Why is gluten bad?
Over the past few years, more and more people have become aware of the health effects of gluten. The gluten debate has become so big that at this point, gluten has become a buzzword to be uttered in social circles. Gluten refers to the collective name given to the proteins that are found in wheat including rye, barley, wheatberries, emmer, durum, spelt, semolina and triticale, which is a crossbreed of rye and wheat.
Gluten is responsible for helping foods maintain the shape, and it acts as the glue that bonds food together. Gluten can be found in all sorts of food, even those that apparently do not contain gluten. People that suffer from problems that are brought about specifically by wheat and the proteins contained within it require a gluten free diet. A gluten free diet may also be relevant for people who suffer from problems even from eating a small amount of wheat. So, what is wrong with gluten?
It is bad for celiac disease
Gluten, which is the protein component found in most types of grain can affect people with celiac disease negatively. Gluten is made up of two proteins namely glutenin and gliadin; the gliadin is the part that most people react negatively to. When the gliadin reaches one’s digestive tract and it becomes exposed to the cells in the immune system, the body mistakenly assumes the gluten is a foreign invader, much like bacteria. In celiac disease, the immune system does not just attack the gluten, but also the intestinal walls, which is why celiac disease is categorized as an autoimmune disease.
It causes gluten sensitivity
You do not need to have a full blown adverse reaction to gluten for it to affect you because some people have sensitivities and intolerance to gluten, which is very common. When people suffer from negative reactions to gluten but do not suffer from Celiac disease, they are known to suffer from non-celiac gluten sensitivity. In such cases, one may experience bloating, diarrhea, aches in the joints and bones, stomach pains and fatigue.
Although most people associate gluten with gut problems, gluten can also affect brain function. Gluten causes people suffering from celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity to experience extreme fatigue and brain f0g. More commonly, people suffering from autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease often suffer from depression, which is a lot more difficult to take care of if one is on a gluten diet.