What is Gluten-Free Diet & Its Effects on Health?


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Despite the growing demand for gluten-free diets, the truth is that these should not be adopted if there is no real problem, and always under the advice of a specialist. The gluten-free diet can promise important health benefits, but this is not always true. In this sense, there is a great debate about whether the gluten-free diet has real positive effects or is just a new fad.

The Gluten-Free Diet in Non-Celiac People

Nowadays, the gluten-free diet has spread due to the increasingly widespread belief that this type of diet can help with weight loss. However, this is not true, and although gluten is not an essential protein for our body, eliminating it from our diet is not recommended if it is not under the advice of an expert. First, it is essential to distinguish which people may have certain sensitivity to gluten, even reaching intolerance. Of course, these types of disorders must be diagnosed by means of a clear analysis, in which case it will be important to eliminate gluten from the daily diet. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that following a gluten-free diet should be treated as a specialized treatment for people with intolerance. Eliminating this component without necessity is, however, something not recommended and that only obeys a generalized belief and based on false myths.

In addition, the gluten-free diet is recommended for people suffering from inflammatory diseases in the intestine or autoimmune diseases.

They are also for people suffering from hormonal or even neurological disorders. Therefore, join the fashion of gluten-free diet should not be taken lightly, and should always be accompanied by the recommendations of nutrition professional. In short, the most important thing is to follow a balanced diet. There will be room for foods of both vegetable and animal origin, as well as whole grains or dairy products. Provided it is not for a special need, we must avoid falling into the belief that a gluten-free diet will bring us benefits.

Real Intolerance to Gluten: Celiac Disease

To begin with, the symptoms by which gluten intolerances can be detected are often related to digestive problems. In this sense, gas, heaviness, abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation can be suffered. In addition, skin problems, fatigue or sleep disorders may occur. The main problem of celiac disease is that it is a permanent intolerance of unknown origin. This pathology usually causes a chronic inflammation in the mucosa of the small intestine and a progressive atrophy of the internal hair of this organ. It will be in these cases where it will be especially important to adopt a gluten-free diet.

One of the main characteristics of people suffering from celiac disease is that they have great difficulty in gaining weight. This is because the villi of the small intestine are not able to absorb nutrients from wheat products. Logically, this means that they cannot absorb the calories of these foods either. However, eliminating these products from the diet without necessity can cause us to lose control of our weight, getting fatter than when we consume them.

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

This type of disorder may seem similar to celiac disease, and affects a percentage of the population between 1% and 6%. However, it is another type of problem, although it is also related to the gluten content of the food. The diagnosis of these pathologies is made by excluding gluten from the diet, as occurs with celiac disease. Among the problems related to sensitivity to non-celiac gluten can be the irritable bowel syndrome, a quite common discomfort. In total, it affects around 15% of the population. This problem is characterized by the appearance of abdominal pain, diarrhea or flatulence. Here comes into play the gluten-free diet, which can help reduce symptoms.

On the other hand, there is also an allergy to some wheat proteins. The manifestation of this problem can vary between children and adults. In this sense, children are usually affected by a more classic allergy that often disappears during childhood. In addition, these types of allergies have a variety of symptoms, from a typical itching to discomfort in the intestine. Due to this complication to be diagnosed correctly, the only therapeutic option is to eliminate wheat and its derivatives, adopting a gluten-free diet really necessary.



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