Gluten is a naturally occuring substance that is part and parcel of wheat, rye, barley and also on a smaller scale in many other grains that are commonly used for breads and baking. Gluten is very difficult for the human body to digest, it is not natural and easy. As a result many people become gluten intolerant. This can occur at a young age or over a lifetime. As we get older the digestive system and body in general is less strong so intolerance tends to build up.
A person who is totally gluten intolerant is generally called a Celiac. Celiac disease is an auto-immune disorder. Auto-immune means that we ingest certain substances, in this case gluten the body attacks itself. As a celiac the body is attacking the small intestine and will ultimately destroy it if we don’t take action to avoid this. The only real action to take is to avoid gluten.
Gluten is a glue like substance. It is used in most produced products in boxes, cans and jars. You have to check the labels on everything you buy to see if it says gluten or wheat. Some products have such low levels of gluten added to them they don’t declare it. However, if you are a celiac even the smallest amount is too much.
Gluten is used in all salad dressings (unless they say gluten free). I discovered when buying orange popsicles for the kids that they are held together with guess what…. our friend gluten. So you have to develop your eagle eye to seek out the evil gluten that will make you sick.
The solution is to start eating freshly grown, preferably local produce at home. Eating in restaurants can be quite challenging and it is best to try out some of the better restaurants where you may find a knowledgable chef that can accomodate you.
The average celiac takes 7 years to get a diagnosis. This is because the medical profession is not properly trained in nutrition. Besides they can’t operate to fix it, you have to with your diet. So this leaves it of little interest to them. Personally I spent almost 20 years going to doctors several times per year complaining of the same issues over and over again. Not one could be bothered to take 15-20 minutes to look at my list of complaints & the list of common digestive disorders to see what the issue might be.
If you are a celiac I have found one useful online resource is to sign up on twitter with gluten free or celiac in your name. The other celiacs will come and find you and you can learn from their blogs, plus discover where great bread and baking type products are located. Today it is considered that about 1 out of every 130 people on the planet is in fact a celiac.