Have you ever heard of gluten intolerance or celiac disease? Do you know what this problem is? It is common that most people have heard of it, but do not know exactly what it is or how this disease affects the patient. Contrary to what many people think, gluten intolerance can occur at any age and has several very uncomfortable symptoms.
Gluten intolerance is a disease that has no cure and the person will have it for the rest of their lives. But, with some tips and care, it is possible to live with the problem. With that in mind, we created this post to explain what the disease is and how to have quality of life even if you have to live with it. Check out.
What is gluten intolerance?
There are two types of gluten intolerance: celiac and non-celiac disease. In the case of non-celiac, it is the difficulty or inability to digest gluten – protein present in rye, wheat and barley. In those who have this problem, when consuming gluten, damage occurs in the walls of the small intestine, causing pain, abdominal bloating, diarrhea and difficulty in absorbing nutrients.
In the case of celiac disease, a reaction to the immune system occurs, which causes a more severe condition. Severe pain, inflammation and frequent diarrhea may occur. Gluten intolerance is a permanent disease, which has no cure, so it is necessary to remove gluten completely from food.
What are the main annoyances?
As mentioned above, people with gluten intolerance may experience discomfort when ingesting the substance. Below are the most common annoyances:
- frequent diarrhea;
- abdominal pain ;
- iron deficiency anemia;
- loss of appetite;
- weight loss without apparent cause;
- loss of muscle mass.
It is important to remember that the symptoms of the disease can appear individually or collectively and, in order to be confirmed, it is necessary to seek a doctor to diagnose the disease.
How is the diagnosis made?
In addition to symptoms, a more accurate diagnosis of gluten intolerance can be made through tests ordered by a doctor. Some of the analyzes used to identify the problem are:
- urine test – the test is called D-xylose;
- intestinal biopsy;
- serological test – endomysium blood test, antigliadin and transglutaminases;
- stool test – called the Van der Kamer test.
The diagnosis can also be made from a gluten-free diet for a time determined by the specialist. It is of utmost importance to emphasize that whenever the patient feels any discomfort or perceives more than one symptom on a continuous basis, he should see a doctor.
How to live with the so-called celiac disease?
Celiac disease is permanent and has no cure, the ideal is to remove gluten from food . But that does not mean that the person cannot eat anything or have a good quality of life. There are now several products that do not contain gluten. The following are some tips that can help you live with the disease.
Make smart substitutions
For many people, gluten intolerance is synonymous with not being able to eat pasta and bread ever again. But in reality, it is not quite like that; as mentioned above, there are several products in the markets that do not contain gluten. Another tip is to make smart substitutions, such as exchanging traditional flour for tapioca flour.
It can be found easily in supermarkets, in addition to having several variations of types. With it you can make bread, pasta and even eat like tapioca. Some other flours that can be added to your diet are rice, starch, cornstarch, corn flour, among others.
Pay attention to the food label
An important point when buying food is to pay attention to the label. Although there are already several gluten free foods, markets often forget to signal what the substance has or does not have. So, whenever you buy a product, read the packaging.
Always remember that the fact that a product has no flour does not mean that it is gluten free. For this, always be aware if the food has malt, rye, wheat, oats, barley and starch in its composition.
Discovering a problem, illness or food intolerance is not exactly the end of the world. In fact, if we see things in a positive way, it is an opportunity to improve food and have a balanced diet. This is a great time to stop and reflect on what you really like to eat like fruits, cereals, oilseeds and flours (gluten free) and include them in your meals.
To make it easier over the days, the ideal is to plan meals at the beginning of the week, so you can buy everything at once and have it at home when you eat. Another tip is to pay attention when preparing food, as the intake of a minimum amount of the substance can affect the person. Always be aware of what you are preparing and what ingredients are being used.
Eat foods rich in vitamins or nutrients
The gluten free diet is based on the consumption of natural foods, such as fruits and vegetables. But, due to restrictions, people often end up having a low intake of vitamins and nutrients that may be present in certain products. So that this does not happen, the ideal is to add foods rich in vitamins and nutrients to the diet.
Dark leafy vegetables, red meat and beets are rich in iron; citrus fruits, peppers and broccoli are high in vitamin C; milk and dairy products are great sources of calcium; and peas, lentils and beans have fiber. Therefore, always try to add nutrient-rich foods to meals.
Gluten intolerance is a disease that is not old enough to appear, the person can be born with it or acquire it throughout life. The ages between 3 and 5 years are the most likely for celiac disease to develop. Therefore, it is important to encourage healthy habits in children from an early age, especially those with celiac disease.