| GEO Health|
| Giving up bread can make you fat: research|
| Updated at: 0945 PST, Monday, May 24, 2010|
LONDON: Experts are warning that cutting out gluten a protein found in wheat, rye and barley for no medical reason may cause weight gain, fatigue, headaches and a lack of nutrients.
Gluten is present in a wide range of foods, from bread and pasta to gravy and beer. For the half a million Britons with coeliac disease, giving it up is a medical necessity. This is a serious autoimmune condition in which the immune system reacts to gluten, triggering it to attack the lining of the small intestine.
Symptoms include diarrhoea, constipation and bloating as well as mouth ulcers, bad skin, joint pain and depression. It can lead to infertility, miscarriages, osteoporosis and bowel cancer. Coeliac disease is diagnosed by taking a biopsy of the intestine or via blood tests. Sufferers must be strict in avoiding gluten.