All You Need To Know About Gluten Intolerance

Dr. Pooja Bohora

About 99% of people who have gluten intolerance are never actually diagnosed.

Gluten intolerance is an adverse reaction to gluten, a type of protein found mostly in wheat, barley, and rye. About 99% of people who have gluten intolerance or celiac disease are never actually diagnosed.

Gluten Intolerance Vs. Celiac Disease: What’s the Difference?

Gluten intolerance and celiac disease are two different conditions exhibiting the same types of symptoms. Gluten intolerance is an allergic reaction to gluten. Celiac, on the other hand, is a rare autoimmune disorder wherein the person is unable to digest gluten. This results in the damage of your small intestinal lining that promotes nutrient absorption. Untreated celiac disease can cause malnutrition, cancer, stunted growth, other psychiatric disorders, and sometimes, even death.

Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance

•Gastrointestinal issues, including abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, constipation or diarrhoea
•Difficulty remembering information
•Depression and anxiety
•Iron-deficiency anaemia
•Muscle and joint pain
•Unexplained weight loss
•Numbness in the arms or legs
•Skin problems, including psoriasis, alopecia, dermatitis, eczema, rosacea and skin rashes

How to know if you have Gluten Intolerance?

If you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms often, there are chances of you being intolerant to gluten. What you can do is go for an elimination diet, wherein you eliminate every food that contains gluten from your diet for at least a month and then reintroduces it after the 30 days have passed. You should know that gluten is a fairly large protein and it can take a while for gluten to completely be out of your system. So, make sure you go for a 100% gluten-free diet for 30 days and keep a note of what you experience soon after, followed by monitoring if your symptoms return while you reintroduce gluten into your diet after the 30 days.

For an appropriate diagnosis of gluten intolerance, your doctor may suggest the following tests for you:
• IgA anti-gliadin antibodies (these are found in about 80% of people with Celiac Disease)
• IgG anti-gliadin antibodies
• IgA anti-endomysial antibodies
• Tissue Transglutaminase antibodies
• Total IgA antibodies
• Genetic testing (HLA DQ2 and HLA DQ8)
• Intestinal biopsy (for Celiacs)

Foods to avoid in case of Gluten Intolerance

Here’s a list of foods to avoid if you are sensitive to gluten:
• Wheat or any wheat derivatives that contain gluten
• Rye
• Barley
• Triticale
• Malt or any malted milk or milkshakes, malt extract, malt syrup, malt flavouring, malt vinegar
• Brewer’s Yeast
• Wheat Starch

Foods that are Gluten-Free

• Vegetables
• Fruits
• Meat and poultry
• Fish and seafood
• Dairy
• Beans, legumes, and nuts

Some other examples of gluten-free foods include rice, corn, soy, potato, tapioca, millet, flax, and chia.

To plan a perfectly healthy gluten-free diet, consult top dietitians online on Mfine now.

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