If you never heard the word gluten before, it’s okay. Most probably you are okay having gluten in your meals. So what is it really? Well gluten is a family of protein found in grains, including wheat, rye, spelt and barley.
When flour mixes with water, the gluten proteins form a sticky network that has a glue-like consistency. It makes the dough elastic and gives bread the ability to rise during baking.
Most people can tolerate gluten, only some who can’t.
Celiac disease is the most severe form of gluten intolerance. It is an autoimmune disorder in which the body treats gluten as a foreign invader. The immune systems attacks the gluten. This will damages the gut wall and may cause nutrients deficiencies, anemia, severe digestive issues and increased risk of other diseases.
Common symptoms of celiac disease are:
- digestive comfort
- tissue damage in small intestine
- skin rashes
- unexplained weight loss
Digestive discomfort is is the most common indication of gluten intolerance. The person may also have anemia or trouble gaining weight. Many processed food contain wheat. Anyone who wants to avoid gluten will need to read labels carefully.