Gluten is made up of two proteins called as ‘gliadin’ and ‘glutenin’ and is present in grains like oats, rye, wheat, barley and any food items made out of them. Only few people are allergic to gluten or food items having gluten. Gluten allergy causes swelling of the intestinal lining. After consuming food that has gluten a person experiences many symptoms like diarrhea or constipation, gas, fatigue, weight loss or gain, regular headache, ulcers, joint pains and skin rash to name a few. A person can at any age develop gluten allergy.
Causes of Gluten allergy
Inflammation of the intestines could be very severe or mild due to the allergy. Gluten allergy usually affects tiny finger like projections called as ‘villi’ that are present in the walls of the intestines. These villi absorb important nutrients which includes minerals and vitamins. If villi are damaged continuously then it will in turn affect in absorbing the nutrients. In few cases gluten allergy can also turn to ‘celiac disease’. Person suffering from celiac disease are unable to take gluten and follow a diet without gluten. Some of the causes of gluten allergy are as follows:
- Severe illnesses
- Physical injuries
- Traumatic shock to the body.
Gluten Allergy Symptoms in Adults
Here are the symptoms of gluten allergy in adults
- Diarrhea or Abdominal Discomfort
- Excessive Flatulence
- Headache, migraines
- Lethargy, weakness and tiredness
- ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and Hyperactive behavior
- Muscular pain and discomfort
- Bone and Joint Pain
- Skin Rashes
Symptoms of Gluten Allergy in children
Symptoms of gluten allergy differ from individual to individual. For some it can be seen immediately whereas for some it could take hours after consuming foodstuff containing gluten. Some of the symptoms are as follows:
- Feeling nauseated
- Malnutrition or less growth in kids
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Rashes on skin
- Ulcers in mouth
- Joint and muscle pain
- Foul smelling stool
- Regular headache
- Eczema or dermatitis
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Difficulty in breathing when exercising
- Cramps and pain in abdomen
Gluten Allergy Test
Celiac disease one of the most common diseases caused due to allergy to gluten is seen in one in hundred people. Since symptoms of gluten allergy can vary from individual to individual, it can be difficult to diagnose the disease. Intestinal Biopsy is a procedure done to diagnose celiac disease; in this camera is placed into the digestive tract and a sample of the small intestine is sent for biopsy. Other tests to determine gluten allergy or intolerance can include blood tests that measure amounts of antibodies to gluten. These tests are called anti-reticulin antibodies (ARA) test, anti-tissue transglutaminase Antibody (tTG) test, the anti-gliadin antibodies (AGA) test and the anti-endomysial antibodies (EMA) test. Doctors may also ask you to go for a Complete Blood Count Test to rule out other symptoms like anemia, renal issues, liver problems and electrolyte imbalance.
Gluten Allergy Treatment
Precautions have to be taken to control or manage gluten allergy. One has to avoid consuming food containing gluten. It is not easy as most of the food contain gluten. Not only grains like rye, oats, wheat, barley have gluten but also in foods prepared from these cereals. It is also found in wide range of baked and processed food items and some medicines as well. Therefore in order to avoid gluten one has to read the labels of every food items before buying it. Nowadays a lot of food items have labels indicating whether it has gluten or not. This is very useful for person suffering from gluten allergy and celiac disease.
If gluten allergy is not treated then it can turn serious causing diseases such as anemia, diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease and osteoporosis. Therefore any continuous symptom of gluten allergy should not be taken lightly and immediate tests should be taken to curb it. If tests are positive then advice from medical expert and professional should be taken for formulation of a good gluten free diet program. This will help to avoid the allergic reactions and not compromise on nutrition.