What is Gluten ?

Gluten is a type of protein found in various forms of grains such as wheat, rye, barley, triticale and kamut. It is present in small amounts in oats.

What is Coeliac disease and why are some people gluten sensitive ?

Some people have an auto immune response to wheat/ gluten proteins that causes an inflammation of the intestinal walls. The finger like projections know as villi that help absorb nutrients become damaged. This means the person has a greatly reduced surface area for absorption and this may result in various mineral and vitamin deficiencies. This is a disease known as coeliac disease or gluten induced enteropathy. A screening test for Coeliac Disease involves a blood test to measure the levels of Anti Gliadin Antibodies. This test can often give false negative results, especially if the person has been following a gluten free diet. Bowel biopsy is also done in some cases to confirm diagnosis.

How would I tell if I was gluten sensitive?

Symptoms include:-

  • Digestive problems
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal distension
  • Pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Smelly stools
  • Flatulence
  • Heartburn, reflux
  • Nausea

Other signs include:-

  • Sinusitis
  • Asthma
  • Skin problems like eczema
  • Fatigue
  • Bone joint and muscle pain
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Mood swings
  • Poor growth and development in children
  • Weight loss
  • Hair loss
  • Menstrual irregularities

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