Celiac Gluten-free foods are not equally healthy for all people
People with celiac disease (gluten intolerance) should avoid gluten-containing foods. Supermarkets now have a large assortment of products that contain no gluten. Even healthy people often resort to it. But for them a gluten-free diet can bring disadvantages.
If after eating some foods your stomach hurts
If you get a stomach ache after eating bread, there is often a certain form of food intolerance behind it: Up to one percent of the population in the western industrialized countries suffers from gluten intolerance (celiac disease) or gluten allergy. The consumption of gluten causes inflammation in the small intestine and unpleasant symptoms such as stomach cramps and a bloated stomach. Celiac disease is difficult to diagnose because of its highly variable symptoms. Complaints that may occur include digestive problems such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, fat, nausea and vomiting, severe inflammation of the intestinal mucosa, and mental health problems such as depression. Only a strict avoidance of gluten whitening, which is found in many cereals and other processed foods, can help. Those who have no intolerance, should avoid gluten-free products, however, because these may lead to weight gain under certain circumstances. Gluten-free only useful for actual gluten intolerance. Image: photocrew - fotolia
Inflammation of the small intestine can have serious consequences
Celiac disease is a chronic disease of the small intestine, which is caused by lifelong intolerance to Gluten gluten. In addition to the acute symptoms also long-term impairments. As a result of the inflammation, the small intestine villi form, which disturbs the uptake of nutrients and severe deficiencies can occur. A healing therapy does not exist so far. Therefore, sufferers have to eat consistently gluten-free life in order to have no complaints and to avoid long-term consequences.
Gluten-free nutrition is often not so easy in today's "consumption paradise", because the gluten protein comes in many cereals such. Wheat, spelled, rye, barley and oats, and is used in numerous other foods due to its good food-technological properties.
Gluten-free diet trend comes from the USA
Meanwhile, the industry has responded and there are more and more products offered without gluten. "This is great and shows that the awareness of the disease is greater," said Bianca Maurer of the German Celiac Society. But this development also has a downside: "From the US, a trend towards gluten-free diet has been swung over. That is not to be supported, "adds the expert in an interview with the news agency" dpa ". Because for people without intolerance bring the renunciation neither health benefits nor a weight loss effect, but some people would even take it, explains Maurer.
Minimal dose can cause discomfort
This is due to the fact that the products normally have a lower content of fiber and are drier due to the lack of gluten - which is usually compensated by more sugar and fat. In addition, the new nutrition trend from the USA would have negative consequences for the acceptance of "genuine" intolerance. "Concerned persons, who are absolutely dependent on the gluten-free diet, are no longer taken seriously", Maurer points out. A not to be underestimated aspect, because the disease should be taken very seriously. "It is assumed that one-eighth gram of wheat flour can cause discomfort," explains the expert.
Bone pain may be an indication of intolerance
If the disease is detected and the diet is changed accordingly, the symptoms usually disappear after a few days or weeks. No medication is needed, and consistent dieting does not require any subsequent damage. "The intestine is generally completely regenerated within half a year to one year," adds Maurer. However, it is problematic that celiac disease can cause not only the classic gastrointestinal symptoms but also complaints that do not affect the intestine (extraintestinal symptoms)..
"Who thinks of bowel or joint pain to a bowel disease?" Iron deficiency, fatigue, exhaustion, bone pain, trouble concentrating and dry skin - therefore the intolerance is also referred to as "chameleon of medicine".
Clarify suspicion to the doctor
It may take a while for the disease to be detected. If there is a suspicion, the family doctor should be consulted, which can give first clues by means of a blood test for antibodies. However, for final clarification, gastroscopy and tissue sampling (biopsy) from the small intestine are usually necessary. This is a relatively short procedure performed by a gastroenterologist, explains Maurer. Despite the suspicion, however, sufferers should not suddenly eat gluten-free, because then the diagnosis may not be made, so the expert's warning. (no, ad)