Friday, April 23, 2010

A Gluten Free Diet: There Are Many Benefits To Eliminating Gluten

A Gluten Free Diet: There Are Many Benefits To Eliminating Gluten


A Gluten Free Diet

There Are Many Benefits To Eliminating Gluten

Gluten free diets have become very popular for many reasons. Some people must eliminate it from their diets, while many people should avoid gluten for other reasons.

Gluten is the protein part of wheat, spelt, rye, barley, most oats, and other related grains. Gluten intolerance is the inability to digest or break down gluten. This condition can range from a mild sensitivity to full blown celiac disease. The skin disorder called dermatitis herpetiformis, which causes a chronic itchy rash of bumps and blisters, is also linked to gluten allergies. The gluten-free diet must be strictly followed by sufferers of celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis.

Some People Have to Adapt To Diets Without Gluten

Around ½% of the world's population is Celiac. This means 1 in 200 people. Some people are not celiac, but have intolerance to gluten. Some studies show gluten intolerance to be around 30 times more prevalent than celiac disease. Up to 15% of people or 1 in 7 are gluten sensitive and suffer the same symptoms. These are people who test negative or inconclusive for celiac disease. They are known as Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitive (NCGS). Symptoms include gastro-intestinal issues, headaches, mouth ulcers, weight gain or weight loss, poor immunity to disease, and skin problems like dermatitis and eczema.

Who Should Avoid Gluten?

According to some celiac specialist researchers, everyone has some reaction to gluten, but non-celiacs recover quickly. Many people report feeling better on a gluten free diet. Studies have found that a gluten free diet significantly decreases allergy symptoms among children. Some medical practitioners believe that gluten-free diets benefit other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, ADD/ADHD, autism, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, thyroid disease and other autoimmune disorders. Many people also find that weight loss programs are much more effective one gluten is eliminated from the diet. It is interesting to note that many people who live in gluten free households due to a family members allergy, find that they have improvements in their own health conditions once their own diets transition to being gluten free as well.

Changing Your Diet

Sticking to a gluten-free diet is not easy. Grains are used in many foods, especially processed foods, which everyone should avoid despite gluten intolerances. It is often difficult to determine by an ingredient’s name what may be in it, so it is easy to eat gluten despite the best of intentions. Gluten is used in unexpected ways, for example as a stabilizing agent or thickener in foods, in over-the-counter or prescription medications and vitamins. Also, cosmetics such as lipstick, lip balm, and chapsticks may contain gluten.
A diagnosis of celiac disease, or even gluten intolerance, requires careful changes in your routine, but you can still live your life. Many of the diet guidelines are ones that everyone should adhere to for a healthy lifestyle. Sticking to a diet of whole, fresh, unprocessed foods eliminates any worry about confusing and hidden ingredients and offers a healthy way of life
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