Happy, Healthy & Gluten-Free

What you can and cannot eat to stay on a gluten-free diet

12/31/2016 3:05:18 PM
written By : Dr Digamber Naik Print

It was believed that gluten intolerance was a disease of the Europeans. Now we find, however, a large number of Indians are gluten-intolerant. Perhaps, this is due to changes in the varieties of wheat variety grown in India today. It’s also possible that we treated all such cases before as simple allergies or gas. We do have a number of medicines for so-called gas in India and the doctors and the patients were happy with those remedies. So we were not aware of the gluten-intolerance problem among Indians before.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Intolerance to this protein causes problems in human called celiac disease. In this condition, gluten damages intestinal lining, thereby reducing the ability of the intestines to absorb nutrients. Patients with this condition may show the following symptoms: diarrhoea, abdominal distension, bloating, burping, reflux, flatulence, abdominal pain, constipation, nausea, vomiting, growth retardation, anaemia, weight loss, lethargy, tiredness. But some may not show any of these symptoms. They are called silent celiacs. 

Absence of typical symptoms will make the diagnosis difficult and may lead to chronic ill health with life-threatening situations. Celiac disease may develop at any age. It can be confirmed with simple blood tests or the intestinal biopsy.

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