Gluten: The Mystery Essay

1406 words - 6 pages

Katrina Addison3-24-10Unit Three PaperCeliac DiseaseGluten: Behind Its Mystery'sEveryone in today's day and age has at some point or another come across a person with a food allergy. You may not be able to grasp the severity of it until you speak with them about it. One of my best friends has a food allergy that I found out about when we were only about 6 years old. He cannot eat peanuts. I didn't understand it much myself until I was going through testing to find out what was wrong with my stomach. We had tried everything. We even cut eggs and dairy out of my diet, but nothing worked. We had the doctor's stumped for over 2 years until my endocrinologist suggested me be tested for Celiac Disease. Lo and behold, that's what it was. I was immediately sent to a dietician and placed on a gluten free diet. What was gluten though? I had no idea. I've never heard of such a disease, as I'm sure not too many others have either. So that's exactly why I'm writing this: so you can understand what millions of people are diagnosed with around the world.Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other similar grains. It can also be found in other food that most people wouldn't expect it to be in such as a common preservative called Monosodium Glutamate, or even a common chocolate flavoring such as malt. Although, there are some issues in distributing many wheat free foods without the instance of cross contamination. This can be caused by something as simple as cutting wheat containing foods and then cutting non-wheat containing foods with the same knife or on the same board. Below is a chart of some other hidden foods that contain gluten:Wheat FarroRye KamutTriticale Batter dipped foodsBarley Foods with hydrolyzed vegetableWheat germ protein and plant proteinWheat bran MaltMalt flavoring most processed foodsGraham flour Beer, ale, and lagerOats Soy sauce made with wheatOat bran Pre-made graviesBulgur Some salad dressingsWheat-based semolina Monosodium GlutamateNote: Oats are added to the list due to cross contamination that was not prevented during manufacturing. There has been a discrepancy as whether to include them or not on this list.In American Dietetic Association Guide to Better Digestion, Leslie Bonci, writes:Celiac disease, also known as celiac sprue, gluten intolerance, or gluten sensitive enteropathy, is an autoimmune disease that damages the villi, or fingerlike projections of the small intestine. If you have celiac disease, your body is not able to handle gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. If you eat a food with gluten, the body reacts in an inappropriate way, causing the cells of the small intestine to respond abnormally. This results in inflammation in the intestinal lining, which can cause the villi in the small intestine to disappear leading to the body's inability to absorb nutrients well (128).Over time, I learned some other people around that had the same condition as me, one of them being my dietician and her mother. She told me...

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