The rise of Gluten Intolerance and Coeliac Disease
We see and hear a lot about gluten. For many of us, we consume it every single day.
In recent years, there has not only been a rise in the number of products containing gluten, but a rise in awareness of the problems both gluten and wheat can cause for digestion, energy-levels and overall health.
To say gluten is in a lot of foods is an understatement. You will find it in bread, pasta, pizza and cakes to name a few. A lot of processed/convenience foods contain gluten as well as protein powders and even items like gravy. If you are trying to avoid gluten then you really do need to check the ingredients very carefully.
Being a coeliac is the most common reason for avoiding gluten. Coeliac disease occurs when gluten cannot be digested and remains in the gut, flattening the microvilli, which in turn stops the digestion of nutrients from food. Eating gluten when you’re a coeliac not only irritates your gut, but stops your body from absorbing other foodstuffs. Malabsorption leads to fatigue and vitamin/mineral deficiencies and can seriously affect your health.
However, it’s not only coeliacs who need to be careful, those with Chron’s disease, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) also avoid gluten, along with people who just have a slight intolerance and those looking to switch to a healthier lifestyle and diet.
The reasons for the rise in gluten intolerance are much argued. It’s generally attributed to a historic inability to adapt to digesting certain grains, exacerbated by the fact that as a society, processed and convenience food culture has risen dramatically. With increased consumption comes increased intolerance.
Cut down on Gluten
Cutting down on gluten has numerous health benefits for those even without intolerance. It reduces bloating, gives more energy and can even help promote weight-loss. One of the great things about cutting out gluten is that you automatically cut out a lot of processed and unhealthy food, and have the opportunity eat much more healthily.
In terms of health and fitness, it’s important that when you workout you’re aware of how the supplements you take affect your body and digestive system. Even if you don’t have an issue with gluten, over consumption of it can lead to a temporary or even long-term intolerance. All products on the Mr Protein site are gluten-free, so you needn’t check each label – relax, and workout!
Quick Gluten FAQs
What is gluten?
Gluten is itself a protein. It’s found in certain grains, most commonly wheat, but also rye and barley.
Which grains contain Gluten?
Wheat, rye and barley
Which grains do not contain gluten?
Common gluten-free grains include: brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, millet and polenta.
What is a coeliac?
A coeliac is someone who has coeliac disease: which is an autoimmune condition. The body’s natural defence mechanisms attack the gluten (registering it as a threat). This attack then damages the microvill in the intestine, which prevents the body from absorbing other foodstuffs.
How do you know if you’re coeliac?
The most reliable way to find out if you have coeliac disease is to have a blood test, your GP can do this for you. You could also keep a food diary. Keep a record of what you eat and any symptoms you have.
What’s the difference between coaliac disease and gluten intolerance?
The symptoms can be the same – bloating, pain, diarrhoea and sickness. Coeliac disease is an autoimmune response to gluten which causes short and long term damage to the gut. Whereas an intolerance is the inability to digest the food properly.
What are the reasons to avoid gluten even if you’re not a coeliac?
Many people can be intolerant to gluten, even if they’re not a coeliac. Common side-effects of eating too much gluten include bloating, discomfort and sluggishness.