Contrary to popular belief, gluten intolerance is a common phenomenon. In addition, the medical term celiac disease is often correlated to gluten intolerance, which causes an adverse reaction to eating gluten.
While a gluten intolerance is pretty challenging to identify and diagnose, you can get a gluten intolerance test done to check for markers of celiac disease.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a naturally existing protein in grains such as barley, rye, and wheat. As the name suggests, it has a thick, glue-like consistency that gives foods containing grains a chewy texture.
Some common foods that contain gluten are:
- Baked goods
What is Gluten Intolerance?
Gluten intolerance triggers an immune response in the small intestine upon gluten consumption, damaging the intestine’s ability to absorb and utilize nutrients. Thus potentially causing permanent damage to one’s digestive system.
Some Common Symptoms Include:
- Diarrhoea and Constipation
This is perhaps one of the most commonly experienced symptoms by individuals with this condition. While occasional digestive problems are considered normal, frequent occurrences stipulate gluten intolerance. In which case, getting a gluten intolerance test is advised.
Bloating or gas building up is often connected with overeating. However, in this regard, this troubling and uncomfortable state is directly linked with gluten intolerance.
This is one of the more difficult symptoms to identify, as fatigue can result from other conditions. However, patients experience nutrient deficiency, especially iron deficiency, leading to impaired functioning due to poor nutrient absorption.
- Skin Reactions
Gluten intolerance can also harm your skin, resulting in blisters, tenderness, and itchiness.
Gluten Intolerance Test
While researchers remain in search of the best, direct way to diagnose gluten intolerance, doctors may advise you to get a few tests done to rule out other possibilities.
These tests include:
- Blood Test
This screens the patient’s blood to check for abnormally high levels of antibodies present for celiac disease.
- Tissue Biopsy
A biopsy of the small intestine tissue lining is carried out through endoscopy to identify any damage that may indicate the condition’s presence.
- Tissue Transglutaminase IgA Antibody Test
This test has the highest sensitivity for the presence of IgA antibodies and rarely gives a false-positive result.
Gluten Intolerance: How to Live with It
Before diagnosing the condition, medical researchers recommend monitoring your dietary habits and reporting symptoms and other developments.
Once a definitive diagnosis has been made, it is advised to eliminate all sources of gluten from their diet. While occasional intake of gluten-containing foods is considered alright, avoid making it a habit. Making necessary changes in your lifestyle and finding alternatives for your favourite foods can make the condition considerably bearable to live with.
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is good to seek medical attention and make necessary dietary changes. Consulting a professional dietician is of utmost concern to ensure you have a nutritious diet.