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What you need to know about Gluten Intolerances

Updated: May 11, 2023

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley which may not be able to be easily digested by our small intestine and can cause symptoms such as:

  • Bloating;

  • Gas;

  • Diarrhoea;

  • Fatigue and;

  • Rash.

More severe gluten intolerance is Coeliac Disease which is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system of an individual attacks the lining of the small intestine when gluten is ingested. This reduces the ability of the small intestine to absorb nutrients hence a diet without gluten is recommended. Additionally, CD is characterised by increased intestinal permeability allowing toxins, bacteria and undigested food proteins to enter the gastrointestinal barrier and into the bloodstream. If left untreated (not undertaking a life-long non-gluten diet) this may cause serious complications such as:

  • Malnutrition;

  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies- iron, zinc, vitamins A, D and B12 and niacin;

  • Lactose intolerance and;

  • Dermatitis Herpetiformis (skin rash).

Watch this video on CD clearly explained for an enhanced understanding of the condition!

For gluten intolerance, individuals are recommended not to have gluten but if they do, it is not as detrimental or damaging as it would be for someone with CD.

Wheat allergy and gluten intolerance are not the same. An allergy is associated with the production of IgE (an antibody) in your blood, which occurs when an allergen is detected by the immune system. Once IgE is detected by cells, chemicals are released to the onset of an allergic reaction. If you have a wheat allergy, your finger prick test would indicate a positive test for wheat-specific IgE whereas, gluten intolerance would indicate a negative result.

Some substitutes for gluten products include:

  • Rice;

  • Quinoa;

  • Almond meal;

  • Buckwheat;

  • Xanthan gum and;

  • Coconut flour.

Need some advice on how to detect gluten in food products or some advice on foods to make without gluten? Book a 1:1 consultation with me to get tailored advice and strategies to find the best gluten-free products for you.


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