Gluten allergy is a medical condition in which a person experiences adverse effects of gluten upon digestion of foods with contained gluten in some amounts. Gluten is composed of the proteins found in wheat. Persons sensitive to gluten typically do not feel well after eating bread, pasta, cookies or anything containing traces of gluten from wheat. However, it isn’t wheat what causes their problems but proteins found in wheat. The most severe form of gluten allergy is known under the name celiac disease. In the case of gluten allergy the patient’s immune system reacts upon digestion of gluten, turning against the patient’s own organism. During this attack, the delicate lining of the small intestine, which is most responsible for digestion of nutrients from food, becomes damaged.
Causes of gluten allergy
Gluten allergy is an autoimmune disease, but it can also run in families. However, the roots of gluten allergy reach far more behind in the history. Humans occupy the Earth for more than 3 million years, but only during the last 10.000 years human tribes started to cultivate the wild seeds and eat more grain than before. The original human diet consisted of fishes, fruits, seeds, herbs and occasional feasts of meat. Most of the people adapted to the new way of nutrition, but some of the people are still sensitive. It is estimated that celiac disease affects between 1 in 1,750 to 1 in 105 people in the United States. However, a large portion of affected population remains undiagnosed.
Symptoms of gluten allergy
In most severe cases, gluten allergy manifests as a highly unpleasant condition accompanied with pale, loose or gray stools, and visible weight loss. Patients may even eat a lot but remain unable to gain weight. In many cases, patients suffering from celiac disease won’t manifest any symptoms whatsoever. These patients may only feel tired and suffer from anemia, which occurs as a result of malnutrition.
Treatment of gluten allergy
At the present, there is no way to cure the patient from the gluten allergy. Patients are typically advised to maintain a gluten-free diet throughout their life. This kind of diet may help the inner lining of the intestines to heal and to eliminate the risk of malnutrition, sterility, intestinal cancer and osteoporosis. Gluten-free diet is relatively hard to maintain since the “gluten-free” term isn’t regulated properly in the United States. Moreover, this food is typically more expensive and harder to find. However, most of the people with the gluten allergy also have one or more food allergies or intolerances, which make maintaining the special kind of nutrition even harder.