All you need to know about gluten-free diet | 24 Mantra

Celiac Disease and Gluten Free Food


Celiac Disease and Gluten Free Food

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Many people experience adverse reaction on consuming gluten which is the principal protein in many cereals. Celiac Disease is also known as Celiac Sprue which is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the small intestine. This is caused when gluten-containing products are consumed by susceptible people.

The prevalence of the celiac disease is estimated to be 1% of the population in western countries. There is growing evidence for underdiagnosis of celiac disease, especially in non-western countries. It was originally thought that celiac diseases affected people from western countries only.

Celiac Disease is a multifactorial disease, the factors could be

  1. Genetic
  2. Environmental

The advances in research and development of serologic markers specific to celiac disease have transformed the ability to diagnose and monitor people with the disease. To prevent malnutrition in children it is crucial that gluten sensitivity should be detected early.

What is gluten?

Gluten is the dominant protein in cereals. It is the alcohol-soluble fraction of gluten, gliadin that is offensive to the sensitive individual. Gluten is responsible for the elasticity and structure of dough and helps products to rise while baking.

Cereals that contain gluten

  1. Wheat
  2. Rye
  3. Barley

Since people who have celiac disease have to avoid gluten-containing food the demand for gluten-free cereals has increased. People with celiac disease need to pay special attention to food labels to check if gluten-containing ingredients are present in the food.

Gluten-free cereals

  1. Rice
  2. Oats
  3. Corn
  4. Millets

Symptoms of celiac disease

Gluten causes the destruction of villi in the small intestine. Celiac disease can affect several areas and systems of the body, therefore, making diagnosis very difficult. The symptoms of celiac disease may be presented in many ways.

  1. The classic presentation may be diarrhoea and may be accompanied by abdominal discomfort and malabsorption.
  2. Silent presentations may be unexplained iron deficiency anemia and osteoporosis
  3. Atypical presentations may be fatigue, abdominal bloating, weight loss, bone, and joint symptoms, and constipation

Take expert help to avoid deficiencies

Professional help is needed so that when certain foods are removed from the diet others which can be included in a gluten-free diet should be sourced. Make sure that the nutritional requirements are met through these foods. Especially, to be certain that they are getting enough protein and dietary fiber in case wheat is their staple food.

Extra attention should be paid to other foods such as legumes. These need to be added to their diet to fulfill nutrient requirements. Also, they need to be educated about looking for gluten on food labels as it may appear in most unexpected food products where it is used for its functional properties. Gluten may be used in the preparation of ice creams, ketchup, and even cosmetics.

Sometimes gluten-free cereals also may acquire some gluten if they are milled in the same facility as wheat or even grown in the next field. Celiac disease patients need to be educated on these things so that it helps them to follow a gluten-free diet.

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