Oat Intolerance

Oat intolerance is what is known as Celiac Disease. This means that the body’s immune system reacts to certain substances as though they were causing harm and were an enemy therefore launching an immune response attack. This can be problematic to one’s health of course and cause dietary problems as a suitable replacement for oats is needed. It is not uncommon for people to have celiac disease associated with wheat, barley and rye but recent studies have shown that it is now also associated with intolerance to oat.

Celiac Disease was previously just thought to centre on difficulties with wheat, barley or rye. However, recent studies have shown that this illness also includes oat intolerance. But what actually causes oat intolerance? What are the symptoms to look out for? And how can you treat it?

Oat intolerance works in the same way as other forms of Celiac disease. It’s normally initiated by a mixture of environmental factors and genetics. In rare cases, intestinal infection can lead to oat intolerance also. Once the immune system recognises oats as an enemy the immune system responds aggressively by releasing killer T cells and attacking the body, causing harm to them. This immune response leads to irritation and discomfort to the intestinal tract and decreases its ability to absorb essential nutrients efficiently leading to serious health problems. It also leads to an increase in the production of mucus which carries its own set of issues. Other symptoms of oat intolerance include headaches, constipation, irregular bowel movement, cramping, diarrhoea, inflammation and irritation of the bowel and malnutrition.

If you suspect you may be intolerant to oats you should visit your doctor immediately. Your GP will be able to carry out and run tests which will involve removing certain oats from your diet for a while and then monitoring the situation to see if the symptoms disappear. The oats will then be re-introduced into the diet to see if the symptoms return. If the symptoms do reoccur then this is usually a clear sign that the patient is a sufferer from oat intolerance.
There is only one way to deal with oat intolerance. That is to remove and eliminate all oats and foods containing oats from the diet. This may seem difficult at first but in this modern world there is now a lot of foods which cater for peoples specific dietary needs. Sufferers who find it particularly hard to cope with often find it helpful to join support groups and even employ a professional qualified nutritionist.


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