Gluten intolerance or sensitivity is a condition in which a person experiences a reaction when they ingest gluten. The symptoms of gluten intolerance differ from person to person and depend on how bad the reaction to gluten is.
After being ignored by the medical community for many years, gluten intolerance is now considered a medical condition. It differs from wheat allergies, gluten ataxia and celiac disease and holds its own category in the gluten-related disorders world. So while all the above exhibit similar symptoms, they are considered different disorders or conditions.
One of the reasons that gluten intolerance is now considered different from other gluten-related conditions is that research has shown that the response from the intestines is different with each condition. Although the symptoms and reactions to a lot of the gluten-related conditions are the same, where they take place within the body is different.
We will delve more into the symptoms and reactions in just a little bit, but the very fact that they are considered different conditions means that getting a diagnosis is vital. Without a diagnosis of your gluten-related condition, you cannot receive the correct treatment for it.
What Is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein; it is in rye, wheat and barley and any products made with any of these. This means that people with a gluten intolerance need to be very careful when shopping. In a world where so much is added to our food, you need to read the ingredient lists on pre-made food very carefully to ensure that nothing you eat contains gluten.
The Causes Of Gluten Intolerance
There’s still loads of research going on into the causes of gluten intolerance, so we don’t know too much about the causes as of yet. However, many gluten-related conditions result from the immune system reacting to gliadin, a gluten protein. This puts gluten-related conditions in the autoimmune disorder category of medical conditions. Having said that, research still needs to be done into the causes of gluten intolerance.
Currently, as the causes of gluten intolerance are not known, there is no cure for gluten intolerance. Your best option at the moment is to move to a gluten-free diet. However, if a cause can be found and it is easy to solve, this may change in the future.
The Symptoms Of Gluten Intolerance
The symptoms of gluten intolerance differ from person to person, as we said above, but they can also change over time. Gluten intolerance symptoms range from mild to severe, but some people may have no symptoms at all and only experience symptoms later on in life.
Some common symptoms of gluten intolerance include:
- Gastrointestinal symptoms – these include bloating, gas, diarrhoea, cramps, nausea and vomiting
- Fatigue and weakness
- Irritability, depression and panic attacks
- Fluid retention
- Mouth sores and tooth discolouration
- Muscle cramps, weakness and wasting
- Blood in urine and stool
- Fool-smelling stool
- Nerve damage which can lead to tingling in the feet and legs
Most people with gluten intolerance will only experience minor symptoms like cramps, bloating and excess gas. Some people may experience no clear sign of gluten intolerance but just simply feel a little unwell.
What Happens In My Body If I’m Gluten Intolerant?
So, as we’ve said, when you eat gluten, there is a reaction. This reaction begins almost immediately after gluten has been eaten. It is the amino acids in the gliadin protein that starts this reaction and the complex events that follow. Essentially once the gluten reaches your intestines, it starts breaking down the villi. Villi are finger-like projections on the wall of your small intestine that absorb nutrients from the food you eat. Because the gluten is breaking these down, the body releases antibodies to try and stop it. These are basically soldiers within the body that stop anything trying to destroy it. These “soldiers” are the things that are responsible for the symptoms you have, the bloating, gas and things. Quite simply, the symptoms of gluten intolerance are caused by the battle between your immune system and the gluten trying to break things down within your small intestine.
Who Is Affected By Gluten Intolerance?
Well, as gluten intolerance is a fairly new disease (or at least has only recently been recognised as one), there isn’t too much known about who is affected by it. So, this means that pretty much anyone can be affected by gluten intolerance. However, some research has been done into this area of the condition, and you may be more affected by gluten intolerance if you experience a lot of stress and anxiety in your life.
How Do I Know If I’m Gluten Intolerant?
You’ll know that something isn’t right in your body just by the symptoms alone. However, you likely won’t know what’s causing these symptoms until you go and see a doctor. As we said, most gluten-related conditions have very similar symptoms, so you need to see a doctor to have them confirm what is causing these symptoms.
How Can I Reduce My Discomfort From Gluten Intolerance?
Well, the only way to reduce your discomfort from gluten intolerance currently is a gluten-free diet. There is no cure for gluten intolerance currently because not enough research has been done into it. Unfortunately, this can mean that some foods are completely off limits to you, unless there is a gluten-free alternative. Now, most supermarkets around the world now have a gluten-free section where you can find loads of alternatives to foods you like that won’t kick your gluten intolerance into overdrive.
Our Gluten Free Protein
For many of our lovely customers, who are aiming to lead a healthy balanced lifestyle and exercise regularly, finding gluten-free protein powder can be a big issue. Whey protein, is only completely gluten-free when it is pure. However, many poor quality products some contain gluten products to pad them out. This is why we made sure to create the very best quality FreeFrom product which can be enjoyed with anyone suffering with intolerances. And it is 100% USDA organic too!
We hope this look at gluten intolerance has been helpful. Before you leave our website make sure you check out our Super Lean Vegan Protein powder, it can help you train whether you are vegan, lactose intolerant, gluten intolerant or just want a lean, non-bloating protein powder that is great for you!
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