A decade ago, celiac disease was considered extremely rare outside Europe, therefore, was almost completely ignored by health care professionals. In only 10 years, key milestones have moved celiac disease from obscurity into the popular spotlight worldwide. Now we are observing another interesting phenomenon that is generating great confusion among health care professionals.
In an article coming out from the Nutrition Authority, evidence has emerged that awareness about the damage caused by the gluten on people’s health has increased substantially in recent years.
As we already know gluten, a protein composed of two other proteins: Gliadin and Glutenin, is present in most of the cereals commonly used in many diets: spelt, wheat, wheat, kamut etc.
When the flours of these cereals come into contact with water, a “sticky” process begins which gives elastic properties to the dough, which makes it possible to obtain bread, pizza, etc. as it is processed. In fact, the term Glutine comes from the verb agglutinare, which means to combine more elements with adhesive substances, as if it were glue.
Gluten damages the defensive barrier of the intestine and produces negative effects on the defensive barrier of the intestine, which must prevent toxic substances from entering the bloodstream.
We will try to simplify the results of this American scientific research in 2 small clear and explanatory points:
1- The antibody responses of celiac individuals, in the presence of gluten, act aggressively generating damage to the digestive tract.
When the Gluten arrives in the digestive tract, it comes into contact with the cells of the immune system.
In the most sensitive to the Gluten, it happens that the immune system starts to trigger attacks on the substance, perceived as a stranger and an enemy. In Celiac disease, the most acute and severe form of gluten intolerance, the immune system is not limited to attacking the protein, but extends its attack to the enzyme present in the digestive tract, Transglutaminase, causing nutritional deficiencies, digestive problems, anemia, fatigue, increased difficulty in fighting diseases, greater exposure to the risk of contracting serious illnesses.
2- Gluten intolerance is more widespread than what is believed, can have very serious consequences.
It is not only the celiacs who suffer from the consequences of gluten intolerance. Further research shows that even those who do not have Celiac disease or types of intolerance can have negative reactions to gluten.
If you have any kind of Gluten sensitivity, but you have not been diagnosed with Celiac disease, you find yourself having an intolerance to gluten, not celiac disease. In this case there is no attack on the intestinal walls, however, many of the symptoms are similar to those of Celiac disease: swelling, stomach ache, fatigue, diarrhea, pain in the bones and joints. Even if there is no clear description for this gluten sensitivity, in principle it means to have disorders that decrease considerably with a gluten-free diet.
In one of the research studies carried out, 34 people were selected with irritable bowel disorder and divided into two groups, which had to follow two types of diet: one with Gluten, the other without. The group that followed the Gluten diet showed an increase in intestinal pain, diarrhea, swelling and a greater sense of fatigue, compared to the group that followed a Gluten-free diet.
Gluten intolerance is much more common than Celiac disease, it is responsible for many disorders. Unfortunately, there are still no valid tools for a clear diagnosis. Further research is required to fully understand this phenomena, but it seems very clear that it is not only the celiacs who suffer from the negative damage caused by the gluten.
Conclusion: it has been shown that people with irritable bowel syndrome, even in the absence of a diagnosis of gluten intolerance, can suffer negative effects in the presence of this protein. Celiac disease affects at least 1% of the population and is increasing sharply. Despite this, 85% of patients are still not aware of it.