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Signs That You May Have A Gluten Allergy

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By Mary Frances: Founder of The Gluten-Free Cooking School.

April 23, 2010 - If you think you may have a gluten allergy it’s in your best interest to read on. In this article we’ll explain what a gluten allergy is, what typical symptoms include and explore the diagnosis process. We’ll also look at treatment options if you are diagnosed with a gluten allergy. If you do suffer from a gluten allergy you’re not alone. There are many resources available online to help you with this diagnosis and by following a treatment plan you can eliminate most, if not all of your symptoms.

What is a gluten allergy?

Gluten intolerance and a gluten allergy are generally regarded as much the same thing. They both signify that your body has a negative reaction to gluten. However, they are both slightly different than the related celiac disease in one important way. Individuals with celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten because it damages their small intestines (in addition to the other symptoms of celiac disease). Individuals with an intolerance or allergy have symptoms of celiac disease but without the small intestine damage.

Gluten Allergy Symptoms

This is just a partial list of symptoms of a gluten allergy:
Abdominal pain
Diarrhea or constipation
Fatigue
Gas
Bloating
Heartburn
Irritability
Anxiety
Anemia
Poor immune function
Headaches
Nutrition malabsorption

Gluten Allergy Diagnosis

Most doctors will ask to do a gluten allergy test which consists of testing the blood. Depending on the results of the blood test, you may also be asked to have an intestinal biopsy. The biopsy is actually quite simple and will determine if you have a simple allergy or the more serious celiac disease.

Gluten Allergy Treatment

The treatment is the same for gluten allergies as it is for gluten intolerance and celiac disease. The treatment is to follow a strict gluten free diet. This means avoiding all foods that contain wheat, rye, barley and oats – and any product made from these grains. This is easier said than done as many products contain ingredients that have hidden gluten. The best way to adhere to a gluten free diet is to do your own cooking and cook only with ingredients you know are 100% gluten free.

One easy way to determine if you have an allergy is to follow a gluten free diet for a period of 4 to 6 weeks. If your symptoms drastically improve then you know that you should avoid gluten. With the right diet and an understanding of what gluten allergies are and how to combat them, you can have a happy, symptom free life.

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