Have you ever experienced the symptoms of gluten intolerance? This combination of glutenin and gliadin is found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. Gluten is the structure that makes it possible to form bread dough and is obtained during the process of washing starch.
Unfortunately, the body of some people cannot tolerate this substance. Thus, gluten intolerance is a disorder that can affect intestinal health.
What is gluten intolerance and how is it triggered?
In some people, gluten destroys the villi that adhere to the walls of the lining of the small intestine. This effect prevents the body from processing food. Therefore, there is a chronic inflammation of the intestines, which prevents the proper absorption of nutrients.
How is it diagnosed?
Gluten intolerance can be diagnosed using the following tests:
- Blood tests (on an empty stomach)
- Intestinal biopsies (involves obtaining a tissue sample from the upper part of the small intestine)
What are the symptoms of gluten intolerance?
- Digestive problems such as diarrhea, inflammation, intestinal gas and constipation
- Presence of keratosis pilaris (chicken skin) on the back of the arms due to deficiency of fatty acids and vitamin A
- A feeling of tiredness after eating gluten-containing foods
- Triggering of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, colitis or lupus
- Neurological problems such as dizziness and loss of balance
- Hormonal imbalances
- Recurrent migraine
- Joint pain and inflammation
- Sudden mood swings (anxiety, depression, euphoria)
- Difficulty concentrating
How is gluten intolerance treated?
To control the symptoms of gluten intolerance, it is important to adopt a diet completely free of this substance. Gluten intolerance cannot be treated with medication, so patients should resort to other strategies. By avoiding gluten-free foods, the symptoms of the disease will disappear and the small intestine will begin to heal.
Recovery is permanent, but only if you completely eliminate gluten from your diet. Even small amounts of this substance can make the symptoms worse. If you fail to follow a 100% gluten-free diet, your intolerance (also called celiac disease) will become chronic.
After following a balanced diet for 2 weeks, the symptoms will begin to improve. Serological normalization can take between 6 and 12 months, and the recovery of intestinal villi requires two years from the adoption of treatment or diet.
In infants, the desired results appear slower. The treatment consists in the elimination of four cereals from the diet: wheat, oats, barley and rye, as well as their derivatives.
What foods contain gluten?
Wheat and flour are ingredients found in most diets. So, there are many foods and drinks that contain gluten that we need to avoid. If you suffer from gluten intolerance, say no:
- Bread and cakes
- Salad dressings
- Meat and seafood substitutes
- Soy sauce
What foods do not contain gluten?
- Milk and its derivatives (salted cheese, cottage cheese, cream, yoghurt)
- All types of meat
- Fresh fish and seafood
- Green leafy vegetables and roots
- Rice and corn
- Sugar and honey
- Oils and butter
- The coffee
- Refreshing drinks based on oranges, lemons and cola
- Laminated nuts
- The salt
- Natural spices
These are just some of the gluten-free foods available!
What vitamins are useful against gluten intolerance?
If you suffer from gluten intolerance, it is essential to take vitamin supplements. This measure helps to reduce damage to the intestinal mucosa, which reduces the absorption of iron, calcium and other vitamins.
Many gluten-free foods contain vitamins and minerals. By eliminating them from your diet, you risk developing nutritional deficiencies. To prevent this problem, consult a specialist who will recommend gluten-free vitamin supplements so that you can meet your daily needs.
Last but not least, keep in mind that the symptoms of gluten intolerance can be treated. It is enough to change your diet and lifestyle. But suffering from celiac disease does not mean that you have to give up restaurants and isolate yourself.
As long as you follow the specialist’s recommendations, you will not encounter any inconveniences. Take care of your stomach today to continue to enjoy life tomorrow.