What Is Gluten:

What is gluten? Gluten is a substance that can be found within a wide range of different foods, although more groceries and health food stores than ever before are beginning to stock products that are gluten-free. Gluten has been part of a natural human diet for thousands of years, and yet an increasingly large number of people are beginning to choose a gluten-free diet in the belief that going without gluten is better for their health.

For some people, gluten-free is the only food that they can eat, as individuals with a particular disease known as “celiac disease” have an abnormal response to gluten that impacts their immune system and prevents nutrients from being absorbed.

What Is Gluten, and Where to Find It:

The composite protein that is present in rye, wheat, barley, and various other cross-breeds, gluten is a commonplace part of most diets. However, millions of people suffer from a complicated negative reaction to this product. In fact, experts suggest that approximately 1% of Americans today suffer from celiac disease.

Foods that contain gluten may include baked goods and bread, French fries, pizza, pasta, soups, and various sauces. According to the Celiac disease foundation, it is crucial for anyone with a gluten intolerance to check the labels of the foods they may decide to eat carefully, as gluten can be hidden in unexpected ways.

What Is Gluten and Its Relationship to Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease is a condition that is caused by an abnormal response in the immune system when the body is exposed to gluten, which can cause damage to the small intestine, preventing nutrients from being absorbed. Often, people who ask “what is gluten” do so because they suffer from this intolerance.

Some of the symptoms of celiac disease include anemia, diarrhea, bone pain, and significant skin rashes – however, only 5-10% of people are actually diagnosed within the U.S. The only way to be sure of whether or not you have celiac disease is to be professionally tested through a blood test. If that blood test is positive for antibodies that are related to a certain immune response, then a biopsy will be performed.

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity:

Interestingly, many people who don’t suffer from celiac disease still experience issues as a result of consuming foods that contain gluten. This is known as a gluten intolerance, and it happens when an individual’s immune system responds poorly to gluten being broken down by the digestive system. This negative response can cause a series of uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating, heartburn, and abdominal pain.

Strangely, however, most of the people who opt to eat gluten-free diets don’t suffer from celiac disease, and even may not have a sensitivity to wheat in the first place. Thus, a lot of people today are choosing to go gluten-free simply because they believe that doing so will allow them to access a healthier lifestyle. Unfortunately, this is not the case, as for people with celiac disease, a gluten-free diet is essential, but for others it can lead to a lack of essential fibers, minerals, and vitamins.