Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat and grains. Gluten is what helps dough maintain its elasticity and keep its shape. Some people have developed an allergic reaction or intolerance to gluten which can range from moderate symptoms to life threatening. Some people who are sensitive to gluten may experience bloating and abdominal discomfort after consuming gluten containing foods.
Gluten free diets are ones which exclude foods which contain the gluten protein. Adherence to a gluten free diet is becoming easier as restaurants are starting to introduce gluten free menus and food companies are making new products and alternative options, such as gluten free pastas and breads.
Celiac disease is a disorder of the small intestine caused by an allergic reaction to gluten containing foods. Gluten free diets are used to treat those people who have celiac disease as it can control their signs and symptoms and help to prevent further complications. Eating gluten containing foods can cause bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhoea and will cause damage to the intestinal walls.
When starting a gluten free diet it is important to cut out all foods and drinks containing wheat, barley, rye and triticale (a mixture of wheat and rye). If you are unsure then check the food labels of the products you are buying and look for the gluten free symbol to ensure it is ok for you to eat. Included on the list of foods that contain gluten are pasta, flour, tortillas, bread, cookies, cakes, muffins, cereal, oats, some sauces & dressings and beer.
Please feel free to contact the G4 Manchester (Didsbury) Clinic to speak to a member of our diet & nutrition team for any questions that you may have or if you wish to arrange a consultation to discuss your diet, nutrition and lifestyle.