Gluten Intolerance Today's discussion is on a subject that afflicts more and more people. Namely Gluten Intolerance, also known as Celiac Disease. Before we get into the subject I would like to clarify the difference between Wheat & Gluten If you are wheat intolerant, you can eat all grains except wheat. You can use all the products marked as Wheat-free and Gluten-free. If you are gluten intolerant then you must stay away from Wheat, Oats, Rye & Barley, Spelt, Kamut & Triticale, as those grains contain Gluten. You can only use products marked as Gluten-free. What is Gluten? Gluten is a protein-carbohydrate mixture that is contained in Wheat, Barley, Rye, Oats, Spelt, Kamut and Triticale. (Careful of products derived from these grains such as Wheat germ oil, Malt vinegar, Barley malt etc…) The disease may be generated by an inability to handle the gluten in the grain, nutritional deficiencies, psychological factors, intestinal infections or parasites, protein deficiency, excessive use of laxatives, and certain dietary factors such as protein/fat ratio. The Gluten triggers an inflammatory reaction in the small bowel, which results in a decrease in the amount of surface area available for nutrient and fluid and electrolyte absorption. The extend of loss of intestinal absorptive surface area generally dictates whether one develops the symptoms of Celiac disease. Common indicators of the disease and/or gluten intolerance include schizophrenia, depression, a general loss of well-being, fatigue, breathlessness, weight loss, anemia, infertility, excessive flatulence, numbness in the fingertips, bone pain, fatty stools that float and that might be large and foul smelling, skin rash, an extreme deficiency in vitamin B6, constipation, and a partial destruction of the small bowel-which results in diarrhea, bloating of the abdomen, and shrinkage of the villi (Hair- like tentacles on the intestine wall whose function is to absorb nutrients) resulting in malabsorbtion of nutrients and a general state of debility, as well as deficiencies of iron, B vitamins, vitamin K, magnesium & folic acid. Physicians have reported cases where many other health problems have improved when wheat and its byproducts have been excluded from the diet. These include rheumatoid arthritis, tissue swelling, premenstrual syndrome, fatigue, mental disturbances, joint and muscle aches and pains. Irritable bowel syndrome is often caused by intolerance to wheat/gluten products. The common symptoms of this disorder include abdominal bloating, excessive flatulence, diarrhea and/or constipation. By avoiding wheat / gluten and /or gluten in your diet you will alleviate the symptoms associated with the intolerance People avoiding wheat or gluten do not need to feel deprived. Indeed they are well catered for at "The Crazy Nut" with products such as Gluten-free breads, Muffins, Biscuits, Rusks, Pastas, Rice vermicelli, and various ready mixed flours for Pizzas, pancakes etc….. Please pay us a visit and get friendly advise from a well trained staff, on your particular needs.