease, we should not rush to exclude gluten from food, but first seek medical advice and only then (possibly) stop gluten unless the doctor advises us to do so.

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