Living in India, almost every household has a high consumption of wheat. A sandwich for breakfast with chapattis for lunch and dinner seems to be the norm when it comes to meals. But have you ever skipped wheat for a few days and found yourself feeling lighter? Maybe less bloated and more energetic? Well, chances are that you are sensitive to gluten.
Gluten sensitivity or intolerance is not commonly thought about by Indians as our meals are engineered around this grain. In addition, most of the food we enjoy from traditional home-cooked food, to a junk day of pizza, cookies and cakes, has a large denomination of wheat.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat that may provoke an adverse reaction from the cells lining the stomach in people leading to severe reactions. This is known as Gluten Intolerance. Based on the severity, type and genomic predisposition of this disease you may have a wheat allergy or celiac disease wherein you are completely gluten intolerant. A major factor for the rise in awareness regarding this condition is if left untreated it can lead to heart disease or even intestinal cancer.
Gluten intolerance is something that can impact children as well as adults. As this condition can be passed on genetically, if either parent suffers from this, chances are that the child may be gluten intolerant too. Some of the most common symptoms of gluten intolerance noticed in young children include gas, abdominal bloating, stomach pain, diarrhoea and even nausea or vomiting. But that’s not all, if left untreated it can severely hamper your child’s development and future health. Some of these include:
Symptoms of gluten intolerance in adults include headaches, bloating, joint pain, fatigue and depression. In addition, gluten intolerance has also found to worsen asthma, skin irritation and rashes, and menstrual cycles in women. Recognising symptoms of gluten intolerance and opting for a gluten test kit in time can improve one’s health and prevent future complications like cancer and other chronic diseases.
Early diagnosis of gluten intolerance can help you in improving your overall health. A new and simple saliva based gluten test kit (no blood sample needed) is available for diagnosis of gluten intolerance. There are two genes in the body – DQ2 or DQ8 of the HLA molecules that indicate gluten intolerance or risk for celiac disease. With gene based gluten intolerance test you can identify risk factors even in the absence of symptoms, thus acting as an advance alert for your health. Whereas common tests only assess the condition at the time, and are only helpful if the symptoms are already present. In addition to diagnosing gluten tolerance, the gluten intolerance test analysis can also help improve the understanding of symptoms, their triggers and food habits that need to be changed. By identifying the disease or its risk early, one can take corrective measures in time and live a healthier life with fewer problems. The gluten intolerance test is non-invasive and can be taken from the comfort of your home.
For those that test positive for gluten intolerance, knowing that their beloved cookies, parathas, and other food are out can be quite distressing. But there are several healthy and tasty alternatives that can be added to the diet instead. There are several gluten-free substitutes available in the market today for foods that have been traditionally wheat-based such as gluten-free rice or quinoa pasta, rice noodles, gluten-free breads and cakes, and other grains such as ragi, bajra, jowar, amaranth, sorghum and quinoa.
Keep in mind that just because one is gluten intolerant doesn’t mean they can never enjoy wheat based product ever again. Over time, one can slowly reintroduce several wheat products as long as it is no longer part of the staple diet. To help you identify the right nutritional solutions it is advisable to consult a qualified nutritionist and remember, it is better to skip a pizza than let your health suffer in the long run.