A strict gluten free diet is only indicated for those diagnosed with coeliac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis. Gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye, barley, oats, and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). It is present in the following:
1. Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries, pies, cereals, pastas and flour.
2. Manufactured foods - including foods with sauces, foods with thickening agents, sausages, foods coated in flour batter or crumbs.
3. Unexpected sources -such as medications, Playdough, beer.
Gluten damages the lining of the small bowel in people with coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis. The treatment for these conditions is to exclude gluten from the diet. Once you have found out that you have Coeliac Disease or Dermatitis Herpetiformis, a gluten free diet will need to be followed for life. All foods and medications need to be gluten free. Foods and medications which are ‘low gluten’ should not be included in your diet.
To be diagnosed with coeliac disease, you actually must be consuming gluten containing products for at least 8 weeks prior to testing, otherwise you may receive a false-negative result. A gluten free diet is not recommended for people who do not have coeliac disease or dermatitis herpretiformis as it actually excludes wholefoods and key nutrient sources from your diet unnecessarily.
If you think you may benefit from a gluten free diet, please seek advice from your doctor or Dietitian.
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