It seems that everywhere you go there is talk about gluten. There is gluten-free bread, gluten-free pasta, and even gluten-free pizza. Many people have found that they have intolerance to gluten so they try to stay away from it. There is an actual condition called Celiac disease that results in serious reactions if gluten is ingested. So what exactly is gluten?
Gluten is a protein composite found in most grains. A protein composite is not a single protein but made up of several proteins such as gliadin, glutenin, hordein, and secalin. They all come from a group of proteins knowns as protamine. Gluten can be found in products containing wheat, barley, rye, spelt, and kamut. Gluten has a component that lets it make products more elastic by binding the flour products together creating a chewy texture.
Many people think that gluten is only used in breads, pastas, and any products that have wheat or flour. But there is gluten in things you may never have even thought of, such as prescription medications, supplements, and vitamins. It is also used in different flavorings and sauces so trying to eliminate it completely from your diet can be very challenging.
There are three different reactions to ingesting gluten: a wheat allergy, Celiac Disease, and Non-Celiac Disease. A wheat allergy is similar to any other allergies in that you will have a reaction right away to anything that has wheat in it. You may break out in a rash or have pains in your stomach. People who suffer from Celiac Disease end up with a rash, severe stomach pains, and diarrhea. This condition aggravates an inflammation in the wall of your intestines resulting in much discomfort. Non-Celiac Disease generates similar symptoms but they are not the same ones as in Celiac Disease or a wheat allergy. It may sound confusing and the symptoms are all in the same area. If you are not sure if you are gluten-intolerant or may have Celiac Disease, check with your doctor and he will be able to confirm your symptoms.