Gluten-Free Eating: What You Need to Know About Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivit
Gluten-Free Eating: What You Need to Know About Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. For people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten can cause a range of symptoms, from mild digestive issues to serious health complications. Here are five key points to understand about gluten-free eating:
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects around 1% of the population. When people with celiac disease consume gluten, it triggers an immune response that damages the lining of the small intestine. Over time, this can lead to malabsorption of nutrients, anemia, osteoporosis, and other health problems.
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is a condition that affects a larger proportion of the population than celiac disease. People with NCGS experience similar symptoms to those with celiac disease, such as bloating, diarrhea, and fatigue, but they do not have the same immune response or intestinal damage.
Gluten-free eating requires avoiding all sources of gluten, including bread, pasta, cereals, baked goods, and many processed foods. However, many naturally gluten-free foods are available, such as fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, beans, and nuts.
Going gluten-free can be challenging, as gluten is a common ingredient in many foods and cross-contamination can occur during preparation. It's important to read labels carefully and communicate your dietary needs when eating out or at social events.
While a gluten-free diet is essential for people with celiac disease, there is some debate about whether it is necessary for those with NCGS. Some studies suggest that the symptoms of NCGS may be due to other components of wheat and not gluten specifically. It's important to work with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of action for managing gluten-related symptoms.