More today than ever, people are purchasing, preparing, and then eating gluten free food; however, there are many things that you should remember to consider before you go 100% into this type of life change. About 30% of adults have already made the switch, some by choice while others have no choice at all due to coeliac disease or wheat allergies. Whatever your reason for the new diet, you always do good for yourself by going into the process informed and ready to make the right choices.
Knowing Your Risk
The number of people suffering from negative effects due to gluten intake has increased significantly over the last decade. While some of the hype is little more than people with fanatic personalities looking for the next diet trend, the truth is that a gluten free diet could be a great way to improve your health. One in 100 people, or about one percent, currently suffer from coeliac disease, which is considered an inherited autoimmune disease that leads to damage to the small intestine whenever gluten is consumed.
About 0.4% of the world population is currently diagnosed with a wheat allergy and that number may only begin to rise over time. A true allergic response can vary in severity, including everything from an itchy rash called hives to respiratory and gastrointestinal issues. If you eat any food and experience a sudden allergic reaction such as severe swelling of the face or throat, do not wait to see if the symptoms will go down over time and do visit the hospital as quickly as possible.
A much larger percentage of the populace is considered to have what is called “non-coeliac gluten sensitivity” and switching to gluten free foods could be the best way to avoid the unpleasant symptoms. A sensitivity may present no outward symptoms or all of the same symptoms associated with the disease. As many as 18 million Europeans currently have some level of non-coeliac sensitivity, with that number potentially increasing in the future.
If you fear that you might have coeliac disease, the best course of action is to visit your doctor for testing and a consultation. This is a good idea to have done before you take on the gluten free diet right away because you really want to be sure of the diagnosis. If you are currently losing weight, have low iron, are anaemic, or have a family member diagnosed with coeliac, it is time that you consider having a professional look at your current situation.
Avoid Negative Opinions
As with any new type of diet currently trending around the world, there will be some people who are convinced that coeliac disease and non-coeliac gluten sensitivity are not real for one reason or another. You know that this is not the case and it is important that you focus on creating a healthy lifestyle and block out people who might try to tell you otherwise. Your doctor will know what to do after a diagnosis and help you get started building a gluten free diet that will improve your health over time.