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What You Need to Know About Gluten-Free Diets

By Madhusudhan Tammisetti

Gluten is one of the proteins that you may find in rye, wheat, and barley. Some grains, such as malt or oats, and products, such as medications, supplements, and even lip balms, have gluten or may be contaminated with gluten during the crop season or in the processing plant.

In some people, gluten consumption may lead to a variety of adverse effects. It may affect the small intestine and likely lead to other health problems. Unless you have celiac disease, wheat allergy, or have non-celiac gluten sensitivity, eating food with gluten may prove to be much healthier for you.

A gluten-free diet isn't recommended for the majority of people. Although gluten itself doesn't contain much nutritional value, whole grains containing gluten do. And those whole grains contain vital nutrients required for good health, such as iron, calcium, and fiber.

Who Should Eat Gluten-Free Diet?

Some people who were on a gluten-free diet claim relief from bloating, fatigue, and depression. They may credit the progress to going gluten-free, but it's also due to removing snacks, flour-based, and heavily processed foods from their diets.

If a gluten-free diet helps you feel great, go for it. Although you don't have to avoid gluten completely. It's possible that consuming nutritious foods that involve gluten may benefit you more than harm you.

There are legitimate medical reasons to opt for gluten-free diets.

Allergic to Wheat

Wheat is one of the eight major allergens responsible for food allergies. Infants are more prone to a wheat allergy, and it's rare in adults. It may trigger digestive problems, and the common wheat allergy symptoms include watery eyes, hives, swelling of the skin, mouth, or throat, nasal congestion, anaphylaxis, difficulty in breathing, and headache.

Before checking for any serious issue, doctors do a blood test or a skin-prick test to rule out wheat allergy.

Celiac Disease

For the 1 percent of Americans with celiac disease, even a tiny bit of gluten may pose a significant threat to the small intestine lining. This interferes with the nutritional absorption potential of the body and may leave a person malnourished and ill.

Most people who are suffering from celiac disease aren't aware of it as the symptoms aren't there all the time. According to the National Institutes of Health, people know about this disease only when they are diagnosed after carrying it for a decade or more.

If symptoms are present, the person may have bloating, fatigue, arthritis, depression, anxiety, joint pain, and itchy skin rash.

The celiac disorder is treatable. Celiac disease symptoms tend to stop within weeks of following a gluten-free diet regimen, and the small intestine starts to heal. However, the patient may have to stay away from diets that contain gluten throughout the life.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Chapel Hill, N.C.

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