Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Are you sensitive to gluten?
Gluten Sensitivity: Gluten sensitivity can manifest itself in the form of an "IBS-like stomach problems, headaches, fatigue, numbness and depression, but more than 100 symptoms have been loosely linked to gluten intake." Diagnosing gluten sensitivity is difficult, since there isn't a targeted set of symptoms, but "some experts think as many as 1 in 20 Americans may have some form of [gluten sensitivity]" so if you experience any of the issues listed above, it may be worth going gluten free to see if you feel better.
Wheat Allergy: If you have a wheat allergy it may be related to the gluten in wheat, but could be realted to something else. A wheat allergy is rare in adults and children, and most children that do have this allergy outgrow it by the age of 5.
Celiac Disease: The most extreme reaction to gluten is seen in the diagnosis of Celiac disease, once rarely diagnosed, is now estimated the "1 in 133 Americans" has celiac. Celiac is a condition where your body attacks gluten, can as a result creates chronic inflammation and can lead to malnutrition in extreme cases. To read more about celiac, gluten allergies, and gluten sensitivity read this article from the Wall Street Journal, Clues to Gluten Sensitivity.
The bottom line, many people are sensitive to gluten and although they are hard to diagnose, the symptoms that they experience are real and can be avoided by avoiding gluten.