What is gluten?
Gluten is what gives dough it’s stickiness and elasticity to prevent crumbling. It is found in many grains such as wheat, spelt, rye, barley, malt and sometimes oats. Oats do not naturally contain gluten but are at risk from cross contamination.
What is coeliac disease?
Coeliac Disease is an autoimmune disease to gluten and if left untreated can cause internal problems with your intestines. You can visit the Official Coeliac UK website for more information.
I think I may have coeliac disease, what should I do now?
If you think you have coeliac disease the best thing to do crazy as it sounds is to carry on eating gluten and book an appointment with your doctor so they can run a blood test and refer you to a gastroenterologist for a biopsy.
What are food intolerances?
Food intolerance also known as non-allergic food hypersensitivity is when food causes a detrimental reaction in your body. For example bloating, nausea, vomiting, mouth ulcers, stomach cramps, diarrhoea and or constipation and skin flair ups. These food intolerance symptoms usually begin half hour after eating or drinking and can last up to 48 hours. The degree of sensitivity varies between each individual. If you believe you may have a food intolerance keep a food diary and book an appointment with your doctor, they can refer you to a specialist who can help you. Unfortunately it can take many years to discover food intolerances as the symptoms are often delayed and without controlling you diet it is hard to work out what is the cause.
What is IBS?
IBS stands for irritable bowel syndrome it is diagnosed based on your symptoms which are typically chronic stomach cramps and abdominal pain, bloating and unusual bowel habits. You can have predominately diarrhoea or constipation or a mixture of both classified as IBS-D, IBS-C or IBS-A. There is no cure however you can manage the condition by taking regular medication to control your symptoms and by altering your diet to eliminate the triggers. Recently following a FODMAP diet has also been proven to be very successful in managing IBS.
What does FODMAP mean?
FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols. They are short chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. It has been proven and is medically accepted among professionals that there is a beneficial effect to excluding foods high in FODMAP’s in people that suffer from IBS and other functional gastrointestinal disorders. The low FODMAP diet was developed by Monash University, official website. The low FODMAP diet is only for 4-6 weeks and then you reintroduce everything gradually in a methodical way, only permanently eliminating your individual trigger foods. Due to the complexity of the low FODMAP diet and reintroduction phase, it is best to follow the FODMAP diet under supervision of a professional Dietician. I have been following mine with the help of my NHS Dietician. I also have to be careful not to have too much sugar or fatty foods as these can also trigger my IBS.
Thanks for reading.