A genuine condition that comes under the term ‘gluten intolerance’ is gluten sensitivity. One of the most controversial and misunderstood food compounds is gluten. A number of proteins called prolamins are encompassed by gluten, even though it is often seen as a single protein.
In rye, barley, and wheat, prolamins are present and in a cross between wheat and rye, prolamins are present as triticale. Among several others, the main prolamins present in wheat are gliadin and glutenin. Digestive enzymes present in the GI tract cannot fully digest these proteins as they are resistant.
What Is Gluten Sensitivity?
Proteins that have a high level of proline residue cannot be fully broken down by the enzymes in the stomach, pancreas, and the brush border of the intestinal tract. The building block of protein is known as proline. This is an amino acid that is present in gluten.
Large units of amino acids are allowed by the incomplete digestion of these proteins to cross over through the wall of the small intestine. These large units are known as peptides.
An inflammatory immune response can be triggered in susceptible individuals when the intestinal barrier is crossed by these fragments to travel to other parts of the body. Gluten proteins are notorious for being super resistant to digestion in all individuals and not just those who have an autoimmune disease known as celiac disease.
One of the most well-known medical conditions related to gluten is celiac disease. This autoimmune disease involves the immune system reacting to gluten proteins.
Damage is caused in the small intestine when people with celiac disease consume gluten. This can cause a variety of symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal pain and bloat.
Decreased bone mineral density, iron deficiency, anemia, muscle weakness, seizures, significant weight loss, and other such symptoms are caused when people with celiac disease are exposed to gluten for a prolonged period of time.
Around the world, the prevalence of the celiac disease varies. Some countries experience rates that are higher than others.
Around 1 or 2% of the population of the United States is affected by the condition. Experts also say that the condition is more common in females.
It has also been believed that people who have other autoimmune diseases, like type 1 diabetes are more prone to experiencing the celiac disease. Experts say that the condition can be attributed to both genes and the environment around a person. A strict diet without gluten has been recommended by doctors to those who have celiac disease.
Proteins present in wheat can cause allergic reactions in those who have wheat allergies, according to research. Although adults can also be affected, this type of allergy is more common in children.
Severe symptoms can be produced by a wheat allergy. This includes a life-threatening allergic reaction called ‘anaphylaxis’. The mechanisms involved in both wheat allergy and celiac disease are different even though both of them are serious conditions.
Even if certain people do not have celiac disease or wheat allergy, they experience reactions to gluten. This type of gluten intolerance is referred to by experts as NCGS. NCGS is much more common than celiac disease, according to a review in 2019.
It has been estimated that up to 13% of the population is impacted by it. NCGS, just like celiac disease is more common in females.
GI symptoms like bloating, gas, and diarrhea are experienced by people with NCGS. Fatigue, anxiety, and headaches are some of the non-G symptoms that people with NCGS experience.
When people with NCGS switch to a gluten-free diet, these symptoms often get better.