There you are: partying hard with your friends. You have defied all the instructions of your nutritionist and are gobbling up foods and drinks like crazy. Then you start feeling some discomfiture in your tummy, which keeps getting worse by the minute. Naturally, several things will run in your mind then. You might suspect some food poisoning, contaminated food, improperly cooked food and a plethora of other causes. Question is: will gluten intolerance be one of the disorders you will suspect? Not many people know about it.
Gluten intolerance is a condition in which a person’s body reacts upon consumption of foods that contain gluten. You might have heard people say that they have problems with wheat, haven’t you? Well, there is a distinction between gluten intolerance and wheat allergy.
Gluten Intolerance: Which Foods?
Having said that, which foods contain gluten? Basically, gluten abounds in foods that come out of seeds that belong to the grass family. It is found in the endosperm section of those seeds. If you have ever wondered why dough rises in a harmonious manner, be aware that it is gluten that makes it elastic. You will find this substance in such foods as barley, wheat, spelt, kamut and rye.
You might now be wondering what happens in the body that triggers gluten intolerance. To explain that, let us imagine that you have taken a meal that contains gluten. Once in the digestive system, there are two components of gluten that are bound to cause problems if you are gluten intolerant. These are gliadin and glutenin. Both are insoluble in water. When your body detects them, it may instruct the immune system to respond with powerful antibodies. In the course of their action, the antibodies erode tiny things in the digestive systems referred to as villi.
Take note that it is the villi that absorb the food you have consumed into the bloodstream. When they are continuously eroded, you can’t get anything from the food you have taken. By that time, you will be feeling pain in your belly, and if it worsens it will cause a terrible rash, showing that the gluten elements are in your bloodstream.
If it happened that you had a wheat allergy instead of gluten intolerance, consuming such a gluten-rich meal might not have affected you as such. A wheat allergy ensues when a person’s body produces histamine to deal with wheat in the digestive system. Its symptoms show up quicker than those of the former.
Gluten Intolerance: Signs
Speaking of which, what are the tell-tale signs of gluten intolerance? It is argued that there are more than 250 manifestations of this disorder. They include bloating, constipation, malodorous stools, migraine, mouth ulcers, numbness of arms, vomiting, etc.
Because of the fact that gluten intolerance exhibits several symptoms, it is therefore recommended that you consult a doctor for guidance. You might be confusing it with wheat allergy or something else.
And does that mean that if someone has intolerance against gluten s/he cannot have fun with food? Definitely not. There are several foods that do not have it, including corn, rice, potatoes, yam, taro, soybean, chia seed and many others. So if you are careful you can avoid the foods that cause symptoms of gluten intolerance.