Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, barley, and other grains.
People with gluten intolerance should avoid all foods that contain them. As little as 20 mg can cause symptoms such as inflammation, diarrhea, and weight imbalances.
This article defines gluten intolerance, what types exist, and its symptoms.
Gluten intolerance What is it?
Gluten intolerance is an autoimmune disease caused by an overreaction to the group of gluten proteins.
The causes of gluten intolerance are mainly genetic. The symptoms of eating gluten vary depending on your intolerance type.
Although in most cases, they are associated with the digestive system, rashes, and skin disorders.
Gluten intolerance can lead to serious long-term consequences if you don’t start treatment. The simplest thing is to go on a gluten-free diet.
Types of gluten intolerance
The types of gluten intolerance are:
- Sensitivity to gluten
This type of intolerance includes people with a mild reaction to gluten. Symptoms are usually mild disturbances in the digestive system.
- Allergy to gluten
Gluten allergy is the rarest and can occur at any time in life. Unlike the other types of intolerance, gluten allergy symptoms have a sudden onset and trigger severe and rapid consequences in the digestive system. Its causes are not yet clear.
- Celiac disease
This is a more severe gluten reaction intolerance and is considered an autoimmune disease. A small portion of gluten can cause severe symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. If left untreated, it can cause a lack of nutrients, changes in body weight, etc.
Symptoms of gluten intolerance
Generalizing gluten intolerance symptoms is not the right thing to do. However, most signs are related to digestive system disorders.
Depending on the type of intolerance you have, its consequences will be from mild symptoms such as constipation to severe symptoms such as ulcers and malnutrition. The symptoms of gluten intolerance are:
- Skin rashes
- Ulcers in the mouth
- Sudden changes in body weight
- Pale stools
- Chronic malnutrition
- Hair loss
- Impaired immune system
One of the most common symptoms in people with gluten intolerance is abnormal stools. These can turn pale, float down their foamy structure, and smell unpleasant.
The symptoms of gluten intolerance can be mild, and in some cases, they are confused with other disorders such as colitis or gastritis. Obtaining a correct diagnosis can be difficult and for many patients, determining this disease requires a laboratory analysis.
Causes of gluten intolerance
The causes of gluten intolerance are mainly genetic. You may have celiac disease if your parents and other family members have it.
If this is the case, it is advisable to test both you and the children in the family. Possible causes of gluten intolerance are:
- There are relatives with celiac disease.
- Dermatitis he
- Diabetes type 1
- Down syndrome or Turner syndrome
- Autoimmune thyroid diseases
- Microscopic colitis
- Addison’s disease
Consequences of celiac disease
Severe gluten intolerance (celiac disease) affects approximately 1% of the population. (2)
The immune system of these people perceives gluten as a foreign substance, causing the body to attack. The smallest amount of gluten (0.1 g) can cause serious health consequences.
The most severe consequences of gluten are disorders in intestinal functions, and the level of assimilation of nutrients is decreased. Regular consumption of gluten by people with intolerance can lead to weight gain and loss.
What foods to avoid with gluten intolerance?
Foods made from cereals contain gluten; this protein can also be present in products such as tomato sauce and ketchup as a thickener. In this case, gluten appears on the ingredient list as “modified starch” or “hydrolyzed protein.”
An average person consumes around 10-40g of gluten a day (1). Much of this dose corresponds to the gluten contained in bread and pasta. Products that are composed of up to 10-15% gluten. Also, people with gluten intolerance should avoid barley and most brands of oats. The corresponding logo must appear on the label to ensure that a product is gluten-free.
How to identify gluten intolerance? – Methods
The most accurate method to identify gluten intolerance is a laboratory test. However, to rule out this disease, it is possible to restrict bread consumption and all its foods for two weeks.
In the second week, you should eat a food with a high gluten content: white bread, and evaluate the symptoms at the digestive level. If consequences appear at the digestive level, it is necessary to consult a doctor to make a relevant analysis to rule out or identify gluten intolerance.
- Gluten intolerance is an autoimmune or allergic disease that affects 1% of the population.
- Its causes are mainly genetic in origin.
- The consequences of gluten intolerance can be severe; one of them is a decrease in the immune system.
- The most frequent symptoms are digestive disorders and skin rashes.
- Gluten intolerance has no cure. However, its symptoms can be alleviated by avoiding consuming products that contain it.