Increasingly we are hearing about health issues related to gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and oats. We often receive calls from parents inquiring whether Neocate is gluten free (which it is!). Why the increased concern? Researchers are now discovering that there is a wider spectrum of reactions to gluten than was initially thought.
Gluten reactions used to fall into two categories: a gluten or wheat allergy(Ig-E mediated) or celiac disease(an auto immune reaction that causes damage to the small intestine when gluten is consumed). Now we are finding that there is a reaction known as gluten sensitivity, which has similar symptoms to celiac disease but does not cause damage to the villi of the small intestine.
Symptoms of gluten sensitivity can include:
- Abdominal pain,
- Joint pain
- Foggy thinking
- And more
If you suspect you have a reaction to gluten, you may be tempted to try out a gluten free diet. However, it is important to ask your doctor for celiac disease testing before going on a gluten free diet. If you have celiac disease the treatment requires strict adherence to a gluten free diet, while those with gluten sensitivity can often have small amounts of gluten on occasion without experiencing negative effects. Therefore, it is important to have a correct diagnosis to ensure that you are following the right diet.
Do you or your little ones have gluten sensitivity? We would love to hear your tips for following a gluten free diet or some of your favorite gluten free recipes!