Gluten is wheat gum, the insoluble component of grains (such as wheat, barley, and rye). It is a mixture of gliadin, glutenin, and other proteins. Gluten causes allergy-like reactions in certain people. While a gluten-free diet is the primary therapeutic treatment for celiac disease, this diet may also help a host of other conditions, including dermatitis herpetiformis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV enteropathy, and schizophrenia.
- Check carefully—Learn the many names that gluten can be found under and read labels carefully to ensure you are buying products that are truly gluten-free.
- Be thorough—In order to eliminate symptoms altogether you have to get rid of all sources of gluten, not just in your food. For those with celiac disease this is a diet that must be followed for the rest of your life.
- Get support—It can be a long and difficult process to convert to a gluten-free diet. Enlist the help of trained health professionals and support groups with local chapters like the Celiac Sprue Association and the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America.
Go gluten-free: Choose grains like buckwheat, amaranth, rice, corn, and quinoa, and starches like potato, soy, and tapioca as substitutes for gluten-containing products