Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The past decade has witnessed an increased prevalence of celiac disease and gluten-sensitivity. But what is gluten? Dr. Edward Hill tells us in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Gluten is a protein that naturally occurs in a number of grains such as wheat, triticale, barley, rye and oats. On its own, gluten has as a chalky flavor, similar to corn starch and a stringy mouthfeel, like a very weak bubble gum.

People with celiac disease, a clinically-diagnosed condition, have a cell-mediated allergy to gluten that results in an inflammation of the lower gastro-intestinal tract. People with celiac disease must completely avoid consumption of gluten.

People with a gluten-sensitivity who have not been clinically-diagnosed as having celiac disease may exhibit similar symptoms after ingestion of gluten, such as diarrhea, chronic fatigue and headaches, which are alleviated upon exclusion of gluten from the diet.

Gluten does not have a particular look, color or appearance. Its up to consumers to be aware of the sources of gluten and the types of foods in which they are typically found. If in doubt, choose another option from the menu.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.