Food allergy remains one of the most persistent forms of allergic reaction. No one knows why people have certain allergic responses to different types of food. But it is a fact that once a person is exposed to the food allergen, the symptoms will surely follow.
Gluten allergy is a food allergy that makes the sufferer sensitive to gluten. Coeliac disease is a health condition in the small intestine. What happens to a person with gluten allergy is once the allergen comes in contact with the small intestine, it causes the immune system to attack the lining of the bowel.
This attack on the small intestine's lining of the gluten allergy sufferer weakens the stomach and can cause serious health problems in the future. The delicate lining is responsible for the absorption of nutrients and vitamins in our body. Once it is weakened, we lose our capacity to effectively turn food into energy,
Gluten allergy starts at a young age, right after the weaning period and the mother is feeding the baby with cereals. There are no specific reasons why a person develops the gluten allergy but when it happens, the only thing the gluten allergy sufferer can do is avoid gluten at all cost.
Symptoms of Gluten Allergy
Gluten is usually found in wheat products. Breads, pasta and other baked goods can be considered dangerous to a person with gluten allergy. Biscuits, pastries, breakfast cereals and instant soups and sauces also have gluten. The symptoms of a gluten allergy differ from children and adults.
Children with gluten allergy may suffer from slow physical growth, weight loss, with poor appetite. Gluten allergic symptoms also include vomiting and diarrhea. Because the small intestine's lining is damaged, the vitamins and minerals do not go to the body. The kids end up looking thin, pale and have no energy at all.
In adults, gluten allergy symptoms are similar, with loss of weight, diarrhea or constipation complicating the disease. Aside from this, adults often complain about depression, extreme fatigue, lethargy, bone pain and ulcers in the sufferer's mouth.
Treatment for gluten allergies begins like all other food allergy, avoiding contact with the allergen. There are certain food substitutes for gluten allergy sufferers like using sunflower oil instead of the usual cooking oil and drinking wines instead of beer.
There are medications available to these sufferers. But unlike other food allergies that show external symptoms like rashes, gluten allergy destroys from the inside, making diagnosis and detection hard. Oral medication can help ease the pain from the small intestine and vitamin supplements must also be taken along with it.
Gluten allergy prevention
Gluten allergy sufferers are asked to be vigilant in monitoring their diet. Reading the labels for anything with wheat is a good start. Self-discipline is the key to beating gluten allergy. The food selection for coeliac disease sufferers is still varied like fruits, salads and vegetables, rice, corn, nuts, meat and chicken eggs and dairy products, fish and seafood.
What could be the worst-case scenario for gluten allergy sufferers? If left untreated, coeliac disease can result in anemia, bone disease and some form of cancer. The best advise is to steer clear of gluten-laden foods. The more the person does not intake gluten, the better their chances of not having a serious health problem in the future.
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Charlene J. Nuble 2006.
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