What is Gluten?
Gluten is a composite of storage proteins termed prolamins and glutelins and stored together with starch in the endosperm of various grass-related grains. It is found in wheat, barley, rye, oat, related species and hybrids and products of these. – from Wikipedia
What is Gluten Intolerance?
Gluten intolerance or sensitivity to gluten, is a condition that causes some people to react adversely after ingesting gluten products.
But it is estimated that over 90% of people who actually suffer from gluten intolerance are never diagnosed and have no idea that they are suffering adverse reactions towards gluten sensitivity.
How would you know if you are gluten intolerant? Let’s find out!
Symptoms of gluten intolerance ranges from mild reactions which you could easily overlook and pass off as nothing important or more serious and life threatening conditions.
Here are the Top 10 Signs you are Gluten Intolerant from milder to more serious signs.
- Mood issues. You might feel depressed, anxious or experience mood swings.
- Digestive issues. You might feel gassy, bloated, constipated or have diarrhea. Some children who are gluten intolerant typically experience constipation after consuming gluten products.
- Fatigue. You might feel tired after consuming food containing gluten.
- Migraine headaches.
- Inflammation or pain in your joints.
- Dizziness or feeling off-balance.
- Hormone imbalance or unexplained infertility.
- Having “chicken skin” at the back of your arms, also known as “Keratosis Pilaris” which tends to be the result of a fatty acid deficiency and vitamin A deficiency due to fat-malabsorption caused by gluten damaging the gut.
- Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia.
- Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease eg. Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis.
How to test if you are gluten intolerant?
You can try eliminating gluten products from your diet and go gluten-free for 2 to 3 weeks if you suspect you are suffering from gluten intolerance and then reintroduce gluten products to check if you feel better or worse.
It would be best to record down how you feel and your symptoms before and after eliminating gluten products.
There are also more in-depth clinical tests you may approach your medical caregiver for more detailed information if you suspect you are suffering severely from gluten intolerance.
Best way to treat gluten intolerance?
Beware that it may be very difficult to go gluten-free as many food products contain gluten even if we are unaware that it exists in some foods.
Common food products that contain gluten:
- bread & pastries
- crackers, cookies & biscuits
- cereal & granola
- breading & coatings on foods such as chicken nuggets
- sauces & gravies as many use flour to thicken
Some foods that may also unknowingly contain gluten:
- energy bars
- french fries
- candy bars
- cream soups
- meat substitutes
- soy sauce
- salad dressing or sauces
- pre-seasoned meats
It is best to check with the labels and verify that it is “gluten-free” before consuming if you suffer from gluten intolerance. You have to note that products which are labeled wheat-free are not necessarily gluten-free, so it is important to read labels carefully.
Why am I still suffering from gluten intolerance after going on a gluten-free diet?
The problem of Cross-Contact is also one of the reasons some people still suffer from gluten intolerance conditions despite changing to a gluten-free diet.
Some of the sources of cross contact are:
(Click on the links to purchase new items to avoid Cross-contact issues)
- Cutting Boards
- Food Containers
- Flour Sifters
- Reusing Oil after frying other foods which may contact gluten
- Double-dipping condiments
- Utensils used for gluten products are reused
- Wheat flour remains airborne for hours and may cross-contaminate products which are gluten-free in bakeries or eateries
If you are suffering from gluten intolerance, you can cut down cross-contact by having a separate set of kitchen wares and utensils for yourself at home, stored away separately from other family members items. You can also carry along with yourself some own utensils if you eat out. It may not be always possible to pack your own lunch but you can easily take along your own chopsticks, utensils or food containers.
Is Gluten-free just Yucky & Tasteless?
No, going gluten-free doesn’t have to be yucky. It can be very flavorful, tasty and healthy at the same time! You can enjoy all natural, gluten-free, non-allergen treats any time of the day. Taste of fresh fruits and vegetables blended with fragrant condiments in delicious recipes.
You can also use gluten-free delicious rice mix flour to create tasty dishes that are as yummy as non-gluten-free foods like pancakes and muffins!
You and your family can enjoy the health benefits of going gluten-free without fore-going delicious taste!