Do We Need to Avoid Gluten Foods?
In the course of time, people become aware of the negative effects of gluten on their health. It has been estimated that one third of the American population are trying to exclude foods containing gluten from the range of products they eat on a daily basis. There are several reasons why gluten is bad for our health as will be discussed in the following essay. The current paper will focus on the major negative effects of gluten to answer the question of whether gluten foods are really harmful for our health, or whether the impact of gluten on the health of people is exaggerated. Here is a list of reasons why gluten is harmful for our health:
- The first reason is the high probability of developing a celiac disease. It has been proved that gluten can be one of the major causes of this disease, and most people suffering from this health problem are still undiagnosed. The fact is that gluten is a protein containing substance that can be found in such products as grains, barley and wheat. Gluten is a composite of such proteins as glutenin and gliadin. The latter is a substance that causes a negative health reaction in the majority of people. When we make bread, we first of all mix flour with water and this becomes a mixture of proteins that in reality are harmful for our health. When gluten reaches our digestion and immune system, our body system mistakenly takes gluten for a bacteria. This is how a celiac disease develops. This disease represents an autoimmune health condition that is characterized by a reaction of our immune system to certain substances like gluten. This disease can lead to the deficiency of nutrition in our body as well as such digestive problems as fatigue, anemia and others. Besides, this disease can cause a number of more serious conditions. It is believed that celiac disease affects around 1% of the US citizens, although it is more widespread among the elderly population. Still, the rates of this disease are gradually increasing and become more and more alarming. Besides, one of the studies has shown that more than 80% of all people do not even know that they are suffering from a celiac disease.
- Furthermore, sensitivity to gluten is very common and may have a number of serious negative outcomes. In fact, it does not matter whether you have a celiac disease or not, because you might still have a negative reaction to gluten. This is related to one more health problem known as gluten sensitivity or intolerance, and this particular disorder is much more widespread than celiac disease. Even though gluten intolerance cannot be clearly defined, it actually means having an adverse reaction to the products containing gluten. In this regard, gluten-free diet can help to improve one’s health condition. There is also such term as non-celiac gluten intolerance, which means that you don’t have a celiac disease, but still badly react to gluten products. In this case, there is no particular harm caused to the body system of a person. Nevertheless, many symptoms are quite similar to the ones peculiar to celiac disease. These include fatigue, stomach ache, diarrhea and some others. It is estimated that around 8% of people suffer from gluten sensitivity, although it is still unknown how widespread the disease is. The research has found that certain genes can also make people vulnerable to gluten intolerance. Therefore, it can be suggested that gluten sensitivity is another disorder that can be avoided by means of eliminating gluten from one’s diet. This is especially so because this disorder can have numerous negative effects on people, even though it has not been fully investigated yet.
- Moreover, gluten is known to cause various negative effects on human health even if a person does not suffer from gluten sensitivity. There have been conducted numerous studies on this matter, and it has been proved that most surveyed individuals suffered from adverse effects of gluten and experienced significant improvement after eliminating gluten from their diets. Those people who consumed gluten suffered from pain, diarrhea and fatigue more frequently than those who did not eat gluten foods. Besides, it is known for sure that gluten can lead to the inflammation in one’s body system and cause a number of health disorders. It has a negative impact on the functions of our intestine and allows various undesirable substances to penetrate into the bloodstream. It has also been proved that consumption of gluten foods leads to a so-called irritable bowel syndrome which affects around 15% of American population. This disorder is associated with various digestive problems that can be cured in case a person stops eating gluten foods. This proves that gluten is harmful for our body even if we don’t suffer from either celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
- Finally, a number of brain problems are also associated with the consumption of gluten and those patients who start a gluten-free diet see considerable improvements in their health condition. It has been proved by research that gluten can be harmful for our brain being the cause of various neurological diseases, the most common of which is cerebellar ataxia. This illness is associated with the inability to coordinate movements and balance, as well as verbal problems. Many cases of this disorder are directly related to the consumption of gluten foods. That is why this disease is sometimes called gluten ataxia. Gluten can cause much damage to the part of the brain responsible for motor skills of a person. Many studies on this matter have also proved a relation between gluten and schizophrenia. It is considered that the symptoms of schizophrenia can be relieved if the patient removes gluten from his/her diet. Autism and epilepsy are also related to gluten consumption. Some studies suggest that patients suffering from these disorders experience considerable improvements if they choose gluten-free dieting. Therefore, if you have any kind of neurological problems, you might consider eliminating gluten foods from your diet, especially if your doctor does not know what is causing the mental disorder.
To conclude, it can be assumed that gluten is very harmful for our body system and brain functioning and should therefore be avoided. Numerous studies have proved this suggestion and provided evidence that gluten foods are likely to cause various negative effects. If you are conscious about your health and want to live a healthy life, it is better to avoid gluten containing products for your own benefit.
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