What It Means to be Gluten Intolerant
Nutrition & Wellness

What It Means to be Gluten Intolerant

Imagine having some delicious fresh bakeries for breakfast or a tasty bowl of pasta for lunch, then ending up with an upset stomach or nausea throughout the day. If you get a major feeling of discomfort every time you consume carbs; it might be a sign you have a gluten allergy. We’re unpacking what gluten intolerance really means, the symptoms you should be looking for, and how to cope and navigate with your gluten allergy and any other food allergies you might be experiencing.

Understanding gluten

We often hear the term ‘Gluten intolerance’, but many of us don’t quite understand what it is. Gluten is a natural protein normally found in wheat, barley, or rye. A binding agent that adds a soft and chewy texture to food, gluten is most commonly found in bakeries. Sometimes gluten is extracted and added to processed foods. Foods that contain gluten include cereals, pasta, baked goods, crackers, store-bought gravies, and soups. As is the case with many food allergies, some people are born with gluten intolerance while others develop it later in life. People with a gluten allergy often experience a number of symptoms associated with stomach discomfort. Those symptoms include feeling bloated, gassy, or constipated. In some severe cases, gluten allergy could prompt other symptoms, including diarrhea, nausea, anxiety, hazy focus, and weight gain due to stomach indigestion.

Wheat allergy vs gluten intolerance

Contrary to popular belief, gluten intolerance is not the same as wheat allergy. Wheat allergy is an allergic reaction to wheat protein and can be triggered, not only by wheat foods, but also non-foods that contain wheat, like cosmetics, bath products, and play dough. Simulating an allergic reaction, wheat allergy can trigger symptoms that have an immunologic nature; like skin rash, nose congestion, asthma, and loss of consciousness. 

According to Aya Ragheb, Nutrition Director at Ignite Egypt, there are no available tests in Egypt that could detect gluten allergies, making it challenging for people with chronic stomach discomfort to tell whether they have a gluten allergy or not.
“If you suspect being gluten intolerant, cut wheat products from your diet for two weeks and look out for changes in your digestion. If your digestion significantly improves, this might be a sign you’re gluten intolerant,” Ragheb told Breadfast.

In case gluten-intolerance was detected, foods that are safe to eat include lean proteins like meat, fish, and poultry, dairy products like milk and cheese, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, beans and lentils, grains like quinoa and brown rice, and gluten-free flours.

Mindful choices

While there currently isn’t an effective treatment available for gluten-intolerance, adopting a gluten-free diet can help relieve some of its uncomfortable symptoms. The first step is to educate yourself on the foods that contain gluten. Gluten-rich foods include bread, cakes, pasta, candies, cereals, processed meats, crackers, gravies, salad dressings, sauces, and bouillon cubes. We encourage you to read food labels so that you can easily identify gluten and avoid consuming it.

The second step is to clear out your pantry by throwing away or donating gluten-rich products like wheat, barley, and rye. By eliminating gluten from your diet and stocking your pantry with gluten-free foods, you can avoid accidental gluten consumption.

The third step is to start following a gluten-free regimen or a low-fat high fiber diet. You can check with your doctor or nutritionist about adding some probiotics to your diet. Probiotics increase the good bacteria in your gut and reduce symptoms like stomach discomfort and chronic bloating.

Introducing Breadfast gluten-free bakeries 

Finding stores that sell gluten-free or allergy-friendly foods in Egypt is a major challenge for people who live with food allergies. Luckily, many brands are becoming conscious of this market gap and started to offer products that cater to food allergies especially gluten intolerance; one of them is Breadfast. Breadfast offers a gluten-free bakeries collection range that’s 100% safe to eat, especially for people suffering from gluten intolerance or celiac disease. Rich in fiber, Breadfast gluten-free bakeries help promote regular bowel movements, aid with digestion, and give you more energy throughout the day. Need some gluten-free bakeries? Download Breadfast now and we’ll deliver your order right to your doorstep in minutes: https://brdfst.com/blogx. 

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