Why Are Some People Gluten Intolerant?

Why Are Some People Gluten Intolerant?

Many of us eat bread on a daily basis, and would struggle to find an alternative, as it is such a natural part of our eating habits. Yet for millions of people around the world, regular bread and other baked goods are strictly off the menu. This is because they are sensitive to gluten, which is found in cereals such as wheat, barley, and rye.

What causes gluten sensitivity?

Clinicians divide gluten sensitivity into two separate groups: coeliac and non-coeliac. The former is an autoimmune disease, where the body’s immune system attacked itself when gluten is eaten. The lining of the gut becomes damaged, meaning that the body is unable to properly absorb nutrients from food. 

Non-coeliac gluten sensitivity occurs when the patient experiences digestive symptoms after eating wheat products. The most common include bloating, diarrhoea, stomach pain, and weight loss. In severe cases, the patient may also experience eczema, headaches, joint pain, depression, and fatigue. 

Scientists are as yet unable to explain why some people are sensitive to gluten, which is becoming a much more common problem. There is some disagreement and controversy in medical fields as to the exact causes.

How is gluten intolerance diagnosed?

Coeliac disease can be diagnosed with blood tests or a biopsy. There is no definite way to diagnose non-coeliac gluten sensitivity. The conclusion is reached by eliminating all gluten from the diet, to see if symptoms improve.

How is gluten intolerance treated?

Patients diagnosed with coeliac disease will almost certainly be referred to a dietitian to help them follow a gluten-free diet. This may also be true of those with suspected gluten sensitivity.

Fortunately nowadays, there is a much greater awareness of the conditions, and most major supermarkets now stock a range of products which do not contain gluten. For example, it is possible to buy Warburtons gluten free bread. There are also wheat-free biscuits, cakes, and other baked goods available, so luckily patients don’t need to give them up entirely!

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By | 2021-09-26T13:32:15+00:00 September 26th, 2021|Blog|Comments Off on Why Are Some People Gluten Intolerant?

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