What gluten is, why people should avoid it, and how to avoid it.
Things You'll Need
- a list of gluten containing foods
- a list of non-gluten foods
- this article
- Step One - Gluten is the protein part of wheat, spelt, rye, barley, most oats, and other related grains. Gluten intolerance is the inability to digest or break down gluten. This condition can range from a mild sensitivity to full blown celiac disease. The skin disorder called dermatitis herpetiformis, which causes a chronic itchy rash of bumps and blisters, is also linked to gluten allergies. The gluten-free diet must be strictly followed by sufferers of celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis.
- Step Two - Around ½% of the world's population is Celiac. This means ~1 in 200 people. Some people are not celiac, but have intolerance to gluten. Some studies show gluten intolerance to be around 30 times more prevalent than celiac disease. Up to 15% of people or 1 in 7 are gluten sensitive and suffer the same symptoms. These are people who test negative or inconclusive for celiac disease. They are known as Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitive (NCGS). Symptoms include gastro-intestinal issues, headaches, mouth ulcers, weight gain or weight loss, poor immunity to disease, and skin problems like dermatitis and eczema.
- Step Three - According to some celiac specialist researchers, everyone has some reaction to gluten, but non-celiacs recover quickly. Many people report feeling better on a gluten free diet. Many studies have found that a gluten free diet significantly decreases allergy symptoms among children. Some medical practitioners believe that gluten-free diets benefit other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, ADD/ADHD, autism, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, thyroid disease and other autoimmune disorders.
- Step Four - Sticking to a gluten-free diet is not easy. Grains are used in many foods, especially processed foods, which everyone should avoid despite gluten intolerances. It is often difficult to determine by an ingredient’s name what may be in it, so it is easy to eat gluten despite the best of intentions. Gluten is used in unexpected ways, so be wary of the following:
- Step Five - Stabilizing agents or thickeners in foods
- Step Six - Over-the-counter or prescription medications
- Step Seven - Vitamins
- 8Step Eight - Cosmetics such as lipstick
- 9Step NineLip balm, and chapsticks may contain gluten.
Overall Tips & Warnings
- Be cautious of shredded cheese as well, it's often tossed with a little flour to keep the cheese from sticking together.
- A diagnosis of celiac disease, or even gluten intolerance, requires careful changes in your routine, but you can still live your life.
- Many of the diet guidelines are ones that everyone should adhere to for a healthy lifestyle.
- Sticking to a diet of whole, fresh, unprocessed foods eliminates any worry about confusing and hidden ingredients and offers a healthy way of life.