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Gluten Allergy

Allergies are a very common medical condition present among the members of the United States population. These immune system reactions, to substances that pose no direct risk to most peoples' health, can in turn be very dangerous, if the affected individual does not receive proper medical assistance. The range of symptoms of allergic reactions does vary from one individual and the specific substance to the next. While the less severe of reactions may cause nothing more than a skin rash, in the more serious cases the reaction can be so acute that it can manifest itself into a full anaphylactic shock. Furthermore, the list of substances that have been shown to cause allergic reactions is quite long, with the most common being pollen, animal hair, and certain food products. One category of such allergen products is a group of foods containing gluten - a special type of protein commonly found in wheat products.

Gluten allergy, also often referred to as gluten intolerance, is a term used for a group of medical disorders which have the affected individual exhibit symptoms due to being exposed to gluten. However, it is important to remember that not all gluten allergies are the same, and some can be more serious than others. One such type of gluten allergy is Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that affects the person's small intestine when it tries to absorb nutrients from foods containing gluten. Patients who suffer from the condition may exhibit such symptoms as strong abdominal pain, diarrhea, and muscle cramps after eating even a small amount of any wheat-based product. Consequently, these individuals cannot eat some of the most common foods in the United States, such as bread, pasta and even pizza.

Another type of gluten-based allergy is gluten sensitivity in young and newborn children. Furthermore, the prevalence rates of this condition appear to be on the rise in the United States. This condition can range from mild gluten sensitivity, through a more severe allergy, to full gluten intolerance with symptoms similar to that of Celiac disease. Making the matter more difficult is the fact that parents of such young children, who are not allergic to gluten themselves, may be unaware of their child's symptoms being caused by this protein. In the case of the more severe sensitivity, it is very important to formulate a diet without any foods containing gluten, as the intolerance may affect the whole digestive process and reduce the absorption of other essential nutrients. However, it is possible for the child to grow out of gluten allergy, but such may be dependent on the severity of one's symptoms and even their genetic makeup.