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guide to gluten

Posted Oct 05 2009 10:03pm
ok so i thought this might be helpful to anyone who is new to being gluten free or has a friend or someone they know who is gluten free. 

first of all i would like to point out that gluten is completely different to glucose. Glucose is basically sugar very different from gluten. just thought i would point this out as most of my friends (and my uncle) got very confused by this.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, oats and rye, all their derivatives and anything containing these things. In people who can not tolerate gluten when a food containing gluten it causes an autoimmune reaction in the body, which basically means the persons body starts attacking itself. When the gluten enters the small intestine an enzyme converts the protein causing the persons immune system to react to it and cause an inflammation. As a result of this the little 'hair-like' villi inside the small intestine are destroyed. without the villi none of the nutrients from food can be absorbed. The symptoms of a gluten intolerance vary but the most common ones are weight loss (stunted growth in children_, chronic stomach aches and diarrhea. Most people also get extreme tiredness and become deficient in many important nutrients due to inability to absorb. 

Basically the only solution is to stop eating gluten. Once gluten stops entering the body the intestine can heal and go back to working normally. 

Some people with a gluten intolerance also get Dermatitis herpetiformis which is a itchy rash on the skin. 

Hope that helped  a bit to explain a gluten free diet. That was just a quick summary, if you google it you will find heaps more info, probably in a lot more detail! 
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