Gluten-free diet is not easy to use. One should draw from the menu not only the obvious products containing gluten, but also watch out for those in which gluten is hidden. What products are allowed and what are prohibited in the diet gluten-free? Gluten-free diet is a diet that completely eliminates the gluten contained in both natural and processed products. Gluten is a mixture of glutelin and gliadin proteins found in wheat, rye and barley.
In the oats, however, there is a slightly different protein – avenin, which is not likely to cause the same reactions as gluten grain proteins.
Oats, however, is very often contaminated with gluten, which is why people are allowed to eat only certified labeled as gluten-free.
Here you can read: IS GLUTEN REALLY THAT EVIL?
A gluten-free diet should be used in case
- Celiac Disease
Celiac disease called celiac disease is a genetic autoimmune disorder in which gluten causes the most damage to the body, its consumption leads to the disappearance of intestinal villi and disturbances in the absorption of nutrients from food, resulting in many different health problems.
The symptoms of celiac disease can vary in form and severity, including abdominal pain, nutritional deficiency, short stature, aphta, change of temperament, depression, constant fatigue, and the only method of treatment is to use a strict gluten-free diet throughout life.
Unusual symptoms of celiac disease in adults
Celiac disease is not only a disease of small children, it can also appear in adulthood, at least 1% of the population suffers from celiac disease, and according to research, the incidence is increasing, and one of the possible reasons for this is an increase in gluten intake as a result of changing eating habits and The use of high-gluten wheat varieties in baking is very worrying: only 5% of cases of celiac disease are detected in Poland.
- Duhring’s disease – the skin form of celiac disease
In Duhring’s disease, severe itchy lesions appear most frequently on the elbows, knees, buttocks and sacrum bone are erythema, papules and bubbles.The basic method of treatment is a strict gluten-free diet and limitation of iodine intake.
- allergies to gluten (most commonly wheat)
Gluten allergy is a completely different disease entity than celiac disease. Gluten is a very popular allergen – the second most common after milk.
Allergy sufferers may experience an immediate reaction (a few minutes to an hour) or a late reaction (1-2 days) in adults. In adults, gluten allergy is mostly urticaria, watery runny nose, diarrhea, and in children, exacerbation of atopic skin.
Gluten must be eliminated from the diet for treatment, but there is no need for a strict gluten-free diet throughout life.
- non-greasy hypersensitivity to gluten
For several years, the scientific community has been talking about the newly discovered form of gluten intolerance – non-epithelial hypersensitivity to gluten.
In people suffering from it, celiac disease and gluten allergy were excluded, however, consumption of gluten products causes symptoms such as abdominal pain, rash, headache, feeling of constant fatigue, confusion, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, anemia. affects 6% of the population.
Gluten intolerance does not need to be eliminated from the diet for a lifetime. After an exclusion period lasting usually from 3 to 12 months, depending on the severity of the reaction, gluten is reintroduced into the diet and observes the body’s response.
Lack of symptoms means the possibility of eating gluten, and their appearance indicates that you should continue to use a gluten-free diet.
- neuropsychiatric diseases (schizophrenia, autism)
- autoimmune diseases (Hashimoto, rheumatoid arthritis)
More and more research indicates the connection of neuropsychic and autoimmune diseases with the consumption of gluten, which is often diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, but it turns out that not another medication, but the elimination of gluten is beneficial for improving the patient’s condition.
Here you can read: Gluten “good” or “bad”?
Gluten-free diet – how to start it?
A gluten-free diet should not be self-connected, without consulting a doctor and carrying out tests. At the beginning, it is necessary to carry out diagnostics and determine if gluten causes problems and if so – what kind of illness causes.
Celiac disease and gluten intolerance are a common problem, as they affect up to 6 people in 100. In this case they are most often in the form of symptomatic low-grade, without malabsorption syndrome.
That’s why it’s easy to downplay these diseases, and many people go on a gluten-free diet because they think it’s healthier.
It’s important to remember that you can not stop gluten if you’re researching for diseases related to it, so it’s impossible to detect them. What steps should you take before using a gluten-free diet?
- Go to a gastroenterologist
- Perform blood tests ordered by a doctor antibodies against smooth muscle endomysium (EmA), against tissue transglutaminase (tTG), against deamidated gliadin (the so-called new gliadin DGP or GAF) in the IgA and IgG class. If necessary, perform a biopsy of the small intestine.
- If the above studies allow for the exclusion of celiac disease, you should perform diagnostics for allergy to gluten (elevated antibodies specific for gluten in the IgE class).
- If celiac disease and allergy were excluded, the level of antibodies against the so-calledold AGA gliadin and apply an elimination diet, then re-introduce gluten. Relief of symptoms during elimination and their recurrence after inclusion of gluten foods indicates allergy or hypersensitivity.
Before you apply a gluten-free diet, you need to be sure that you have celiac disease. Therefore, you can not eliminate gluten from the diet before confirming or ruling out the disease.
If Celiac disease is ruled out, the treatment is similar when diagnosing allergies and non-remarkable hypersensitivity to gluten, in which case it is crucial to temporarily eliminate gluten and re-incorporate it into the diet with careful observation of the symptoms.
Gluten-free diet – principles
Gluten-free diet does not differ in basic assumptions from the principles of healthy eating, the only difference is the total elimination of gluten in people with celiac disease, allergies or hypersensitivity to gluten.
The basis of the menu should be fresh, high-quality products eaten in 4-5 meals a day, meals should be eaten regularly every 3 hours, breakfast eaten up to an hour after waking up, and dinner 2-3 hours before bedtime.
It should be based on vegetables, supplement the diet with fruits, gluten free groats, fresh meat, fish and eggs. It’s best to prepare gluten-free bread substitutes and desserts yourself. It is definitely the wrong approach to eat in large quantities of finished gluten-free products, because it is highly processed food, often very poor in valuable nutrients.
When buying processed products, you must always look for the crossed out ear, which indicates that it is gluten free and may contain no more than 20 mg per kg. It is a very small amount, safe even for people with celiac disease. This applies not only to cereal products, but also cold meats, sausages, dairy products, chewing gums, ice cream, spices and many more.
In the production process, cereal products can be added in principle to everything, so you should read the table of products that may contain gluten carefully.
When using a strict gluten-free diet, it’s best if the whole family goes through it, not just the sick person.
From a logistical point of view, it is much easier, because a person with celiac disease can not even use the same knife, which was cut ordinary bread or drain the gluten and gluten-free pasta on the same sieve.
Gluten-free diet – can it harm healthy people?
Gluten-free diet is very fashionable and many people choose it not for health reasons, but as a slimming diet.
It must be remembered that gluten alone does not cause weight gain in healthy people, and the unskilled elimination diet, which is a gluten-free diet, can lead to shortages of fiber, folic acid, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and niacin.
There are also more and more voices that the total elimination of gluten may lead to the development of non-ameliorative hypersensitivity to gluten in people who have not had any problems before.