Gluten is the primary storage protein present in wheat grains. It is a mixture of many proteins. Similar type of protein is present in rye named as secalin, avenins in oat and hordein in barley are collectively referred as gluten. Gluten, is mainly present in yeast enriched bakery items like are Pastas, Noodles, Pastries, Doughnuts, cookies, Croutons and Beer. The yeast in these items release carbon dioxide and other gases the gluten compounds trap the gases and causes bread to rise. There are also some hidden sources of gluten like sausages, cold cuts, candies and potato chips and even some medicines and cosmetics contain gluten as an ingredient.
Gluten contains agents that are resistant to gastric issues, pancreatic, and digesting ability of intestine. This difficulty in digestion creates amino acids and glutamine and proline. These proline compounds create complex structure that creates adverse reactions of immunity and results in celiac disease. In the small intestine there are tiny hair like structures called “villi” that absorb nutrition from the food. The person suffering from celiac disease when ingests gluten rich diet, the villi trigger an auto immune reaction on interaction with gluten and their ability to absorb nutrition gets compromised. The patient suffers from malnutrition, anemia, or sometimes osteoporosis, and sometimes suffers from muscles fatigue, menstrual problems, skin rashes and mouth sores. If the person keeps ingesting gluten rich diet, it can cause liver disorders and in extreme cases bowl cancer.
The “gluten free diet” is a diet that is exclusive of gluten protein. A gluten free diet is referred to the patients who have celiac disease, a self-immune disorder in which person becomes gluten intolerant and ingesting gluten rich diet causes inflammation in their small intestine. Gluten rich diet is not a diet that can suit everyone, as for the people who suffer from celiac disease, gluten causes inflammation. Gluten free diet is referred to these patients as it helps in controlling the indigestion and inflammation. Gluten free diet includes beans, eggs, meat and poultry, fruits, vegetables and dairy products. While some food items may or may not be gluten free like beer, candies, salad dressings, seasoned rice and snacks. While buying such items buyers have to read the labels to make sure their food is gluten free.
The gluten free diet has become a trend now and people, despite not having the genetic intolerance to gluten or celiac disease are adapting this diet as a fashion trend. It is more popular among women who are inspired by advertisements and social media, and are more health and fitness conscious. Dr. Hyun-seok Kim, researched the cases in which people who continuously take gluten free diet, and are not gluten intolerant. In this research it was found that the people who were initially not gluten intolerant on continuously keeping gluten free diet, their body is starting to develop gluten intolerance. They are becoming more susceptible to celiac disease and some may develop the disease in near future. The Researcher believed the cause of popularity of gluten free diet is the wide availability, and the reduced price. She mentioned in her research that every one in five Americans prefer gluten free diet.
In another research made by Dr. Daphne Miller of University of California, it was found that removing gluten rich diet in people who are not gluten intolerant also removes some essential components like lactose, fructose, xylitol and mannitol and may give rise to intestinal complications similar to those that is common in celiac patients. There is also a misconception that going gluten free will help in weight reduction, which is actually true because not having high caloric food that has gluten reduces the calorie intake of the person and he or she might suffer from malnutrition. Some social influencers who are suffering from celiac disease describes that when people come and ask her about gluten free diet she recommends them to analyze whether or not they need a gluten free diet plan.
The person who suffers from celiac disease has to undergo from a challenging social shift. Those with celiac disease always have to take care of the food they are eating and whether is it or not gluten free. Those people are commonly miss-understood in society as conservative or choosy in the diet. The families who have one or more gluten intolerant person have to take care of the person and make separate food for him. These family sometimes have to control their social interaction and have to avoid gatherings and parties, so that the celiac patient does not feel abandoned and develop mental stress of being the odd one in the family.
In the workplaces there are more risks of gluten contamination. People share same kitchen, lunch table and bathroom. There are sometimes complementary lunch from the office containing doughnuts and snacks that are gluten rich, and the person sometimes have to accept the offer and sometimes reject based on the severity of the issue and person’s own perception about his issue.
While it may sound impossible, there are many people who are suffering from the celiac disease but are living their life to the fullest, happily and productively. The key to live with a genetic intolerance is that the person has to plan for himself, choose when and how to accept a party invitation, and decide what is better for his health. Gluten free diet is not advisable for everyone, if everyone starts opting gluten free diet it will cause adverse effects on health. However it takes time for a celiac to be accepted in society.