It is a known fact that the symptoms of gluten allergy are strikingly similar to the symptoms of other digestive problems, thus many are unaware that they have an allergy. As a result, these individuals continue to eat foods that can easily trigger an allergic reaction. With this in mind, it is important that you are familiar with the symptoms of gluten allergy so that appropriate basic first aid measures can be taken to prevent the condition from getting worse.
Gluten allergy or celiac disease is often confused and even misdiagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. In each individual, the symptoms tend to vary. It is important to note that there are two types of gluten allergy – silent celiac disease and latent celiac disease. Latent celiac disease starts during childhood and can be treated while silent celiac disease develops later in life and also responds to treatment as well.
Symptoms of gluten allergy
- Even though the symptoms of gluten allergy tend to vary, most who experience an allergic reaction suffer from bloating and abdominal pain. In such cases, discomfort can also occur after the individual eats foods that contain gluten. The pain can be mild or severe and the bloating causes a full sensation.
- In some cases, the allergic reaction to gluten is often mistaken as lactose intolerance or irritable bowel syndrome. Nevertheless, once the individual eliminate certain foods from his/her diet, the constipation and uncontrolled bowel diminishes.
- Some individuals experience fatigue and exhaustion. In reality, some individuals with gluten allergy were misdiagnosed in which the doctors suspected that they were suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia. Take note that both autoimmune diseases can result to digestive problems and fatigue.
- Due to the constipation and abdominal bloating, some individuals eventually lose their appetite. As a result, they no longer eat as much and then start to lose weight.
If gluten allergy is not treated right away, it can become a serious health problem. Certain conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and lactose intolerance do not damage the gastrointestinal tract but an allergic reaction to gluten can cause damage. Individuals who do not seek treatment face the risk of developing serious conditions such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and colon cancer.
What is a gluten-free diet?
An individual who is allergic to gluten should stick to a gluten-free diet. This diet not only focuses on eliminating gluten, but also increasing the consumption of antioxidants and proteins. This diet is mainly comprised of fruits, leafy greens, eggs, vegetables and lean red meat. Additionally, even foods that are rich in omega-3 fats are also required. Take note that a gluten-free diet does not completely restrict all flours. Those that are derived from grains that contain gluten must be avoided. The individual can use bean flour, rice flour, potato flour and tapioca.