One in 141 people in the United States (according to the National Institutes of Health) have the most well-known form of gluten intolerance, celiac disease. When someone with celiac disease consumes gluten (a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat, barley, rye and triticale), it triggers an autoimmune response that damages their intestines, preventing them from absorbing vital nutrients.
A newer form of gluten intolerance is called non celiac gluten sensitivity. After consuming gluten, people with gluten sensitivity may experience many celiac disease symptoms, such as diarrhea, fatigue and joint pain.
A wheat allergy is the rare type of gluten intolerance. It’s a classic food allergy marked by skin, respiratory or gastrointestinal reactions to wheat allergies.
What is TRULY gluten free?
You must read food labels to know for sure if the food contains gluten and/or has been processed in an environment that has had gluten or was cross contaminated with a gluten product. If going to a restaurant, request a gluten free menu or allergy friendly menu. That menu will show you which items are gluten free. ALWAYS inform your server that you are gluten sensitive/celiac and want the gluten free version of the item(s) so s/he can inform the kitchen about your dietary needs.