Gluten Intolerance and its symptoms
Gluten is a protein. It’s naturally found in wheat and other grains. A lot of foods contain grain and thus gluten, such as pasta, cereal and beer, but also vitamins and cosmetics. Gluten acts like a binder to hold food together. For example, without gluten the dough of a pizza would easily rip. Most people react well to gluten as it can be beneficial to the good bacteria in your gut. However, there are people who experience serious side effects after eating gluten. They have gluten intolerance.
When you have gluten intolerance, you might feel sick after eating a product containing gluten. Gluten intolerance is one the most prominent autoimmune diseases. About 1% of the world population suffers from it.
The most common symptoms of gluten intolerance and celiac disease include:
- Diarrhoea or constipation
- Difficulty gaining weight
- Joint pain
- Skin problems, such as rash
Gluten intolerance can also cause mental problems such as:
- Concentration problems
Studies have also found a link between celiac disease and infertility and changes in the menstrual cycle in women.
Gluten intolerance and celiac disease: what is the difference?
Gluten intolerance is very similar to celiac disease or wheat allergy. People with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease both suffer from similar symptoms. There is however, an important distinction. Celiac disease is when the body treats gluten as if it were a virus, so it tries to fight it. This reaction causes damage to the digestive tracts. Celiac disease is caused by an abnormal gene, which is not something people with gluten sensitivity have.
People who are sensitive or intolerant to gluten do not necessarily have to stick to a strict diet that’s 100% free of gluten. However, people with celiac disease will have to avoid gluten in every possible way, because even the smallest amount of gluten will harm them in the long run.
Who should take the Gluten Intolerance Test?
If you suspect a possible gluten hypersensitivity, it may be a good idea to test yourself for this so that you know if you need to exclude gluten in your diet. It is important to bear in mind that there is a difference between our Gluten intolerance test, Food intolerance test and Allergy test. If you choose to carry out all these three tests, you can, for example, get a positive result on wheat for allergies or food intolerance, but be told that you are not gluten intolerant. If you get the answer that you are not gluten intolerant, you can thus still be sensitive to wheat as there are different types of diseases and reactions, as well as different things in wheat that you react to. For those of you who experience many different problems or symptoms, we recommend that you combine the gluten intolerance test with the Allergy test or Food intolerance test 80 items that also measures a milder form of gluten sensitivity.
Who gets gluten intolerance?
The reality is that anyone can become sensitive to gluten at any age, at any time. Research indicates that the older you get, the higher the risk you could develop a sensitivity to gluten.
How to test for gluten intolerance?
You can get your own gluten intolerance test from us, delivered to you and ready to use at home. If you experience many different symptoms and want more comprehensive results, we recommend you combine the gluten intolerance test with the Allergy test or Food intolerance test 80 items that also measures a milder form of gluten sensitivity.
How long does it take to get the results?
As soon as the samples have arrived, they will immediately be tested at the lab, so you can expect the test results should be back to you within a week.
How does the Gluten Intolerance Test work?
The test is a so-called capillary blood sample, which means that you need to take a small stick in your finger and squeeze out some blood that you collect in a test tube. The sample is sent to our lab for analysis and your test result comes digitally when the lab has analysed your sample.
Why test for gluten intolerance?
Besides reducing the uncomfortable symptoms aforementioned that are caused by gluten intolerance, detecting gluten intolerance in an early stage will reduce the damage to the digestive tracts and prevent any serious complications.
When should I take the gluten intolerance test?
It is recommended to follow a diet containing lots of gluten when you take the est. This way, the effects of gluten can be well assessed. If you haven’t had any gluten, there won’t be any anti-tTG in your blood, which is necessary for an accurate test result. You should start eating gluten two to four weeks before taking the test. As little as 3 grams of gluten per day will suffice.
How do you treat gluten intolerance?
There is not a cure for gluten intolerance, so the best option for those suffering from it, is to make changes to their diet. You may want to consider a gluten-free diet. Another option is to eat products containing probiotics, since probiotics can help increase the good bacteria in the gut and reduce symptoms such as flatulence. We recommended getting into contact with a dietician or nutritionist who can help you set up a diet.
Gluten-free diet or wheat-free diet?
A person who is gluten intolerant can eat gluten-free products, while a person who reacts to wheat should exclude all products that contain wheat. Gluten-free products may contain parts of wheat that a gluten intolerant person can tolerate, but someone suffering from wheat allergy would not be able to tolerate. A lab test makes sure you don’t exclude any food you are not hypersensitive to.
Does a gluten-free diet have health risks?
The biggest issue with a gluten-free diet is that you may get a fiver deficiency or you might develop Type 2 diabetes. It’s also important to note that gluten-free foods may not necessarily be healthy. They may contain unhealthy ingredients such as sodium, sugar and fat, which could lead to weight gain and cause high blood pressure. Set up a healthy diet with your dietician to make sure you are eating the right foods.
Should I still avoid gluten even if it turns out I am not gluten intolerant?
The short answer is no. There are many valuable nutrients to be found in products containing gluten. If you are still worried about your health, it is recommended to eat more healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole-grains. People who do not suffer from gluten intolerance may just need a different change of diet to feel better, and so they don’t need to remove gluten.
What are some healthy gluten-free foods I can eat?
You may lose some nutrients when you cut down on the gluten, but luckily there are many healthy alternatives, so going gluten-free may not be as bad as you might think. We recommend fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh meat , seafood, beans, dairy products and healthy fats and nuts and seeds. Rice (in its natural form) is also gluten-free. This included all different types of rice, like brown rice, white rice, wild rice, even sticky rice.
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