What is a gluten allergy?

In wheat, barley, rye and low-level oats, there is a gummy protein called gluten. This substance is what helps bind the dough, which you would see with baked bread and other baked goods. Although these cereals contain gluten, which can cause a gluten allergy in sensitive people, they also contain a number of other proteins that can also cause allergic symptoms.

The four primary proteins found in wheat, rye and barley include albumin, globulin, gliadin and gluten, better known as gluten. While the symptoms and severity of gluten allergy symptoms vary from one person to another, typically a person would experience urticaria, bloating, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting or asthma. If the person is very sensitive to gluten allergy, the symptoms could be potentially lethal.

The good news about gluten allergy is that if the person has a reaction after eating wheat or wheat products, making an early diagnosis is easy. The challenge is that many of the foods we eat are made with wheat, making it difficult to understand where the real problem lies. Most often, a qualified doctor or allergist performs a skin puncture test or takes blood to confirm that gluten allergy is the problem.

If the reaction to gluten is severe, the solution could be to eliminate wheat and its derivatives from the diet. However, if the gluten allergy is less, reducing the amount of grain consumed and / or medications or allergy shots could do the trick. If the person with a gluten allergy is a young child, it is likely that he or she will be older than the allergy.

Gluten intolerance, also known as celiac disease, is a hereditary disease that affects the immune system. In this case, when gluten is consumed, the mucosa, which is the lining of the small intestine, is damaged. When this happens, important vitamins and nutrients are not properly absorbed. When a person has this type of gluten allergy, the symptoms would be different in children than in adults.

For children, gluten allergy would be seen as abdominal distension, impaired growth, abnormal stools, irritability, poor muscle tone, malabsorption, poor appetite and muscle wasting. If an adult has this type of gluten allergy, diarrhea, significant weight loss, cramping and abdominal bloating, constipation and offensive stool are common.

In both cases of gluten allergy, a doctor should perform blood tests to make a confirmed diagnosis. Once done, the only treatment is to completely eliminate gluten from the diet. For this reason, it is essential that nutritional and vitamin deficiencies are addressed with things like niacin, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, chromium, magnesium, selenium, folacin, molybdenum and phosphorus. With proper care and diet, a person with a gluten allergy can enjoy a rich choice of foods without the irritating symptoms.

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