Le Gluten, cette mystérieuse protéine

Although thousands of people suffer from it, gluten-related disorders have long been a mysterious and misunderstood ailment. About 10,000 years ago, human beings changed from a diet mainly composed of hunting, fishing and gathering to a diet based on the cultivation of cereals. Overnight, the human body had to adapt to this change in diet. Could this radical adaptation be the cause of the intestinal discomfort caused by gluten  Moreover, at the time of industrialization in the 1950s, cereals were transformed by crossing them in order to increase the gluten for obtain a variety that is agronomically better than the existing one. Nowadays, the presence of gluten in foods is gaining ground, but fortunately, recent scientific advances are a source of hope for many people..

What is gluten?

Gluten is made up of several types of proteins, including: gliadins and glutenins. They are found in wheat, oats (untreated against gluten contamination), rye, triticale (a hybrid of wheat and rye) and barley. These proteins contribute to the proper development of cereals during germination and play an essential role in their texture and structure. Gluten itself is not present in cereals, it is formed during the making of the dough when the flour is mixed with water. Gliadin is a part of wheat protein that reacts in the gut causing inflammation. But where do we find gluten  The answer is in one word: everywhere! One of the properties of gluten is the elasticity it gives to doughs made from the aforementioned flours. It is therefore present in a sneaky way in products of all kinds, including industrial foods and prepared products. Here is a non-exhaustive list of products that contain it: cookies and energy bars, ice cream, pancakes, chocolate, toothpaste, vanilla extract with alcohol, chewing gum, almond, rice and soy milk, muffins, noodles, pizza, some beauty products, cough syrup, yogurts, etc..

According to Health Canada, gluten-related disorders refer to all health disorders that are associated with the consumption of gluten. Celiac disease and wheat allergy are also included. Between allergies, sensitivities and celiac disease, it can be difficult to navigate.

wheat allergy

In some, an allergic reaction immediately follows the consumption of wheat or gluten. This wheat allergy is seen more frequently in infants and toddlers. Allergy in children can manifest itself in different ways including skin reactions, gastrointestinal manifestations or exercise-induced anaphylaxis. In adults, the allergy can be expressed in the same forms as in children and also in the form of an allergy associated with pollen.

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is characterized by intestinal and extra-intestinal problems that often resemble the symptoms seen in celiac disease and irritable bowel. According to the Canadian Celiac Association, individuals may experience non-intestinal symptoms such as general malaise, fatigue, headaches, cloudiness, numbness, joint pain, or skin rashes. . Because the symptoms are very similar, it is difficult to distinguish an individual with celiac disease from one with NCGS based on symptoms alone. The best solution is to banish from the diet all sources that may contain gluten.

celiac disease

Celiac disease is a chronic, autoimmune disease. For people who are genetically predisposed to it, the consumption of gluten leads to disproportionate reactions from their immune system. In celiacs, the symptoms manifest themselves in different forms. In particular, this disease can cause growth delays, rickets, irritability, fatigue, concentration problems, mouth ulcers and irregular teeth in children. In adults, the symptoms listed are varied and include, in particular, gastrointestinal disorders, iron deficiency anemia, fertility disorders of rheumatic pathologies, musculoskeletal deficiencies and others. There are only two methods to make a diagnosis of celiac disease, it is necessary to pass a duodenal biopsy or a digestive endoscopy. According to the Celiac Quebec website, it is estimated that approximately 360,000 Canadians have it, including more than 82,000 Quebecers. And, according to some studies, 9 out of 10 people who have it are unaware of it. Whether you are allergic to wheat, sensitive to gluten or suffering from celiac disease, one thing is certain, as soon as you succumb to a food that contains gluten, war is declared, the digestive system reacts and the body is in one hell of a state.

Article written by Lulubelle & Co


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