Glossary of Terms
This glossary defines key terms which refer to gluten related disorders including coeliac disease, wheat intolerance and wheat allergy.
– Autism is a disability which affects people’s ability to make sense of the world. As a result of this people suffering from autism often find it hard to communicate with the people around them. The causes of autism are not fully understood, however, a number of dietary changes have been suggested to help manage the condition, including the removal of gluten/ casein from the diet which may help certain individuals.
Codex wheat starch
– A number of gluten free foods contain an ingredient called codex wheat starch. Codex wheat starch has been specially manufactured to remove the gluten to a trace level. This can be used in certain gluten-free products which have a gluten level that meets the Codex standard and is considered safe for the vast majority of people with coeliac disease. Gluten free foods with codex wheat starch are gluten free but not wheat free.
- Pronounced "seeliack", sometimes misspelt as seliac, ceoliac and spelt as celiac in the US and Australia, coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition brought on by an intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Coeliac disease is managed by following a lifelong gluten free diet.
- When following a gluten free diet, it is very important to be aware of cross contamination. Cross contamination occurs when gluten free food is contaminated with gluten, making it unsafe for people with coeliac disease or those following a gluten free diet. To avoid cross contamination, great care needs to be taken in the preparation, storage and cooking of food.
– Pronounced "derm-a-tyt-us her-pet-ee-form-is." Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH) is an autoimmune blistering skin condition known as the skin ’symptom’ of coeliac disease. Diagnosis of Dermatitis Herpetiformis is most commonly between 15 and 40 years of age and affects less people than coeliac disease at around 1 in 10,000. The treatment for dermatitis herpetiformis is a life long gluten free diet, in addition paitents may also be given skin cream to help with the rash but a gluten free diet must also be followed.
– Pronounced "dy-a-beat-ees" Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood is too high due to a lack of the hormone, insulin, which controls the blood glucose level. A lack of insulin may either result from the body not producing enough or the insensitivity to the action of insulin. . There is a proven association between type 1 diabetes and coeliac disease.
- A food allergy is an abnormal reaction to a food, and involves the body’s immune system (a protein in the food interacts with the body’s immune system). The symptoms of a food allergy can be life threatening and tend to develop rapidly, for example a peanut allergy. However, symptoms can also develop more slowly causing symptoms such as eczema, diarrhoea, vomiting, constipation, or may even show a mixed pattern. People diagnosed with a food allergy may carry an injectable form of hormone or adrenaline such as an EpiPen or Twinject. They may also wear some form of medical alert jewellery, or develop an emergency action plan with their GP or Doctor.
– A food intolerance is a reaction to substances in food other than food proteins and doesn’t involve the immune system e.g. lactose intolerance (lactose is a sugar present in milk). Symptoms tend to take longer to develop and although they may be uncomfortable, they are rarely life threatening.
– Gluten is a protein, which is commonly found in rye, wheat and barley. Gluten is found in most types of cereals, bread and pasta. For people diagnosed with coeliac disease, eating gluten damages the lining of the gut, preventing the normal digestion and absorption of nutrients from food.
- Gluten sensitivity is an emerging condition which could potentially affect up to 6% of the population. Medical studies have shown that people who do not have coeliac disease or wheat allergy but have symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating and stomach ache could find that their symptoms improve by following a gluten free diet.
– This refers to non-toxic adverse reactions to the ingestion of a food. There are two different types of food hypersensitivity – food allergy and food intolerance.
Irritable bowel syndrome
– Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common functional disorder of the gut. Irritable Bowel Syndrome affects almost 25% of the general population, research shows that some people with IBS may find following a gluten free diet improves symptoms.
– pronounced "O-ste-o-prow-sis." Osteoporosis is a thinning of bones which makes them more fragile and prone to breaking following a small fall or a bump. Unforutnately, people with coeliac disease appear to have an increased risk of developing osteoporosis. A gluten-free diet has been shown to help improve bone mineral density in individuals with coeliac disease although it may not restore it to the level found in people who do not have the condition.
– Wheat is a type of grass which is used in the production of many food stuffs worldwide, such as bread, pasta, biscuits, crackers, pies, pizzas, cereals and flour. Gluten is a protein which is found in wheat.
– Many people report experiencing symptoms after eating wheat, which could be caused by an intolerance to wheat. It is important to exclude coeliac diease (triggered by an intolerance to gluten which is found in wheat) prior to making any changes to the diet and also prior to a diagnosis of gluten sensitivity or wheat intolerance being made.