Gluten is a protein. It is what makes certain breads chewy. The structure is very web or net-like, and the empty cells between protein strands capture bubbles of carbon dioxide.
Celiac disease, a disease of the small intestine, is commonly associated with gluten intolerance. Symptoms include weight loss and loose bowel movements.
Gluten Intolerance is characterized by a few different elements such as:
Acid reflux or IBS
Diarrhea or constipation (both chronic)
Gluten can be found in:
All wheat – breads, pastries and more
Barley – including malt, malt vinegar and beer
If you are found to be gluten intolerant, this will require a change in eating habits for the remainder of your life.
This does not mean you cannot enjoy bread and pastries. Flours made from corn, potato and similar do not create gluten when mixed with water. Some grocery stores have special ‘gluten free’ products as well for those who suffer this malady.
If you are not sure if you are gluten intolerant, visit your personal physician. He or she can help make a diagnosis, or see a specialist.