May 052010

Gluten allergy is basically the ‘symptom’ of another disease known as ‘Celiac disease’. In reality gluten allergy has been on an increase throughout the world as indicated by some recent studies. The part which may concern you more is the fact that if left untreated gluten allergy can lead to further complications.

Let’s try to understand something about the symptoms that may indicate gluten allergy. Gluten allergy can be called a very secretive kind of allergy because its symptoms are not that prominent or obvious. You may just feel some kind of indigestion or swelling in your stomach. If you ignore it, the problem will increase and the onset of the Celiac disease may happen in your body without your knowing of it.

Subsequently you will suffer from headaches and tiredness. There would be an effect on your immune system also-it would become weak and you would be prone to general sickness and infections. Gradually, malnutrition would set in and you can probably get anemic. In worst cases osteoporosis or autism (especially in children) may also set in. Some reports also indicate that if left untreated Celiac disease can become one of the causes of cancer.

You need not worry about the worst case scenarios as they are very few and far between. Just keep you cool. The thing that you should be concerned about is the recognition of gluten allergy symptoms so that proper medication is available before the setting in of any kind of serious damage. So, you should straight off approach your doctor in case of any of the above mentioned initial symptoms. He would most probably conduct a blood test that will prove/disprove the presence of Celiac disease. If diagnosed, it’s not that difficult to treat and completely cured.

As far as gluten allergy is concerned, you will have to find ways so that you are able to substitute wheat in your diet with other kinds of foods. Gluten is mainly found in wheat and since wheat in its various forms is our staple diet, gluten has become a primary diet constituent all over the world. Foods such as bean flour, brown rice flour and potato starch flour are free from gluten.

You should also give a try to gums like the Xanthum gum. It is a good replacement for yeast and will make your food (like breads) taste good. The use of such gums also becomes necessary because people who switch over to the flours mentioned above don’t relish their food much. If mixed in such flours, these gums enhance your appetite as well.

Similarly, another gum called Guar gum is also very useful in a gluten free diet. Your food (like biscuits, cookies etc.) would not taste different and would not have the powdery touch, which is hated by many a person. In a nutshell, the remedy lies in the identification of the gluten allergy symptoms and in the subsequent switching over to a gluten-free diet with consistency. A happy gluten free life to all the concerned!