Gluten does not cause stomach bloating in most people. If you develop stomach bloating after eating gluten, the bloating is a sign of an underlying condition, such as gluten intolerance or an allergy to gluten. Stop eating gluten to determine if gluten is the cause of the bloating. Your doctor might recommend a gluten-free diet if your stomach bloating is related to an intolerance or allergy. Do not attempt to change your diet without the supervision of a medical doctor.
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The two conditions related to gluten are gluten intolerance and gluten allergy. Gluten is one of five proteins found in wheat, barley and rye. Gluten intolerance is the digestive system's inability to digest the gluten, which results in bloating, gas, diarrhea, nausea, cramping and stomach pain. A gluten allergy is not caused by the digestive system but rather is a hypersensitivity of the immune system. A gluten allergy will not cause stomach bloating, but will cause other symptoms to develop, such as asthma, hives and sinus congestion.
Foods to Avoid
Gluten is found in a wide variety of foods, and some medications contain gluten. When you’re on a gluten-free diet, you need to avoid the following ingredients: high-gluten flour, starch, wheat malt, semolina, durum, high-protein flour, bran, farina, bulgur, graham flour and wheat flour. Foods that commonly contain gluten include pasta, spelt, bread, cakes, cookies, breadcrumbs, crackers, cereals, couscous and cracker meal. Some processed food might contain gluten, such as ketchup and ice cream. Read the ingredients before eating any packaged food.
Foods to Eat
Foods that are naturally gluten-free include fruits, vegetables, chicken, fresh meats, fish, rice and soy. Eat baked goods and breads that are made with flours that are gluten-free, such as rice flour, soy flour, tapioca flour, corn flour and oat flour. Only purchase package foods that are labeled “gluten-free.” These foods not only are made without gluten flours but also are not processed on equipment that is shared with gluten products. Foods that are considered gluten-free include nuts, yucca, buckwheat, arrowroot, flax, millet, quinoa and potatoes.
Although you might be attempting to avoid gluten, eating even a small amount can cause serious complications if you’re gluten intolerant or have an allergy to gluten. Eating a tiny amount of gluten if you’re intolerant can cause permanent damage to your intestines. A gluten allergy can lead to anaphylactic shock, a severe and deadly allergic condition.