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What Is Gluten & Should You Avoid It?

Gluten Free Life 9th April 2019

What Is Gluten & Should You Avoid It?

Blog bought to you in partnership with Med Alert Help.


The gluten-free diet is the only available and effective treatment for the people suffering from gluten enteropathy, a.k.a. celiac disease. However, additional conditions require some kind of gluten-free diet like wheat allergy, gluten intolerance, and non-celiac gluten hypersensitiveness. The listed conditions belong to the same spectre of disorders associated with consumption of certain food components, i.e. gluten.

Gluten-related disorders may possess common manifestations of the gastrointestinal tract. However, the complaints may also involve shifts in weight, skin problems, neurological symptoms (depression, feeling tired).  

Since gluten is a protein naturally found in wheat, rye, and barley, as well as in their mixtures and the products made from these grains, the incidence of these disorders is significantly high in the population. The overall incidence of celiac disease worldwide, including the USA, is estimated to be 1% but not all people are diagnosed. Furthermore, the number of people suffering from gluten-related disorders is even greater. The diagnosis rate of celiac disease, of those that suffer from it, is expected to reach 60% in 2019, which means that nearly half of the population may still not be aware of their condition.

Although diagnosing the disorders in the spectrum is carried out differently, the treatment is the removal of gluten from the diet. Interestingly, it requires up to several years for patients to be diagnosed, whereas about three years to recover entirely of the gluten-induced disease. Over three million Americans follow a gluten-free diet, although 13% of US citizens consider gluten-free diets as not healthy.

One would think that gluten could be found only in wheat, rye, barley, and triticale. However, to live a gluten-free life you have to be aware of hidden gluten in everyday products. These include baked goods, soups, pasta, cereals, sauces, salad dressings, roux, cosmetics, shampoo, malt in flour, dairy products, extracts, syrups, flavouring, vinegar, food colouring, beer, brewer's yeast, rye products, oats. The list goes on.

Gluten-free food consumption has increased significantly over the past 30 years. Retail of gluten-free products is on the rise, and the gluten-free foods market is growing fast. More than $15.5 billion was spent on purchasing gluten-free foods by consumers in 2016, two times more than the amount spent in 2011. The rapid increase in the popularity of gluten-free foods is due to numerous factors, including media coverage, aggressive marketing, as well as reports in medical and scientifically popular literature about the clinical benefits associated with avoiding gluten.

Gluten avoidance is also spreading among healthy individuals who believe that adherence to a gluten-free diet may have health benefits, including prevention of the development of illnesses in the future. These people typically reduced consumption or completely eliminated gluten from their diet because of symptoms not proven to be related to gluten-ingestion. Unfortunately, a gluten-free life could lead to a deficiency in micro and macronutrients, social isolation, psychological problems, and increased food costs.

This following infographic presented by is a comprehensive overview of life without gluten consumption. It intends to cover all the aspects of a gluten-free life and to provide the reader with the recently published facts regarding current hot and controversial topics, as well as tips for better management of the diet. Besides, the infographic will educate you how to travel gluten-free, and which are the best shops for buying gluten-free products, the best brands restaurants, and the gluten-free makeup brands.

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