Should You Be Worried About Gluten?
The past few months have seen the gluten-free advocacy hit an all time high peak. The general information out there is that gluten poses a serious risk to your health. It doesn’t matter whether you suffer from the celiac disease or not, some of the information argue, gluten is cataclysmic for everyone of us.
There are also physicians who believe that gluten-free products are the real threats to our health. Considering all these arguments, we may wonder where the truth really lies in all this gluten talk. Should we be scared witless, more so considering that gluten is present in almost all of the products that we consume? Or should we be worried that manufacturers are moving towards producing gluten-free products?
What Is Gluten?
Gluten is a form of protein that is contained in the wheat endosperm. The endosperm is the main part that is ground into flour, and that means that almost all wheat products out there might contain gluten. Other cereal grains such as rye and barley, that are closely related to wheat are also said to contain gluten.
Some people are gluten-intolerant. When their bodies break down the wheat grains to release gluten, they experience some abnormal immune response. This intolerance is more in people who suffer from the celiac disease. When sufferers of the celiac disease consume gluten, it produces an immune response that prevents the intestines from absorbing other important nutrients. The reaction is also marked by skin, gastrointestinal and respiratory reactions.
Does that mean there is nothing to worry about if you do not have the celiac disease? Not really, of late, researchers have identified a form of gluten-intolerance that is not related to the celiac disease. This form of gluten sensitivity affects about six percent of the American populations.
From the above two paragraphs, we can conclusively deduce that gluten does not affect every one of us, and thus does not pose a danger to each one of us. Only those people who experience some form of gastrointestinal problem after consuming foods that contain gluten should be worried of gluten. If you experience stomach upsets after eating meals containing wheat, barley or rye, make a point of seeing your doctor for further analysis. You could be suffering from gluten-intolerance or sensitivity.
Dangers of Gluten to Gluten-Intolerant People
Now that we have burst the myths surrounding the whole gluten talk, it is time to take a look at the dangers of gluten to those that it affects. People who suffer from the celiac disease are at a greater risk of suffering all the dangers of gluten. This is because the celiac disease affects the small intestine and may lead to permanent damage of the same if left untreated. It affects the absorption of vital nutrients into the bloodstream leading to malnutrition. Lack of crucial nutrients such as Vitamin D and calcium can lead to serious ailments including anemia and osteoporosis.
To people who only suffer from gluten sensitivity but are not affected by the celiac disease, the main danger in consuming foods containing gluten are the symptoms, which include brain fog, headaches and irritability.