How to manage gluten allergy
Gluten allergy is a common food allergy and gluten is a type of protein that is found in wheat, corn, rye, oats and barley. Gluten allergy affects both adults and children, but children are most susceptible to this allergy but some outgrow gluten allergy after 3 years old. People suffering from gluten allergy experience itching, asthma, hives, sinusitis and abdominal pain.
Causes of gluten allergy
Food allergy happens when the immune system of the body wrongly identifies a protein present in food to be harmful. It reacts by producing allergy causing antibodies. When the body develops antibody to a substance such as gluten, the immune system becomes sensitive to it.
Symptoms of gluten allergy
- Pain in the abdomen, bloating, flatulence and gas.
- Hyperacidity and peptic ulcer
- Itching and skin rashes
- Swelling and hives
- There is deficiency in vitamins and minerals
- Fatigue and lethargy
- Hyperactive behavior
- Nausea and vomiting
- Depression, anxiety and migraine headache
- Nasal congestion
- Itching and swelling of the mouth and throat
- Anaphylactic reaction can occur immediately after ingestion of gluten containing foods and requires immediate medical attention. There is swelling of the throat, difficulty in breathing, swollen lips and eyes, perspiration and the skin becomes pale and blue and low blood pressure.
There is no treatment for gluten allergy. It can only be corrected with a gluten-free diet by eliminating wheat, barley, rye or oats, food preservatives or additives such as wheat stabilizer and nutritional supplements that contains gluten. Once gluten is completely out of the diet, the intestines will start to heal and the villi will be nourished properly. Gluten should not be reintroduced into the diet after the intestines have healed since the damage will have the chance to recur again.
Treating the symptoms of gluten allergy
- Eat foods rich in fiber and drink plenty of fluids particularly water. Fiber foods will stick with the waste and helps in completely removing gluten from the colon.
- If there is skin rash and itching, take over-the-counter antihistamine.
- Eat yogurt which is a natural probiotic that helps in the digestion of food.
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Meat and poultry are safe for those suffering from gluten allergy, but avoid eating processed foods since they might contain gluten.
- Take papain supplements since they stimulate the enzymes found in the small intestines and identify gluten. It works by minimizing the reaction of the immune system against gluten.
- Take fish oil supplements since it coats the lining of the intestines and prevents from becoming inflamed which leads to a painful flare-up if accidentally consuming gluten.
- Horsetail tea helps in minimizing the inflammation of the digestive tract and the intestines as well as helping in strengthening and stabilizing the digestive system by making it less sensitive to gluten.