Lately sensitivity to wheat has been on a rise. Often people have been heard saying that wheat makes them uneasy. While there have been cases of gluten intolerance, more & more people think it’s fashionable to eliminate wheat completely from their diet. Let’s dig deep into what really is happening.

There are three key health problems caused by wheat -

- Wheat sensitivity: Symptoms like bloating, cramps, diarrhoea and sickness come on quite slowly, usually hours after eating wheat. There is no diagnostic test.

- Wheat allergy: Reactions usually begin within minutes and include itching, rash, tongue or lip swelling and wheezing. Diagnostic test available.

- Coeliac disease: Also known as gluten intolerance is a common digestive condition where your intestine can't absorb gluten found in wheat, barley, oats and rye. Diagnostic test available.

How do you know if you are gluten intolerant or just sensitive to wheat?

People with gluten intolerance have more severe symptoms like growth problems, decreased appetite and failure to gain weight, chronic diarrhea, which can be bloody, chronic constipation, vomiting, abdominal bloating and pain, fatigue & irritability.

There are special tests that help diagnose this medical condition.

People with wheat sensitivity suffer from bloating or other minor symptoms after eating wheat based products.

The best way to rule out the sensitivity is by following an elimination diet which should be advised by the physician. This is where you completely cut out wheat from your diet for four weeks then bring it back in gradually to see if symptoms re-appear. If your symptoms return, it confirms you’re sensitive to wheat and will also help to show you which foods are especially troublesome.

Sometimes people are more sensitive to wheat in certain form but are okay to consume it in others. For example, Some people may only have problems with chapatti, bread but might be perfectly fine with whole wheat pasta.

If you are sensitive to wheat, or you have trouble digesting it, the main way to relieve your symptoms is to embark on a wheat-free or partially wheat-free diet. Poor or weak digestion is directly related to an unbalanced diet. This condition can easily be managed by improving the diet. Eating a high fiber diet is important for our overall digestive health—particularly in preventing constipation. Adding foods that improve the ratio of good to bad bacteria in your intestines can help improve the health. Natural foods like yogurt, banana, garlic contain probiotics promote intestinal health.