Gluten is a protein in wheat and other grains such as barley, rye, oats, and triticale (rye and barley). One should also bear in mind that there can be contamination of non-gluten grains with other grains. This can occur during any stage of the production from the farm to the fork that is the reaping, storing, and processing of grains.
There is a campaign to encourage persons to enquire about food ingredients when eating out and to read the labels of processed foods. A gluten free diet could improve your health if you have been diagnosed as gluten intolerant.
There has been a lot of interest in gluten intolerance symptoms and the products that the food industry is promoting for the market segment who are on gluten-free diets. Recognizing the symptoms and taking the appropriate actions empower the affected persons to enjoy improved health. The good news is that with such heightened awareness the healthcare and food industries are responding to the special needs of those who are experiencing and living with gluten intolerance symptoms.
Many individuals may not even be aware that they have gluten intolerance. If you have been experiencing any of the following symptoms: tired all the time, have low energy output, poor digestion, you need to make an appointment to be assessed for gluten-intolerance.
Signs and Symptoms of Gluten intolerance
Gluten intolerance symptoms are mainly gastro-intestinal and usually occur after consuming a meal which contained wheat, rye or barley. These symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence
- Change in weight (gain or loss)
- Itching with or without swelling
- Itchy eyes
- Skin rashes
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
The elimination challenge is a test you could do to determine if you are gluten intolerant. It requires you to go gluten free for 3 weeks. A resolution of the symptoms may be a confirmation of gluten intolerance.
Foods to eat
- Dairy products
- Eggs, meats, fish and poultry
- Corn, rice, soy, cassava, potato flour
Foods to avoid
- Breads, biscuits, cookies, crouton
- Pies, cakes, and pastries
- Breaded meats, poultry, and seafood
It is very important to read the labels to ensure there is no use of wheat as in the case of breaded chicken. Be careful about cross-contamination of meals and snack with gluten products.
Tips to help the transition to gluten-free diets
- Set up an appointment to see a registered dietitian who can give guidance on the gluten-free diet and clarify any doubts or questions you may have
- Know all the foods that you can have for meals and snack. Have the list handy when shopping or eating out
- Tell family and close friends about your dietary change, so they are aware ahead of time if they have invited you to dine
- Always enquire in restaurants and quick service establishments whether they have gluten-free menu
Hello_docjam, Readers Bureau Contributor
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