Thursday, November 20, 2008

What is a Gluten Allergy?

By Dorothy Medlum

In grains such as wheat, rye, barley, and low level oats, there is a rubbery protein which is called gluten. This is the binder in bread. You would notice it in breads and other baked goods.

Although these grains contain gluten, which can be the cause of gluten allergy in sensitive people, they also contain number of other proteins that can also be the cause of allergy symptoms.

The four primary proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley include: albumin, globulin, gliadin, and glutenin, better known as gluten. While the symptoms and severity of gluten allergy vary from one person to another, a person would generally experience hives, swelling, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, or asthma.

If the person is highly sensitive to gluten allergy, the symptoms could be life-threatening.

The good news about gluten allergy is that if the person has a reaction after eating wheat or wheat products, making an early diagnosis is quite easy. The challenge is because so many foods we eat are made from wheat, it becomes difficult to determine where the real problems are.

A trained allergist would need to do a skin prick test to better determine the gluten allergy problem. If the reaction is severe, the solution may involve elimination of the by products from the diet. If the gluten allergy is minor, the amount of wheat may be watched, allergy medication and shots taken to help the person with the gluten allergy.

If the person with the gluten allergy is a child, chances are this will be outgrown. Children's symptoms for this may include: abdominal distension growth, abnormal stools, irritability, poor muscle tone, and wasting of the muscles. In the adult the allergy may be shown as significant weight loss, abdominal cramps, and bloating, and constipation.

A doctor will do a blood test in either cased to confirm the diagnosis. Once done, the treatment is to eliminate gluten from the diet. It is essential, therefore; to address things such as nutrients and deficiencies. Niacin, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, chromium, dolacin, and phosphorus, health care, and diet are matters to be discussed with your physician.

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