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Why the Big Deal Over Gluten-Free Products?
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Why the Big Deal Over Gluten-Free Products?

Some cereal grains such as wheat, barley and rye contain a mixture of proteins called gluten. It is the elasticity substance in these grains that forms when flour is mixed with water to form dough. Many adults and children have an autoimmune deficiency known as celiac disease and cannot tolerate gluten. Consumption of gluten results in gastrointestinal problems such as pain, fatigue, and malnutrition for these individuals. Treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet. The disease is diagnosed by a blood test.

One in 133 Americans test positive for celiac disease. It may be a good idea to be tested if you are experiencing diarrhea, malnutrition, weight loss or nutrient deficiencies. Although weight loss is a symptom, a number of patients diagnosed with celiac disease are obese. While mostly people of Northern European descent test positive for the disease, members of the Hispanic, Asian and African-American population have tested positive for the disease as well. It affects the villi in the lamina propria and crypt regions of the intestines. Some celiac patients experience bloating, chronic diarrhea, weakness, bone pain and aphthous stomatitis.

Some people test negative for celiac disease, yet have gastrointestinal problems after consuming gluten products. These individuals often describe a "foggy mind" or present with other behavioral issues after eating foods with gluten. This immune response is diagnosed as gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity. The symptoms improve dramatically when gluten is removed from the patient's diet.

The chances of gastrointestinal cancer rises sharply in patients with celiac disease or gluten intolerance that continue to eat food products containing gluten. Duodenal and jejunal small intestinal biopsies have proved to be a helpful tool to diagnose and as a follow-up for patients with celiac disease. Scientists are studying the goblet cells that line the intestines and secrete mucous as a future treatment solution for celiac disease. Researchers are currently studying the connection of psoriasis and people with celiac disease.

There is no medical evidence that gluten is harmful to individuals that do not have celiac disease or gluten intolerance. However, a number of athletes, people trying to lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle are selecting gluten-free products. For these individuals a gluten-free diet is a personal lifestyle choice. All individuals selecting a gluten-free diet should find alternative food replacements for the fiber, minerals and vitamins found in wheat products.

Royalty-free pic courtesy of spiderpic.com.

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Leave a Comment

  1. Carolyn
    Carolyn
    Please feel free to share information concerning celiac disease or a gluten-free diet.
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  2. Charlotte
    Voted #2 ty for the info
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    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      Thanks! Hope you are feeling better!
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  3. Sheila Ray
    voted :)
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    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      Thanks Sheila, I appreciate the vote!
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  4. Virtually Homemade
    Virtually Homemade
    I try to stay gluten free - just feel better without it! Voted!
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    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      Thanks Virtually Homemade! A number of recipes that myself and others have posted are gluten-free.
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  5. SnakeWitch
    Wheat is the gluten that most people can't tolerate because it has been tampered with so much. There is no such thing as 'organic wheat' - if you use the most extreme definition of organic - because humans have genetically crossed it so many times. It is now much more dense and has a much higher amount of protein. This was originally done to help feed people under harsh circumstances, and it was helpful, but now we are seeing the downside of doing this.Nowadays, even though it doesn't harm most people, it is an ingredient that is a bit harder to digest than other types of grains and may even build up in the intestines, causing unnecessary bloating of the belly area. To know how to cleanse that buildup, read my article 'How to Do a Proper Juicing Fast'... and vote for me please!
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    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      Patients with Gluten Intolerance or Celiac Patients be sure to read SnakeWitch's article mentioned above. :)
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      1. SnakeWitch
        I did this cleanse and trust me, it feels great... well, it did after the short period of time running to the bathroom every hour! And I lost an incredible amount of weight! I never thought to try and market this sort of fast to those with gluten intolerance and celiac disease. Good idea, Carolyn.
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        1. Carolyn
          Carolyn
          Oh sorry SnakeWitch....I must have misunderstood.....I thought you were saying it would be good for gluten intoleant people or celiac patients....sorry!
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          1. SnakeWitch
            Sorry? You don't have to apologize for giving me a good idea! Don't worry about it!
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  6. dianabart
    dianabart
    I firmly believe that if we eat only 'live sprouted grains' these kind of problems would diminish. I know it has for my health. Eat live food for life. voted and posted.
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