Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. It's what makes dough elastic and gives bread its chewy texture.
We know that people with gluten sensitivity experience digestive issues when they eat gluten-containing foods. But did you know that gluten may also be linked to autoimmune diseases?
What is an autoimmune disease?
An autoimmune disease is when your immune system attacks your body's own cells. The most common autoimmune diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, lupus, celiac disease, and type 1 diabetes.
How does the immune system work?
The immune system protects your body from germs and other foreign invaders. When it senses something harmful (like bacteria or viruses), it sends out antibodies to fight off the invader or neutralize it by binding to it so it can't cause damage to healthy cells nearby.
So how does gluten affect autoimmune diseases?
It turns out that there are proteins in wheat and other grains called gliadin and hordein that can cause changes in our immune system after we eat them—and these changes can lead us down the path toward an autoimmune diseases diagnosis later on in life.
Gluten is a controversial substance for people who have autoimmune diseases. Some say gluten can cause an autoimmune reaction in people with celiac disease—an immune response to eating gluten that can damage the small intestine and lead to other problems like nutrient deficiencies. Other people without celiac disease are also sensitive to gluten. This sensitivity can cause symptoms like bloating or diarrhea, but it's not clear if this is really an autoimmune response or just a sensitivity to the protein itself.
Gluten-free diets have been shown to help control symptoms of autoimmune diseases, including Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis and others. This can be due to the fact that gluten tends to trigger inflammation in the body, which can exacerbate the symptoms of certain autoimmune conditions.
Gluten Sensitivity Test
A gluten sensitivity test is a blood test that can help you determine if you have celiac disease, which is a serious autoimmune disorder that's triggered by amino acids found in wheat and other grains.
If you have celiac disease, eating gluten can cause damage to your small intestine and prevent your body from absorbing nutrients from food. The symptoms of celiac disease include diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, nausea and vomiting. You may also experience fatigue or anemia. If left untreated, the condition can lead to osteoporosis and even cancer.
Gluten-related disorders are a group of disorders that result from intolerance to gluten, the protein found in wheat and other grains. Gluten is a general term for the proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley.
These disorders can be divided into three main groups: celiac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis (DH), and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that damages the small intestine when gluten is consumed. DH is a skin rash caused by gluten consumption and NCGS is an allergy-like reaction to wheat products.
Bottom Line -
Recently, I've been getting more questions on the connections between gluten and autoimmune disease. For those following along with me, here's my thinking distilled into an article. It's relatively long, so I'd recommend a quick skim for those who just want to get a primer on the issues. And for those who want to dig deeper, I hope you enjoy the read. For more details visit our official website Thedr.
Read More - Autoimmune Diseases: Stages, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment