Gluten Intolerance and Allergies
Do you suspect yourself or your child may be intolerant or allergic to gluten? There are many different levels of sensitivity to gluten, and once you understand how it affects you it’s easier to treat and manage.
In people who have Coeliac disease, their immune system reacts abnormally to gluten causing small bowel damage. It can be difficult to diagnose because the signs and symptom are similar to Irritable Bowl Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Chron’s Disease. It is estimated Coeliac disease affects approximately 1 in 80 Australians, and 80% of people who have it remain undiagnosed.
The most common symptoms of Coeliac disease are:
- Sore or bloated stomach
- Feeling dizzy
- Feeling tired
- Weight loss
- Mouth ulcers
The more serious symptoms of Coeliac disease include:
- Thin and weak bones
- Trouble with fertility
- Low iron
- Poor teeth and gum health
If you or your child is diagnosed with Coeliac disease, you can’t consume foods that contain gluten. There is no known cure for Coeliac disease, only avoidance of gluten. Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley and oats, and refers to the protein that gives the dough in these foods the elasticity and chewy texture.
A gluten sensitivity shows similar symptoms to Coeliac disease after the consumption of gluten, such as bloating and bowel disturbance, however their bowel doesn’t show any long term damage if they continue to consume a diet containing gluten.
Foods that contain gluten include:
- Biscuits, muffins, cakes
- Salad dressing
- Sauce and other condiments
- Fried foods
- Some personal care products
The rise in the ‘gluten free’ movement makes living with Coeliac disease much more manageable than it used to be, with many restaurants offering ‘gluten free’ options, and supermarkets offering a wide range of gluten free items. As food allergies and intolerance's become more common in children, living and managing these are not as difficult as they once were.
Online is one of the best ways to research gluten free recipes so that you can make gluten free alternatives for your child so they don’t feel like they’re missing out on their favourite foods.
Allergy Friendly Foods began after the founder eliminated gluten and other allergens from her son’s diet after he was diagnosed with Autism. Studies have shown that 80% of Autistic children improve after eliminating gluten from their diets. The adverse effects of gluten on the brain in autistic children occur from endorphins generated from the consumption of gluten.
If you suspect yourself or your child may be suffering from Coeliac disease, please see your health care professional.