With whole aisles dedicated to “Free-From” foods, it’s become apparent that people are looking to understand their body’s more fully. Over the last decade, a movement has been quietly taking place where people are taking allergy and intolerance tests to identify foods that are adversely affecting their health. Gluten intolerance is one of the most common, with many people realising that foods containing gluten cause them a lot of problems. But how do you know if you have a gluten intolerance? When is it time to take an intolerance test?
What Is Gluten?
Gluten is a group of proteins that is found exclusively in grains and is the primary component in flour that makes it sticky when water is added. It works to bind dough and give it the elastic texture before baking. It also helps with rising and contributes to the texture of the final baked product.
What’s The Problem With Gluten?
There are a growing number of scientists who think that gluten may actually be a problematic food for the MAJORITY of the population. However, currently, the generally accepted rule is that most people can tolerate gluten just fine. The problems come where there is gluten intolerance or coeliac disease.
Gluten intolerance is less severe than coeliac disease but can still have a significant adverse effect on your day-to-day life. Symptoms of gluten intolerance include diarrhoea, stomach pain, tiredness, and bloating. To identify a gluten intolerance, you can take an intolerance test.
Believed to affect 0.7-1% of the population, Coeliac Disease is a lifelong condition which manifests in several life-affecting symptoms. These include tissue damage within the small intestines, severe weight loss, diarrhoea, constant fatigue and anaemia. Coeliac has to be managed sufficiently to avoid increased risk of many diseases, including diabetes.
Gluten Foods & Gluten-Free Alternatives
Unfortunately for those with gluten intolerance and coeliac disease, some of the most popular foods contain gluten. Pizza, bread, beer, cakes & pasta are just some of the foods that are rich in gluten. The increasing awareness of the prevalence of gluten intolerance has led to many of the big food manufacturers producing gluten-free versions of your favourite foods. From pizza to beer, pretty much every food containing gluten has been given a gluten-free makeover.
Identifying A Gluten Intolerance
The best way to identify a gluten intolerance when you realise you’re experiencing the above symptoms when eating gluten-based foods is via an intolerance test. By taking an intolerance test, you can confirm your suspicions or discover whether it is another food that is causing you problems.