3 Ways Gluten Intolerance Can Occur Later In Life

Gluten intolerance can be caused later on in life too

Allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances can often mean a lifetime of pain and suffering for the affected individual. Not only do they have to avoid the triggers diligently, they also need to have an action plan for what to do when they do get exposed to the triggers. One such condition that requires a lot of care is gluten intolerance. It is a broad term given to celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.

In celiac disease, eating gluten can be fatal. In gluten sensitivity, the sufferers may have gas, bloating, and constipation when they eat gluten. Usually, gluten intolerance manifests itself in childhood and then continues for life. But in some people, it manifests much later in life and continues thereafter. Here are a few ways by which that can happen and how to adjust your lifestyle to deal with it.

How Does Gluten Intolerance Occur

1. Transient Gluten Intolerance

Transient gluten intolerance could be the problem

A commonly observed phenomenon after acute dysentery or gastritis, the bacteria

that cause the disease also cause the intestinal villi to become flattened, thus losing important surface area for nutrient absorption. Eating gluten in these people can further exacerbate the problem.

If you feel like you aren’t getting back to a healthful state after an episode of gastritis, your doctor may recommend that you follow a gluten free diet for a few months. After a given period of time, your small intestine is re-tested for the development of villi. Your doctor might then slowly reintroduce gluten into your diet and monitor changes. As the name suggests, this condition is often transient and most people can go back to eating gluten eventually.1

2. Diagnosed In Later Life

The diagnosis could be late

We need to understand that gluten intolerance testing has become very sophisticated in recent times. However, a few decades ago, the elimination diet was the only way to diagnose this disorder.

Hence, it may be possible that though you suffered from gluten sensitivity throughout life, you never got the right prognosis for it.

As a result, you may discover that you are gluten insensitive on one of your regular doctor visits. And adjusting to a gluten-free diet later in life can be a bit of a challenge. For one, it means a change in dietary habits. On another level, you also need to ensure that you get adequate nutrition from a variety of foods.

3. Refined Grains May Be The Culprits

Refined grains could be the problem

In a 2010 study that only expected to see a proportionate increase in the number of people with gluten intolerance, people who had never received a diagnosis suddenly found themselves to be gluten-intolerant.2 This research shattered the belief that gluten intolerance manifests in childhood alone.

Among the several explanations that researchers offered for this phenomenon, one was that refined grains contain more gluten and they may be setting off a reaction. Another explanation was that our environment contributes to a modification in our gut flora composition, leading to allergy triggers that didn’t exist previously.3

There’s no putting it mildly. When it comes to gluten intolerance, there is no such thing as being out of the tunnel entirely. Several factors such as the environment, our food habits, and the very nature of the foods we eat can all lead to developing gluten intolerance later in life.