Gluten Allergy and Sensitivity

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein composite which is found in processed foods like grain species akin to wheat and barley. It is a type of protein substance that resides when starch is extracted from cereal grains and gives cohesiveness to dough.

Gluten Allergy

After a short duration of ingestion, symptoms of gluten intolerance materialize in the form of muscular disturbances, abdominal pain, bloating, joint and bone pain and diarrhea. Gluten intolerance can be explained as another type of symptomatic manifestations, morphological or immunological that may be shared by celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The gluten sensitivity resembles a lot to the celiac disease but it differs in the sense that it is less
severe than the latter and does not include the antibodies or the autoimmune co morbidities that are usually the result of allergic immune reaction.

Gluten Allergy Symptoms

Physical symptoms of gluten allergy may vary from severe to subtle. Many adults face only fatigue or Anaemia whereas many suffer from pale, loose, grey stool and weight loss with failure to gain weight. In children it can cause delayed puberty and in women it may cause miscarriage or unexplained infertility. In some cases abnormal liver functions have also been recorded thatare randomly detected on blood tests

Celiac Disease

English: Endoscopic image of duodenum in indiv...

English: Endoscopic image of duodenum in individual with celiac disease, showing scalloping of the folds and cracked-mud appearance of the mucosa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Celiac disease or gluten allergy has a few traits of a proper food allergy as it does entail the immune system reactions and chemical changes. However, symptoms are typically gastrointestinal, and people with celiac disease are not at risk of anaphylaxis. This painful digestive condition is prompted by consumption of gluten. When wheat and such foods are eaten enzymes are released by the body and the immune system is activated unbalancing the small tissues of body causing an life threatening reaction. This reaction interferes with the small intestine and upsets absorption of nutrients and interrupts the digestion process severely.

 

Gluten Allergy Prognostics

There are many ways to test for gluten allergy, the most basic being simple blood tests as the first line investigation to indicate abnormalities in blood contents. Many at times, these tests aren’t sufficient enough to correctly diagnose the patient and hence further testing is required to identify celiac disease. Among other tests is Endoscopy, tests for deficiency in iron, folic acid or vitamin B12 or even thyroid tests for hyperthyroidism. After these a conclusive diagnosis can be made and further dietary and medical treatments can be doctored.

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