Intolerance to gluten is a wheat-related condition. Some of the symptoms include pain and bloating in the belly after consuming foods that have gluten in them. Foods that have gluten will have wheat, barley, or rye in them.
According to researchers, gluten intolerance or non-celiac gluten sensitivity is similar to celiac disease in that the person can’t consume gluten. However, they are two distinctly separate conditions.
If a person has celiac, their immune system will attack the tissues in their own body. This is triggered by consuming gluten in the diet. It only happens if the person has a genetic vulnerability. According to scientists, there are specific genes that are behind celiac. These genes cause celiac disease. However, gluten intolerance isn’t as well understood, and scientists are not entirely sure what triggers an intolerance to gluten.
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Fast Facts About Gluten
Here are some of the more important points regarding gluten intolerance. There is more detail in the main article.
- Gluten intolerance is related to wheat disorders.
- The wheat sensitivity symptoms will include pain and bloating in the belly.
- Some diagnostics can be done to rule out celiac disease and treatment will be focused on dietary changes and adjustments.
Gluten intolerance happens after a person has consumed a wheat product. Here are some of the symptoms to watch for:
- Pain in the belly
- Feeling unwell
Here are some of the less common symptoms of a gluten intolerance:
- Pain in the stomach that is more than just belly pain.
- Muscle or joint pain
It’s vital to get medical advice to rule out other conditions that may be similar to gluten intolerance. Many conditions that affect the gut may also be overlapped with other conditions.
Diagnosing a gluten issue may require that the person continues to eat gluten products. Doctors must stress this to patients to effectively make an accurate diagnosis.
Severe abdominal pain isn’t a symptom of intolerance to gluten. If there is severe abdominal pain, it should be considered a medical emergency, and appropriate medical care should be sought out immediately.
Gluten is the term given to the proteins that are found in wheat and make it stretchy or elastic like when it is made into dough. It allows the wheat the ability to absorb water and stick together.
Wheat is the main component in gluten foods. However, barley and rye also contain gluten.
Gluten is also found in the following foods:
- Cracker type foods
While gluten is the root cause of celiac disease, there is much discussion regarding whether or not gluten is the cause of gluten-intolerance. According to scientists, there may be other contributing factors. There is a lot of discussion on non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
What Triggers The Symptoms Of Gluten Intolerance?
According to scientists, there are many contributing factors. However, they’re unsure why some people have different symptoms than others.
Differences In Gluten Intolerance And Wheat Allergies
There are differences in the two conditions. Gluten intolerance isn’t dangerous; however, a wheat allergy may be life-threating.
Symptoms Of Wheat Allergy:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Throat irritation
- Mouth irritation
- Stuffy nose
- Eye irritation
- Difficulty in breathing
Those who experience any of these symptoms should call for an ambulance right away.
It’s vital to seek medical attention urgently if you suspect there is a wheat allergy. Severe allergic reactions may be life threatening.
Diagnosis Of Gluten Intolerance
Before doctors diagnose gluten intolerance, they first check for other more severe conditions.
They begin the diagnosis with investigating the body and the signs and symptoms. Doctors will take a complete medical history of the gut, and that may signal to them that there is a gluten intolerance. The doctor will also ask about other health issues like celiac disease.
To test for celiac disease, doctors will test the blood for specific antibodies. If there aren’t any, then it’s likely not celiac disease.
They may also take a small biopsy of the small intestine. They will analyze this biopsy to see if there is any damage to the interior of the small intestine. If there is damage, it is very likely that the condition is celiac disease.
Diagnostics are done while the person is still consuming gluten. If the person weren’t consuming gluten, there wouldn’t be any reaction at all to the tests.
When the symptoms match up, the doctors will rule out other conditions and diagnose gluten intolerance.
Living With Gluten Intolerance
If a person does have gluten intolerance, it is controlled by living on a gluten-free diet. This is challenging as many of the everyday foods that are consumed naturally contain wheat.
Today, foods are labeled for wheat and other gluten content. This helps a lot over previous decades. Nutritionists and dieticians can also help.