What is a Gluten Allergy?  
by Grant Segall
symptoms and severity of the symptoms of gluten allergy vary from one person to
another, generally a person would experience hives, swelling, abdominal cramps,
nausea and vomiting, or asthma. If the person is highly sensitive to gluten allergy, the
symptoms could be life-threatening.

The good news about gluten allergy is that if the person has a reaction after eating
wheat or wheat product, making an early diagnosis is easy. The challenge is that so
many of the foods we eat are made with wheat, making it difficult to tell where the
real problem lies. Most often, a trained doctor or allergist would conduct a skin prick
test or take blood to confirm that gluten allergy is the problem.

If the reaction to gluten is severe, the solution might be to eliminate wheat and
wheat by-products from the diet. However, if the gluten allergy is minor, then
reducing the amount of wheat consumed and/or allergy medication or shots might
do the trick. If the person with gluten allergy is a young child, chances are he or she
will outgrow the allergy.

Gluten Intolerance, also known as Celiac Disease, is a hereditary disorder that affects
the immune system. In this case, when gluten is consumed, the mucosa, which is the
lining of the small intestine, is damaged. When this happens, important vitamins and
nutrients are not absorbed properly. When a person has this type of gluten allergy,
the symptoms would be different in children than they would be in adults.

For children, the gluten allergy would be seen as abdominal distension, impaired
growth, abnormal stools, irritability, poor muscle tone, malabsorption, poor appetite,
and wasting of muscle. If an adult has this type of gluten allergy, then diarrhea,
significant weight loss, abdominal cramping and bloating, constipation, and offensive
stools are common.

In both cases of gluten allergy, a doctor would need to perform blood tests to make
a confirmed diagnosis. Once done, the only treatment is to have gluten completely
eliminated from the diet. Because of this, it is essential that nutrient and vitamin
deficiencies be addressed with things such as niacin, iron, thiamin, riboflavin,
chromium, magnesium, selenium, folacin, molybdenum, and phosphorus. With proper
care and diet, a person with gluten allergy can enjoy a hearty choice of foods without
the irritating symptoms.


About The Author

Grant Segall RPh is a pharmacist and webmaster for the fitness related website
.
In wheat, barley, rye, and low level
oats, there is a rubbery like protein
called gluten. This substance is what
helps the dough bind, which you
would see with baked breads and
other baked foods. Although these
grains contain gluten, which can
cause a gluten allergy in sensitive
people, they also contain a number of
other proteins that can also cause
allergy symptoms.

The four primary proteins found in
wheat, rye, and barley includes
albumin, globulin, gliadin, and glutenin,
better known as gluten. While the
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