Are you having a difficulty in eating bread, pasta, cereals, or any other food with grain ingredient such as wheat, barley oats and rye? Have you ever experienced vomiting, bloating of the stomach, diarrhea and all other physical discomforts when you take such foods? If your answers are in the affirmative then you are possibly suffering from gluten intolerance or celiac disease. The aforementioned discomforts are just a few of the gluten intolerance symptoms. You may not be aware of it but you have it.
As a backgrounder to these two interrelated illness, the meaning of gluten has to be explained. Gluten is a sticky protein storage that is found mostly in wheat, cereals, barley and rye. Even then, it is not considered as protein. In simple terms it just holds up the proteins such as glutenin, secalin and hordein. Glutenin is found in wheat while secalin is found in rye and hordien in barley. These three groups of proteins are elastic proteins belonging to the protein family called prolamins.
Gluten intolerance is sometimes misunderstood as the same with celiac disease. The two concepts are different from each other although they have the same common ground as to its occurrence – gluten. On one hand, celiac disease is the automatic reaction of the body’s immune system when gluten in whatever form or source is ingested into the body from the mouth through the stomach down to the small intestine. Its effect is quick and fast. On the other hand, gluten intolerance is a little bit slower when it comes to reaction. It can be developed over time and the symptoms are so varied but the effects are very devastating which can lead to different complications.
Understanding gluten intolerance and celiac disease can help in determining the existence or non-existence of either disease. It pays to be informed.