Wheat Sensitivity and Coeliac Disease - A Wheat Free and Gluten Free Diet
If you have recently been diagnosed as having a wheat allergy or as a Coeliac, you may be feeling a little daunted by the sudden necessary restrictions to your diet. It can feel quite disheartening when you see that many of the delicious foods you enjoyed prior to your diagnosis are no longer allowed in your diet. This can make food look bland, meal times depressing and eating out almost impossible.
So what exactly is a wheat allergy? Put very simply, wheat sensitivity is an allergic reaction or intolerance to wheat which manifests itself through the immune system. It is a very difficult allergy to pinpoint, as each person's reaction can be very different. Some sufferers have experienced symptoms similar to hay fever. Complaining of itchy eyes, runny noses, coughs and rashes. Some of the varying symptoms for a wheat allergy are, sweating, skin rashes, asthma, irritability, stomach cramps, a runny nose, migraines, sneezing, muscle pain, tiredness and difficulty swallowing.
Many people overcome their allergy by sticking to a wheat free diet. Thankfully, some sufferers can, after a period of abstinence, return to a diet where wheat is eaten in moderation. However, others have to remove wheat from their diets permanently. These individuals have to select wheat free foods for life.
Coeliac disease however, is when the small intestine cannot absorb all the nutrients from the food you are eating. The fronds on the intestinal wall become damaged by gluten. (Gluten is a part of the protein found in barley, rye and wheat.) Once gluten is removed from the diet the fronds repair and are able to absorb nutrients from food once again. Unfortunately, for the sufferer, gluten can never be reintroduced into the diet. Therefore, they have to stick rigidly to a gluten free diet.
Coeliac disease can also be passed down in families. If you have a close family member who has been diagnosed as a Coeliac, you can have a simple blood test to determine whether or not you are a sufferer. Some of the symptoms for Coeliac Disease are, abdominal discomfort, tiredness, weight loss, diarrhoea, anaemia and fertility problems. If you feel that you have some or all of these symptoms please seek advice from your doctor. It is not safe to start a restrictive diet without the correct medical supervision.
With as many as 1 in 100 people diagnosed as a Coeliac in the UK alone, the Coeliac community is ever-expanding and sufferers now have a massive online resource of information. Including, in-depth medical resources, alternative ingredients and gluten free health tips. In addition, many manufacturers are emerging as gluten free and wheat free specialists.
Being diagnosed as a Coeliac or as having a wheat intolerance doesn't have to mean you are limited to bland food. With a well organised pantry you could instead embrace new ingredients which allow you to have your favourite meals and perhaps try new recipes without the accompanying ill-health.
For all our gluten free and wheat free products please visit www.naturalmatter.co.uk
Natural Matter stocks hundreds of leading manufacturers natural health products, including vitamins, minerals, herbal supplements, fitness equipment, weight training products and training equipment, all at discount prices. These are all available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in our health shop.
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