What is Gluten Allergy?
Gluten is a protein which is found in wheat, rye, barley and other foods. Gluten is present notably in baked foods, cereals, cakes, biscuits and even in beer, whiskey etc. The function of gluten is to bind dough in foods of baked items and bread etc. The presence of gluten also gives consistency and sponginess to the cereals like rice and maize.
Gluten allergy is very commonly found. The study shows that nearly one out of the 167 children usually suffer from this allergy which is 0.6%. Similarly, in adults one in a group of 111 adults is found to be allergic to gluten. This makes 0.9% of the population. These statistics show that this allergy is a common food allergy.
What Causes Gluten Allergy?
Gluten allergy is caused when the immune system mistakenly identifies the gluten proteins as harmful and reacts against it. This triggers the various allergic symptoms.
Symptoms For Gluten Allergy
The symptoms for gluten vary from individual to individual. Here are the common symptoms of gluten allergy:
• Formation of hive formation on the skin
• Foul smelling stools
• Abdominal pain and cramps
• Muscle cramps
• Swelling around the mouth
• Tingling in the feet and legs
• Allergic rhinitis
• Cramping in your stomach
People with gluten allergy may tolerate gluten to a certain extent, but eating large quantities can trigger an allergy. (However, this is not true in all cases of gluten allergies). In contrast, people with celiac disease cannot tolerate even minute amount of gluten.
Testing for Gluten Allergy
A blood test (RAST) or skin prick test can be conducted to test for gluten allergy. People with adverse reaction to gluten may also be having celiac disease. Celiac disease is an immune disorder which causes abdominal pain and cramping. If you suspect gluten allergy, do consult an allergist who can conduct allergy testing and inform you about the treatment options.
Tips To Prevent Gluten Allergy
Here are few basic steps which can be followed to prevent gluten allergy. These are:
• Avoid cereal of barley and alcoholic beverages.
• Avoid baked and fried items
• Intake of cookies, crackers, cream of wheat can cause you allergy so it is better to avoid them
• The items like vermicelli, rye bread, wheat gram, puddings, pastries all carry allergic ingredients in them. So it is advisable to avoid them.
• Then, soy sauce, different types of sausages, some yeasts can also result in gluten allergy. It is for this reason they must be avoided.
Cutting down the gluten in the diet instead of totally eliminating may also work for some people. Taking good number of proteins through other food sources can help you to be healthy and free from gluten allergies.
To know even about gluten allergy in children, read our other article on Gluten Allergy Symptoms in Children.