How a Gluten-Free Diet Can Help Some Systems
Individuals diagnosed with Coeliac Disease or gluten intolerance experience digestive problems after consumption of ingredients that contain the protein gluten. Gluten is typically found in pasta, bread, and baked goods, but can also be “hidden” in other ingredients and meals. It is important for those with gluten intolerance to become familiar with gluten-free foods so they can avoid a variety of symptoms associated with the condition. The symptoms experienced by those with Coeliac Disease and gluten sensitivity vary. In many cases, individuals complain of abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and bloating. Diagnosing gluten intolerance on your own can become confusing since Coeliac Disease and gluten sensitivity symptoms may resemble other medical conditions such as anaemia, irritable bowel syndrome, and Crohn’s disease. If you are concerned about any symptoms that you are experiencing, it is important to visit your doctor.
Additional symptoms that may be caused by gluten intolerance include
- Joint pain
- Skin rash
- Muscle cramps
- Upset stomach
- Mouth sores
- Tingling sensation in legs and/or feet
In the case of Coeliac Disease, individuals tend to experience symptoms associated with their inability to properly absorb nutrients. These symptoms include:
- Loss of weight
- Gas and bloating
- Abdominal cramps
Children with Coeliac Disease
Children with Coeliac Disease tend to experience limited physical growth due to malnutrition. They may also appear pale and may become irritable frequently. Some children develop protruded bellies, which is another symptom of malnutrition caused by the disease. These same symptoms may be a sign of other diseases or health problems, so be sure to take your child to a doctor before beginning a gluten-free diet.
Taking on a Gluten-Free Diet
If you have been diagnosed with an intolerance to gluten, it is essential to begin a gluten-free diet. This may seem like an overwhelming task but both the immediate and long-term benefits will make your efforts well worth it. Since many people suffer from gluten intolerance, there is a wealth of information available via the Internet and in comprehensive publications about gluten intolerance. With the proper research deciding what you can and cannot eat will become a much simpler process. To make things easier for yourself, start by creating a simple breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal plans. You can then expand your gluten-free ingredient list so that you are able to create more complex meals at home.
Shopping for Ingredients and Dining Out
When going on your first gluten-free grocery shopping trip, bring along a list of “safe” gluten-free ingredients. While even conventional stores tend to carry gluten-free products these days, you might consider exploring your local natural food/health food store. You are sure to find a number of gluten-free products there.
You may also discover that local restaurants often times offer gluten-free meals. It has become more common than ever for people to ask about the ingredients in their meals so don’t hesitate to ask your server whether or not certain meals are free of gluten. Plan ahead so that meals may be prepared with gluten-free ingredients.