What is gluten intolerance?
Gluten is aprotein, present in various types of cereals and also in processed foods where it is added as a thickening ingredient.
In this sense, gluten intolerance or sensitivityis an autoimmune response of our bodythat affects a fairly low percentage of the population, whenconsuming foods that contain gluten. It is considered a permanent disease and can develop at any age.
Note: Gluten intolerance disorder usually affects women more than men, in ratios of 2:1, that is, twice as many cases.
Causes of gluten intolerance
The existence or appearance of gluten intolerance or sensitivity as a disorder or disease, occurs from certain triggers. They will be mentioned and explained below for your consideration.
When we refer to allergy, this term is defined asalterations in the bodyas a result of the consumption of certain foods or substances to which it has been exposed. (1)
In addition to that, when talking about gluten allergy,reactions occur when consuming foods with the presence of wheat or cerealsthat contain this protein. Even in products in which the presence of it is not even suspected, due to its use as an ingredient. Among these foods we could mention:
- Ice creams
It happens that genetically there are elements that influencethe appearance of gluten intolerance. This is due tomalabsorption of the protein , which is influenced by factors such as genetically predisposed individuals with the HLA-DQ2 and/or HLA-DQ8 alleles. (two)
Important: An early determination of this condition will reduce the risks of complications over time.
Severe gastroenteritis and bacterial in nature, may have the ability to trigger symptoms that produce an intolerance or sensitivity to gluten. Likewise, genetic modifications or variants produced by strong treatments influence and lead to celiac disease.
There are studies that evoke the appearance of intolerance after a surgical procedure, due to a secondary reaction. It should be noted that modification or damage to the villi of the intestine, as well as inflammation that is not properly controlled, increases the risk of triggering.
I embarrass the delivery
Investigative studies on reported cases of pregnant women who begin to present symptoms of intolerance or sensitivity to gluten have determined that there is a link with the gestation process.
Note: This is mainly because pregnancy always increases the risk of developing disordersand various diseases to which one is already susceptible or predisposed. And so clearly pregnancy and childbirth could be the triggers.
Scientific studies show how there is a Direct Contact between the parts of the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the digestive system, so alterations in it are reflected in disorders of this nature. (3)
Stress is then a very relevant factor to derive intestinal problems, in which the absorption of nutrients and assimilation of proteins such as gluten is limited.
How to identify gluten intolerance?
Gluten intolerance or sensitivity can be identified mainly by the symptoms it presents , although it is important to mention that determination through medical examinations will always be essential for its control and treatment.
This previously mentioned symptomatology will be described below for its contemplation and identification if necessary.
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and constipation
Although the field of manifestations is quite wide, nausea, vomiting, chronic diarrhea and constipation come into play as part of the list of the most obvious components of this disease.
Note: There is also reflux, abdominal swelling and heartburn due to the minimal or non-existent acceptance that our body has.
Bloating and abdominal pain
It occurs mainly in adults, and this can be directly involved in the overproduction and accumulation of porphyrins and precursors.
It is a Complication of late diagnosis or little care and responsibility on the part of the patient and his condition. (4)
Chronic fatigue is considered to be one of the symptoms in reaction to damage tothe lining of the small intestine. Added to this, a feeling of tiredness and loss of weight and appetite.
iron deficiency anemia
As we previously mentioned, the limitation in absorption of certain components that are essential for our body, is precisely what leads to the appearance of iron deficiency anemia. Nasal bleeding and cognitive impairment may also occur as a consequence.
To highlight: Iron deficiency anemia is one that occurs when there are low iron valuesand therefore there is a decrease in the concentration of hemoglobin.
Under the same reason previously described, the lack of vitamin D and calcium in the body is the reason for the appearance of bone softening in patients.
In addition to this, a decrease in bone density in adults can occur under the same circumstances.
It happens that in a Late diagnosis , there is a risk of a more evident and complicated symptomatology, which is why development and size problems occur due to the deficiency of important elements for our organism, which is produced by the decrease in the ability to absorption.
Treatment for gluten intolerance
Gluten intolerance does not have a single treatment,limited to the reduction or total elimination of the consumption of gluten-containing foods. They will be mentioned and described below.
Strict gluten-free diet
As we previously mentioned, the first tool for a patient with gluten intolerance is to remove that protein from their diet.
Note: Care in food and respect for the treatments prescribed by a medical professional will reduce the risks of complications and prolong the quality of life of the individual.
Vitamin and mineral supplements
Vitamin and mineral supplements are necessary for people in whom there is a latent complication in the decreased absorption of nutrients in their intestines.
Therefore, it is necessary to induce them by other ways for their correct absorption andprevent the development of diseases in the long term.
Drugs for intestinal inflammation
The decrease in intestinal inflammation will help to Reduce the symptoms and discomfort causedin the celiac patient. This inflammation directly affects the intestinal wall, so its control can prevent further damage to our digestive system.
Among the most prominent medications for this, corticosteroids and aminosalicylates are used. are used.
Control and medical follow-up
As we previously mentioned, the determination, medication, and follow-up by a Medical Professional will help to ensure correct and appropriate treatment for the individual’s symptoms, complications, and level of progression of the disease.
Important: One of the most important characteristics of medical care is Not to confuse atopic dermatitis with dermatitis herpetiformis.Dermatitis herpetiformis is one that causes itching and bumps due to genetic factors that are linked to gluten intolerance.
- Gluten intolerance is a progressive disease that requires the correct care to reduce risks.
- It can come from medical complications and genetic elements , and it is even remarkable that it can appear at any age of the individual.
- It is very important that people have a correct and responsible monitoring of their condition, to Avoid more serious disorders and diseases .
University Professional in the area of Human Resources, Postgraduate in Occupational Health and Hygiene of the Work Environment, 14 years of experience in the area of health. Interested in topics of Psychology, Occupational Health, and General Medicine.