If you’ve dined out recently or shopped in the grocery store, you may have seen “gluten-free” marked on menus and products. What does this quality mean, and for whom is it directed? It turns out there is a percentage of the population with a natural intolerance to gluten. Whether you suspect this could apply to you or you’re simply interested in learning more, the preventive care team at Santiam Hospital in the Mid-Willamette Valley area of Oregon are here to explain more.
Common Gluten Intolerance Questions Answered By Preventive Care Specialists
What Is Gluten?
Gluten is a substance made up of proteins that is found naturally in grains like wheat, oats, rye, and barley. It gives dough its elasticity and creates a chewy texture in bread. In individuals with a gluten intolerance, however, consuming the compound can cause intestinal damage among other health complications, and could even increase risks for certain cancers.
What Causes a Gluten Intolerance?
Celiac disease is the official name for the autoimmune disorder that causes an inflammatory reaction to the consumption of gluten. While research is ongoing as to what causes the issue, it is suspected to be a combination of factors, including a person’s environment and genetic makeup. It is also possible to have a sensitivity to gluten without celiac disease.
How Do Experts Test for Celiac Disease?
Medical professionals will discuss a patient’s symptoms to help determine whether they could have the disease. If it’s suspected, they will perform preliminary blood tests. A biopsy may be performed thereafter to confirm the diagnosis. If it is positive, medical professionals will recommend a gluten-free diet to help the patient maintain wellness.
What Should I Do if I Think I’m Allergic?
If you suspect a gluten allergy, don’t alter your diet before visiting a doctor. Celiac disease and other gluten-related issues may be more challenging to test for in individuals who have already omitted the compound from their diet.
When individuals in the Stayton, OR, area need their most pressing health questions answered, they turn to the preventive care team at Santiam Hospital. With nine primary care clinics and a hospital, this group of medical experts takes an all-encompassing approach to helping locals maintain their wellness. Learn more by visiting their website, or schedule an appointment by calling (503) 769-2175.