As we’re growing increasingly aware of food sensitivities and intolerances, more of us are growing to realise that the negative symptoms we experience after eating particular foods isn’t something we simply have to accept and put up with. Instead, we can make dietary changes to reduce or completely eliminate these issues – and many brands, restaurants and other eateries are adapting to help with this, providing more in-depth and thorough details of what’s in their food and clearly labelling dishes suitable for individuals with different dietary preferences and requirements on their menus. One condition you may want to learn more about or that you may have found you need to adapt to is an intolerance to gluten. Here’s more information on the subject, as well as tips on how to adapt to a gluten-free lifestyle.
What Is Gluten?
Let’s start by understanding what gluten actually is. Gluten a substance that is present in cereal grains, especially wheat. It is gluten that makes dough stretchy and elastic. Unfortunately, gluten can cause problems for individuals who have coeliac disease.
While most people can eat gluten completely problem-free, it can cause issues for some people who react differently to it. Some individuals’ bodies will automatically sense gluten as a toxin, which causes immune cells to overreact and attack it. This can result in inflammation, which in turn can result in fatigue, bloating, alternating constipation and diarrhea. In more severe cases, individuals may experience unintentional weight loss, malnutrition or intestinal damage as seen in the autoimmune disorder celiac disease.
Identifying Gluten Intolerance
If you are concerned that you may be gluten intolerant, make sure to reach out to your doctor, who will be able to conducy a number of tests to see if this is the case. While there aren’t currently any tests specifically for gluten intolerance, there are tests for coeliac disease. These usually take the form of blood tests, biopsies, a Tissue Transglutaminase IgA antibody test, an IgA Endomysial antibody (EMA) test, a Total serum IgA test or a Deamidated gliadin peptide (DGP) test.
Adapting to a Gluten Free Lifestyle
Of course, if you and your doctor identify the need to remove gluten from your diet, you’re going to have to get used to a pretty significant lifestyle change. Here are some steps that can help with this.
Read Ingredients Lists
Get used to reading ingredients lists for allergens. These will usually be highlighted in bold. You should avoid any foods mentioning gluten, wheat grains, wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt or khorasan wheat.
If In Doubt, Do Some Research
Google is a great tool that you can use to find information in seconds. If you’re in doubt about any food, make sure to research before eating it. A simple search like is sour cream gluten free can give you the answers you need.
If you cook or bake for yourself a lot, you may need to start considering alternatives to gluten-containing ingredients in your recipes. There are plenty of alternatives available in most stores nowadays.
Hopefully, some of the information above has helped you to better understand gluten and how to adapt to a gluten free lifestyle!
This is a collaborative post.